Reynolds: Contract talks a distraction
D-backs slugger hopes for resolution by Opening Day
MESA, Ariz. -- The contract talks between the D-backs and Mark Reynolds appear to be taking a toll on the third baseman."It's just a distraction," Reynolds said. "I never knew it would be this much of a distraction." Reynolds' representatives met face-to-face this morning with the D-backs, and Reynolds said he was still waiting to get a full report. As a player who is not eligible for salary arbitration, the D-backs hold the right to set Reynolds' salary for 2010 and he said he was told they were going to do that at $500,000. "At that point, we still have until Opening Day," Reynolds said. "That's the ultimate deadline. If it hasn't happened by then, it's not going to happen. I think having talks during the season would be a distraction to me and the team. Once Spring Training games are over, it's [all out] for 162 [games] and that being a distraction is something I don't need." Both sides have agreed on the Opening Day deadline, and judging by the effect the negotiations are having on Reynolds, that's a good thing. "It's kind of annoying," he said. "I've got my teammates asking me about it, I have [the media], obviously. I know you're doing your job, which is great, but the sooner the better for me. It's something to the point where I don't want to come in after every game and check my phone or have meeting after meeting and take time away from my family. I'm certainly hoping that we come to some kind of agreement, but I'm 100 percent fine if it doesn't happen. I'll play this year and see what happens next year." SI.com has reported that the D-backs have offered Reynolds $13.5 million for 2011 and 2012, while Reynolds is seeking something more in line with the $18 million that Prince Fielder got from the Brewers. The D-backs this week inked outfielder Justin Upton to a six-year deal that will pay him $51.25 million. Reynolds said he certainly would like the security of a multiyear deal, but said he is prepared to go through the arbitration process the next few years. "For me to know that I have that money no matter what is obviously a burden off my shoulders," he said. "I know it's a cliche, but I'm confident with what I'm able to do on the baseball field, and I'm able to go play. If I don't get something done, I'm not going to quit playing hard. I'm going to keep diving and throwing my body all over the place, that's just the way I know how to play."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.