AP source: Arizona, Reynolds agree to $14.5M deal

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona slugger Mark Reynolds says he's agreed to terms on a new contract with the Diamondbacks.

Two people familiar with the talks said on Monday that the deal was worth $14.5 million over three years and includes an $11 million club option for 2013. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the deal.

Reynolds expressed "relief to finally be able to get it done."

A 16th-round draft pick, the 26-year-old third baseman hit 44 homers with 102 RBIs last season. He also struck out 223 times, breaking the major league record of 204 he set the previous year.

His agreement first was reported by The Arizona Republic.

The new contract was expected to be announced by the team on Tuesday.

According to one of the people familiar with the deal, Reynolds gets a $1 million signing bonus and a $500,000 salary this season, then $5 million in 2011 and $7.5 million in 2012. If the club doesn't pick up the 2013 option, Reynolds gets a $500,000 buyout.

The contract also has a limited no-trade clause.

Reynolds is the second young player to be locked up with a new contract from the Diamondbacks this spring. Earlier, 22-year-old All-Star outfielder Justin Upton signed a $51.25 million, five-year contract.

Reynolds had set an opening day deadline for reaching an agreement. Otherwise, he would have gone to year-by-year arbitration. He was to have become arbitration eligible after the coming season.

Although manager A.J. Hinch would like Reynolds to cut down on the strikeouts, he can live with a high number of them if he produces as he did a year ago.

"I want him to be a monster at the plate. I want him to be him. I don't have any other expectations other than him to be himself," Hinch said.

Reynolds improved his batting average from .239 in 2008 to .260 in 2009, and had a .543 slugging percentage and a .349 on-base percentage last season.

Since he was called up from Double-A Mobile in May of 2007, Reynolds leads all NL third basemen with 89 home runs and ranks second in RBIs (261) and stolen bases (35). He had 24 steals last season.

He has been a work in progress on defense. Reynolds led the majors with 35 errors in 2008 but improved to 24 last year.

Reynolds confirmed the contract agreement after he left Monday's 15-3 victory over Seattle.

But after Reynolds' quick comment, a Diamondbacks official told him not to talk about the deal before Tuesday's official announcement.

Still, Reynolds spoke of how happy he was to escape the stress that the contract talks had created. He was hitting .158 this spring before going 2 for 3 with two RBIs on Monday.

"Just the negotiations back and forth, day in and day out," he said, "throwing numbers here, there, trying to come to an agreement. It's a lot of work. I never really realized how much there was to it, but it's a good problem to have."

Did he ever think he would be a millionaire playing this game?

"Honestly, no," Reynolds said. "I was a 16th-rounder, never had the big signing bonus or anything. But I worked my tail off to get where I am right now and hopefully it pays off."


AP Baseball Writer Ron Blum in New York contributed to this story.

(This version CORRECTS Corrects Reynolds as 2 for 3 in graf. 18.)