Colorado Rockies: What if they had offered Mark Reynolds a contract?
On Saturday, the Washington Nationals announced that they had selected the contract of Mark Reynolds from their Triple-A team in Syracuse. The former Colorado Rockies first baseman is expected to make his debut with the Nationals this weekend.
With Reynolds finally returning to the big leagues after an on-again, off-again rumor-filled offseason with the Rockies, it begs the “what if” question: What if the Rockies had chosen to bring Reynolds back on a one-year contract rather than spending the money on a one-year contract for Carlos Gonzalez?
As a reminder, it has been rumored that the Rockies never offered Reynolds any kind of contract this offseason, choosing to let him walk and take their chances with the players already locked into a Rockies uniform.
First base has been an offensive black hole this season for the Rockies, with Ian Desmond and Ryan McMahon unable to provide any sort of punch. In fact, Colorado recently ranked at the bottom of the statistics (by a long shot) for all Major League first basemen, showing just how much the Rockies have struggled to find someone who can produce at the plate and be an asset in the field … and replace Reynolds and his production from last season.
And, in case you’ve forgotten, let this section of this MLB.com article remind you of what Reynolds meant to the Rockies in 2017…
"In 148 games with the Colorado Rockies in 2017, Reynolds hit .267 with 22 doubles, one triple, 30 home runs, 97 RBI, 69 walks and 82 runs scored. The 30 home runs were his most since hitting 37 home runs in 2011 and his 97 RBI were tied for the second-most of his career, his most since posting a career-high 102 RBI in 2009 with the Arizona Diamondbacks."
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Just how much are the Rockies struggling now at first base? Daniel Castro is reportedly trying to learn the position in order to serve as the backup to Desmond at the position. Despite Desmond’s well-documented offensive struggles, there is seemingly no better option for the Rockies at this time.
Which brings us back to the “what if” question posed earlier. If the Rockies had offered Reynolds a one-year contract with a guaranteed roster spot, he certainly would not have fared worse than Desmond has there this season. Sure, Reynolds batted lower and was less productive in the second half of last season … but at this point would Rockies fans roughly take half a season with a .243 average with 11 homers and 36 RBI? More than likely, yes.
With Reynolds, Desmond would likely have seen the majority of his time in the outfield … and could be platooned with David Dahl and Gerardo Parra when the bat wasn’t going. Additionally, without CarGo on the roster, it’s possible that Raimel Tapia might have broken camp and made the Opening Day roster, giving the Rockies another option in the outfield.
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Of course, there are no certainties in life and we’ll never know how the Rockies offense might have fared with Reynolds as an option rather than CarGo. However, if Reynolds is able to contribute for the Nationals, you can count on plenty of Rockies fans asking this same “what if” question and wondering what might have been this season at 20thand Blake.