Mark Reynolds wasn't surprised by today's news that the Orioles declined to pick up his $11 million option for next season. He expected this outcome based on his diminished production this season.
"Obviously, I didn't have the year I wanted," Reynolds said in a phone conversation. "I didn't play to my standards and obviously the Orioles' standards. But I've still got an arbitration year to go and we'll see what happens. Nov. 30 is the date, right?"
Correct. And the Orioles could choose to non-tender Reynolds, who earned $7.5 million this year, and attempt to re-sign him as a free agent.
"We'll see," he said. "I don't know."
Reynolds, who batted .221/.335/.429 with 23 home runs and 69 RBIs in 135 games and played through a variety of injuries, wants to stay with the Orioles if a deal can be worked out. They want to keep him at the right cost.
"That would be great," he said. "I have some great friends on the team. Buck (Showalter) is a great guy to play for. We had a great year. It's an all-around good organization. But at the same time, if they non-tender me, I think it would not be very smart of me to not see what else is out there. And being a free agent, you've got a little bit more value. I've waited a long time for that. But obviously, I'd like to play for the Orioles and play for Buck."
The Orioles' defense made noticeable improvements this season after Reynolds moved to first base and rookie Manny Machado took over at third. In the past, Reynolds has expressed a desire to go back to the hot corner, but that no longer seems to be a priority.
"I definitely found my spot over there," said Reynolds, who committed six errors in 15 games at third and five errors in 108 games at first. "I played pretty solid defense, I think, in the last half of the season. I have a lot of confidence over there.
"I talked to J.J. (Hardy) last night about his Gold Glove. I said he has to buy me a beer for some of the picks I made for him."
"I'm going to go back and have (video coordinator) Mike Silverman see how many picks i made," Reynolds said, "and that's how many beers he owes me."
Reynolds hasn't lost his sense of humor. Maybe he'll win a Gold Glove next year after watching Hardy, catcher Matt Wieters and center fielder Adam Jones take home the hardware last night.
"I'm happy for those guys," he said. "That's pretty cool."
What happens to Reynolds in the next month will be a hot topic in Baltimore.