As third baseman Mark Reynolds and the Diamondbacks discuss a possible long-term contract extension, the most difficult talking point may be in finding a comparable player on which to base Reynolds' salary going forward.
Reynolds' numbers after 2 2/3 major league seasons compare very favorably to Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt's early track in most power categories, and Baseball-Reference.com lists Schmidt as the most similar player to Reynolds by age after both the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
Reynolds, 26, led the D-backs with 44 home runs, 102 RBI, and 24 stolen bases last season, and he fell just three days short of qualifying for salary arbitration as a so-called "Super 2," those players within the top 17 percent of service time who have not played three full seasons. Reynolds also has set the major league strikeout record each of the last two seasons, and he has led the NL in errors both years.
"He has some highs over here, and he also has some highs over there," Diamondbacks managing partner Ken Kendrick
Florida second baseman Dan Uggla signed a one-year, $7.8 million contract to avoid arbitration in his second year of eligibility this winter. While the two play different positions, their output is similar -- Uggla has 94 home runs and 270 RBI
from 2007-09; Reynolds has 89 and 261.
Florida infielder Jorge Cantu, in his final year of arbitration eligibility, signed a one-year deal for $6 million this winter. Oakland third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff recently signed a one-year deal worth $3.1 million in his first arbitration year.
Service time is a big determinant in arbitration cases.
Reynolds expects to get an offer before spring training starts February 19, but he made it clear that he will be content to play out the year and go to arbitration in 2011.
"If it gets done, it gets done. It if doesn't, so be it. If they come at me with a reasonable offer, it is something I will be willing to take a look at," Reynolds said.
--RHP Brandon Webb threw about 30 pitches off flat ground to C Chris Snyder at Chase Field on
February 5, and he planned to throw off the bullpen mound there on February 9, with pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. in attendance. Webb threw mostly fastballs, but finished his
February 5 session with a few changeups and said he felt "very happy. I was able to let it go pretty good." Webb is recovering from
the right shoulder surgery he had done early August.
--RHP Edwin Jackson is monitoring the case of Houston LHP Wandy Rodriguez as both pitchers head for mid-February arbitration hearings. Each has similar numbers since 2007: Jackson has 32 wins in 558 1/3 innings and Rodriguez has 32 in 525 2/3. Jackson, 27, is asking for $6.25 million, and the D-backs have offered $4.6 million. Rodriguez, 31, is seeking $7 million, and the Astros have offered $5 million.
--When Seattle signed OF Eric Byrnes, RHP Dan Haren lost one of his closest friends on the team. Both are from California, and Haren said they spoke often during this offseason. "I think he knew it was kind of inevitable that he had played his last game here. It wasn't a shock to him. I'm sad because I don't get to hang out with him, because he was a good friend of mine, but I wish him the best. He's a guy I'll be following, that's for sure," Haren said.
--The D-backs have invited 17 non-roster players to spring training: RHP T.J. Beam, RHP Josh Ellis, RHP Barry Enright, RHP Kyler Newby, RHP Rodrigo Lopez, RHP Wes Roemer, RHP Bryan Shaw, RHP Matt Torra, LHP Tom Layne, C Carlos Corporan, C Sean Coughlin, C Konrad Schmidt, 1B Jeff Bailey, INF Mark Hallberg, OF Collin Cowgill, OF Evan Frey, and OF Drew Macias.
--3B Mark Reynolds and RHP Dan Haren are among the D-backs' newest fathers. Reynolds' wife had their first child, Jacob Andrew, in October. Haren's wife had their second child, Ella Dani, last month.
DIAMOND STAT: .999 -- 1B Adam LaRoche's fielding percentage in 2009, the best among major league first basemen who started more than 100 games.
QUOTABLE: "I'm enthused about what happened in the offseason. I think we have a competitive team. I guess we'll find out." -- Diamondbacks managing general partner Ken Kendrick.
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