Report: Jason Bartlett for Nolan Reimold “Heating Up” | The Process Report

Report: Jason Bartlett for Nolan Reimold “Heating Up”

I thought Jason Bartlett might bring back more than anticipated, and if Dan Connolly is correct, then the return will be at least Nolan Reimold:

#Orioles and #Rays swap of Jason Bartlett for Nolan Reimold is heating up. One source expects it to happen today,

Reimold turned 27 in mid-October. He’s racked up 542 big league plate appearances since the Orioles drafted him in the second round of the 2005 draft. His .279/.365/.466 line in 2009 (along with 15 homers in 411 plate appearances) suggested he could soon become a mainstay in the Orioles lineup, but injuries and poor luck on batted balls in 2010 cast him out of favor in Baltimore. Despite being right-handed, he’s shown a minimal platoon split in his career.

Bruises are nothing new to Reimold. He’s dealt with oblique, back, and (even now) heel injuries. When healthy, Reimold brings walks. His walk rate has only slipped below 10% at two levels since 2006. Once in 203 plate appearances at Double-A in 2007 (8.4%) and in 131 plate appearances at the big league level in 2010 (9.2%), otherwise? He’s consistently at 10% or higher, even creeping near 14% in his last 500 plate appearances at the Triple-A level. Despite that kind of patience, Reimold has modest strikeout rates, only topping 25% twice during that span.

Until Reimold’s stint with Baltimore in 2009, he’d never posted a ISO below .200. Yet, in 2010, he failed to manage an ISO over .125 between the bigs and Triple-A. The lacking power could be a product of his injuries. It wouldn’t be a stretch to see the power return with his health. If that happens, then Reimold will be an above average hitter. Where he plays defensively is anyone’s guess. He’s not much of a fielder, despite playing the corner outfield, but he’s got a strong arm which would be wasted at first base.

Make no mistake: Without a down 2010, the Rays would have no chance of acquiring Reimold at the cost of Bartlett. Maybe the injuries wipe out Reimold’s career, but if they don’t, he stands the chance to be a solid player under team control through 2015.

Update: Connolly reports the Rays want Alfredo Simon as well.

Simon turns 30 in May. His career statistics (68 IP, 6.60 FIP) are underwhelming, but there’s upside to be had. His fastball sits in the mid-90s, his whiff rate is over 10%, and roughly 50% of his batted balls against are of the groundball variety. The issue with Simon seems to be walks and home runs. The Rays would have Simon under control for the next five seasons, so he fits the desire for a cost-controlled reliever as well. If the Rays were to acquire Simon, he’d become a bit of a pet project for Jim Hickey since there’s presumably some mechanical or sequencing tinkering to be made.

Frankly, I’m a bit surprised that the Orioles have reservations about including Simon, but not Reimold. Simon could become a worthwhile late inning reliever, but the chances of that seem to be lower than Reimold becoming an above league average player. Perhaps Andy MacPhail is just partial to Simon’s nickname – Shutdown Sauce.

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