All it takes is one.
One tweet from Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com saying that the Orioles are shopping both Kevin Gregg and Mark Reynolds, and soon everyone is picking up the report and it is almost taken as fact. The report could very well prove to be true, but I think you always have to be somewhat skeptical of trade rumor talk.
Gregg's name has been out there before, but I don't recall any reports about Reynolds. No doubt many fans would be happy if Gregg were removed from the roster.
Reynolds, meanwhile is a player that evokes a wide range of opinions. Some love the power and want that in the lineup. Others can't stand all the strikeouts and/or are rubbed the wrong way by all the errors.
Reynolds led the Orioles last year in homers (37), RBIs (86), runs (84), walks (75) and OPS (.806). Reynold was third in the American League last year in at-bats per homer and 14th in extra-base hits.
His 37 homers ranked fourth in the AL and tied for sixth (with Albert Pujols) in Major League Baseball. Here is the list of players who hit more homers than Reynolds last year: Jose Bautista, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Matt Kemp and Prince Fielder. That's it. His 30 homers from June 1 to the end of the regular season topped everyone in the majors.
But he also led the league in strikeouts (196) and errors (31). The strikeouts were expected, the errors were not - at least not that many. The slimmer version of Reynolds has been playing solid defense and moving well this spring at third base as the club hopes to see big improvement from Reynolds with the glove.
But he sure can fill up the stat sheet.
Gregg last year saved just 22 of 29 games with a WHIP of 1.642 and averaged six walks per nine innings. He pitched to an ERA of 7.36 over his last 17 games. If you think all of those stats are terrible, you are right.
If you are down on Gregg, don't expect another team to be champing at the bit to get him or to be willing to give up a decent prospect to acquire him. If the Orioles trade him now, not only will they likely have to eat some or perhaps a large portion of his salary, but they will be trading low and not get much in return you wouldn't think.
The issue with Gregg has often been control. While his walk rate was the worst of his career last year, he has averaged more than four walks per nine innings in five of the last seven years. That is tough for any late-inning reliever to overcome. He seems to be so determined to get the batter to hit his pitch that he walks them while waiting for that to happen. Very questionable strategy, if you ask me, for a pitcher with shaky control.
There is always the chance Gregg will pitch much better this season than last year, but that is a chance the Orioles seem willing to take.
Power rankings: For those that love preseason predictions, this guy ranks only Houston behind the Orioles in his power rankings. He says the Orioles are worse than last year, maybe much worse.
Now it's time for your take: What do you think of the trade rumors involving Gregg and Reynolds? Should Reynolds be traded, or do the Orioles need that power source? Will he improve on defense this year? Do you accept the strikeouts because the homers come with that?