AP Source: Indians, Reynolds agree to 1-year deal


AP Source: Indians, Reynolds agree to 1-year deal

CLEVELAND (AP) The Cleveland Indians entered the offseason searching for a right-handed power hitter to bolster their lineup. After striking out at last week's winter meetings, they may have finally connected.

A person familiar with the negotiations said Sunday night the Indians have agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent slugger Mark Reynolds. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal is pending a physical.

Reynolds would likely take over at first base for Cleveland, but he also could be used as the designated hitter.

Reynolds, who hit 23 homers last season for Baltimore, would definitely bring immediate pop to the Indians. Last season, Carlos Santana led the club with 18 homers. The Indians have needed a righty batter to balance out their heavily lefty lineup.

Indians general manager Chris Antonetti spoke with Reynolds' agent at the winter meetings last week in Nashville, Tenn. The club also showed interest in Kevin Youkilis, who is weighing an offer from the New York Yankees. The Indians reportedly wooed Youkilis with a two-year package, and new manager Terry Francona personally reached out to one of his former players, hoping to bring him to Cleveland.

The Indians also have pursued free-agent outfielder Nick Swisher, who has drawn interest from several teams.

Cleveland made a four-year offer to Shane Victorino last week, but he signed a three-year deal with Boston.

Youkilis may still be in play for the Indians, but they at least have a backup plan in place with Reynolds, who made 105 starts at first last season. He began the season at third, but was moved across the infield after 15 shaky starts.

The 28-year-old Reynolds batted .221 with 69 RBIs in 135 games for the Orioles. Although he strikes out too much - he fanned 159 times in 457 at-bats last season - he has 181 career homers in six seasons in the majors. Reynolds played four seasons with Arizona before he was traded to Baltimore in 2010.

Reynolds has struck out more than 200 times in three different seasons.

Orioles can't break through and lose 7-0 to Yankees


Orioles can't break through and lose 7-0 to Yankees

BALTIMORE – Wednesday’s pregame was dominated by silly talk that the Orioles deliberately canceled the New York Yankees’ batting practice the day before. 

Rain was forecast, but it never came, but that sometimes happens around here. 

The Yankees took batting practice in the mist, and on yet another cool and unpleasant night, broke their six-game losing streak with a 7-0 win over the Orioles before 15,998 at Oriole Park.

Chris Davis, who was wearing a large wrap over his left hand after the game, acknowledges the weather is difficult to play in. 

“It’s tough for everybody, but it’s part of the season. I think the biggest thing for us to remember is it’s a long season. These are the games that test you early on, but later in the season, they pay off,” Davis said. 

Davis played behind Tyler Wilson, who through the first five innings, allowed just one hit, and 11 of his first 15 outs were on the ground. 

It all came apart in the sixth. With one out, Jacoby Ellsbury singled and stole second. He advanced to third on Brett Gardner’s single. Ellsbury scored when Adam Jones did not attempt a throw home on Carlos Beltran’s fly to center field. 

“He just didn't get it out good. He made a great throw to the plate the play before. He just couldn't get it out of his glove. He just couldn't get the exchange down right,” manager Buck Showalter said. 

Mark Teixeira walked, and Gardner scored on Brian McCann’s single to right. Starlin Castro bounced to the mound, but Wilson (1-1) threw the ball past Davis at first for a two-base error as Teixiera scored.

“That’s probably the thing that upsets me most about the outing. Obviously we practice and do that all the time, and there’s no excuse for that. I pushed the ball into the ground, made a good grip, and then threw it into the ground. Stayed low, threw it, did everything the way we always practice it. I just didn't execute. That’s 100 percent on me,” Wilson said. 

The Orioles (15-11) had plenty of opportunities against CC Sabathia, who recorded his 19th win against them. 

They hit into three double plays, and had just one runner on third base. In the fifth, Jonathan Schoop doubled, and one out, Ryan Flaherty singled, but Schoop stayed at third as Joey Rickard and Manny Machado struck out.
“That’s kind of been the way things have been going for us lately. We’ve had a few games where we’ve been able to score some runs early and capitalize on those opportunities but for the most part, we’re not getting the job done when we have runners in scoring position," Davis said.

