The deadline for teams to offer contracts to their arbitration-eligible players is almost upon us, and the chances of Mark Reynolds staying with the Orioles diminish by the hour.
The Orioles still don't seem willing to risk going to arbitration with Reynolds, who could earn around $9 million after making $7.5 million in 2012. Executive vice president Dan Duquette indicated earlier this week that he would explore negotiating a new deal with Reynolds, saying, "We'll see if we can do something between now and when we have to make a decision on that."
"I haven't heard anything," Reynolds said yesterday, "and by not hearing anything at this point, I would assume that I'll probably be gone. That would be my guess."
Signing a new contract before tonight's deadline "could happen," Reynolds said. "We have until midnight, but I haven't heard anything.
"This is all new to me, obviously. I don't know if it's standard operating procedure. It's the first time I've had to deal with this kind of stuff. I figured there would at least be some type of dialogue with 24 hours to go. There's still been nothing, so I'll take it in stride and if it's time to move on, it's time to move on."
In other words, Reynolds wouldn't expect to re-sign with the Orioles as a free agent, though he didn't completely dismiss the possibility.
"Obviously, I'd explore my options, and my home is in Arizona, so it would be nice to have spring training out there. I could live there an extra two months," he said. "At the same time, if I have offers from other teams, I'd weigh those options. But it would be an added bonus to stay at home another two months for spring training."
Reynolds said he isn't aware of any immediate interest from other clubs "because I'm still technically with the Orioles. But if nothing happens by tomorrow night, hopefully there will be some kind of activity and something will happen."
Losing Reynolds would leave the Orioles to decide whether to give the starting job to Chris Davis or acquire a first baseman via trade or free agency. They're not likely to spend big for Adam LaRoche, who turned them down two winters ago.
Duquette indicated again yesterday on "The Mid-Atlantic Sports Report" that the Orioles are more likely to make a trade than sign a free agent.
Note: The Diamondbacks released former Orioles pitcher Brad Bergesen, according to the transactions page on CBSSports.com. Bergesen was arbitration-eligible again this year. Now he's a free agent.
The Diamondbacks claimed Bergesen off waivers on July 20 after the Orioles designated him for assignment.