Reynolds, Overbay Off the Table, Wells On

The recent flurry of Flushing free-agent signings was not all of the movement happening in Major League Baseball over the last few days. Let’s quickly go over some of the more intriguing transactions.

The Brewers signed slugging corner man Mark Reynolds to a minor-league deal, then picked up lefty-hitting Lyle Overbay to fill out their first-base competition and likely end their interest (for now) in acquiring Ike Davis. Milwaukee also signed LOOGY Zach Duke to a minor-league deal. Duke was fantastic in his first fourteen MLB starts in 2005, was so-so in 2006 and 2009, and otherwise fairly awful in his other six MLB seasons. But he’s lefthanded, so, he’ll have a shot at a job as long as he can fling a baseball 60 feet, 6 inches.

The Yankees designated Vernon Wells for assignment. Wells hit 10 homers in his first 38 games with the Bronx Bombers, then stunk up the joint. I imagine someone will extend to him a spring training invite, but it’s unlikely to be the Mets. Then again, you never know. I don’t think it’s a good idea for Wells to switch leagues at this stage of his career.

The Angels signed longtime utility infielder John McDonald, who was the best shortstop left on the market other than Stephen Drew.

Tyler Colvin agreed to terms with the Baltimore Orioles. Though his numbers have been unspectacular, I’ve always liked what I’ve seen of Colvin, and he has shown decent pop in his brief MLB career. He hit 20 homers in 395 plate appearances as a rookie in 2010, and had a strong 2012 campaign, batting .290 with 18 homeruns and a .858 OPS in 452 PAs. The lefthanded-hitting outfielder / first baseman found his way into only 27 games last year, though he hit well in AAA. I suppose the Mets weren’t interested in Colvin because he’s essentially redundant to Lucas Duda.

Fireballer Henry Rodriguez signed a minor-league deal with the Marlins. I was mildly surprised to see Rodriguez available this late in the offseason, considering his ability to flirt with triple digits on the radar gun and relative youth (he turns 27 in late February). His problem has always been finding the strike zone; he’s walked 102 batters in 148 big-league innings. He kind of reminds me of Mike MacDougal, who had very brief spurts of enough command to hold down a closer role at random times throughout his dozen-year MLB career.

Comments on any of the above?

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. NormE January 21, 2014 at 1:46 pm
    “I don’t think it’s a good idea for Wells to switch leagues at this stage of his career.”

    Joe, I would think that at this stage of his career Wells would just be happy to find a team that wants him no matter which league. His major league days are running out unless he can find the Marlon Byrd fountain of youth.

    • Joe Janish January 21, 2014 at 10:05 pm
      Agreed. My point being that an NL club (i.e., the Mets) should be wary of signing him, as it’s very possible he’ll have a problem adjusting to pitchers he’s never or rarely seen before in his career — especially since he’s been struggling offensively as it is.