"I think the biggest thing to remember is to stay the course.  We’re playing really good ball defensively right now. I think we’re throwing the ball really well right now and we’re keeping ourselves in the game and we all know the bats are going to heat up when the weather is not raining and cold and it warms up a bit,” Davis said. 

It got worse in the eighth. T.J. McFarland gave up a leadoff double to Beltran, walked Teixiera and left with the score 5-0 after McCann doubled to right and advance to third on the throw. Didi Gregorius’ single made it 6-0.
Dylan Bundy loaded the bases with two outs, and hit Gardner with a 3-2 pitch. New York (9-16) led 7-0. 

Sabathia (2-2), who barely made New York’s rotation out of spring training, allowed six hits in seven innings. 

“I think over the years, he’s really had to pitch more. His velocity is obviously not where it used to be, but he knows how to pitch. You don’t stay in this game that long not knowing how to pitch,” Davis said. 

Kirby Yates loaded the bases in the eighth with one out, but Dellin Betances struck out Davis and retired Mark Trumbo on a foul pop to third. 

Showalter felt Wilson pitched decently. 

“I thought he was pretty good period. He had a wet ball that he couldn’t get a grip on. He did his part. He was good. He pitched well. We just didn’t score any runs. It’s one of those nights where if even at three, if we can score some … I choose to look at the outing like it really was. He was good. We’ll take that,” Showalter said. 

NOTES: The crowd was the smallest for a Yankees-Orioles game in Baltimore since Sept. 27, 1988 when 15,737 watched at Memorial Stadium. … The Orioles were shut out for the second time this season while New York recorded its first shutout. … Masahiro Tanaka (1-0, 2.87) pitches against Kevin Gausman (0-1, 2.45) on Thursday night. 

While Hardy's out, Machado won't move around


While Hardy's out, Machado won't move around

BALTIMORE – While J.J. Hardy is out, expect Manny Machado to play one position, either shortstop or third base, but not both. 

“I don’t want to go back and forth with Manny. I want him to concentrate on shortstop until J.J. gets back potentially. That’s one way to look at it,” Showalter said. 

“Or you play third and don’t think about shortstop anymore. I think that’s the conclusion we came to talking to him is that I don’t want to start going back and forth even though he’s played a lot of shortstop in the shift and played a lot in his career. It’s a different preparation. You need to have respect for the player’s preparation to play a position on a given night.” 

Showalter knows that Machado or Chris Davis would willingly switch positions, and they have, but he doesn’t want to weaken one spot to strengthen another. 

“No one asks a player’s opinion, what his thoughts are in a perfect world if you’re not going to be swayed by what they think,” Showalter said. 

For now, Showalter is fine with who he has in the infield, but that’s as long as there’s not an injury. 

“We’re one tweak of something away from having to make a move. We can get through that game,” Showalter said. “You can rectify it overnight.” 

NOTES: Norfolk INF Trey Mancini was named the Orioles’ Minor League Player of the Month for April. Delmarva LHP Garrett Cleavinger is the Pitcher of the Month. 

Why Orioles won't add extra infielder until Britton's ready


Why Orioles won't add extra infielder until Britton's ready

BALTIMORE – Buck Showalter would like to have a four-man bench. For that to happen, the Orioles will have to drop a pitcher, and they won’t do that until Zach Britton has recovered from his sprained left ankle and ready to pitch. 

Britton threw a brief bullpen on Wednesday, and says he has improved. 

“You hurt your ankle, it’s not like something ever goes away. I think that’s something for the offseason. It’s going to be something we deal with throughout the year. But it’s not painful. Just got to kind of stretch it out again and go through the motions a little bit of covering first, pitching off the mound. But it feels pretty good,” Britton said. 

Showalter is going without an extra infielder, and he’d like to remedy that by adding Paul Janish from Norfolk. Janish is scheduled to go to Houston for the birth of his third child later this week, but could be here quickly. 

“If we have a need, tomorrow,” Showalter said. 

NOTES: J.J. Hardy won’t accompany the Orioles on their three-game trip to Minnesota next week. He’ll stay behind and work with Vice President of Baseball Operations Brady Anderson. … Yovani Gallardo, who is on the disabled list with shoulder and rotator cuff tendinitis, will go on the trip.