Baltimore Orioles pick up Luis Ayala's option, decline option on Mark Reynolds

Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

Luis Ayala will be an Oriole in 2013 for the price of $1M, the future is still hazy for Mark Reynolds.

The Baltimore Orioles today announced that they picked up Luis Ayala's option for 2013 and declined Mark Reynolds' option.

While not the strongest member of the O's fantastic 2012 bullpen, Ayala had a successful year that definitely makes it worth his $1M option. It's a low enough amount that if he stinks in 2013, he'll be easy to party ways with. Ayala had his troubles with inherited runners, allowing 44% to score, but when he started an inning clean he usually got the job done.

I'm also a fan of keeping Ayala in the bullpen as he was acknowledged to be the leader of the bullpen hijinks which included a race to catch home run balls in hats and the practice of huddling up for a cheer when the Orioles scored a run.

As for Reynolds, it was widely speculated this his option would be declined, and rightly so. The option was for $11M (with a $0.5M buyout), which is $3.5M more than he made last year and, in my own opinion, too much to pay for a player like Reynolds.

This doesn't mean that the Wrapper's days with the Orioles are over. The Orioles have a few options. Reynolds isn't eligible for free agency in 2013, so the Orioles could offer him arbitration and see if he accepts. I'm not an expert in arbitration #s, but if Reynolds gets a 20% pay increase that'd put him at $9M, and with the $0.5M buyout on his option, that saves the Orioles $1.5M.

Another option is for the Orioles to non-tender him and try to re-sign him to a cheaper contract, but once they do that they'll be in competition with any other team that wants him.

I don't think losing Reynolds would be a big loss, personally. The only consideration is that with a team trying to fill at least one other infield hole, left field, and add a starting pitcher in the off season, getting Reynolds under contract would be one less need to address from scratch before the 2013 season starts.

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