Nationals interested in slugging infielder Reynolds

Nationals interested in slugging infielder Reynolds

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals continue to look for a backup infielder and have expressed interest in Mark Reynolds, a baseball source confirmed to MLB.com.

CBS Sportsline first reported that Washington had interest in the right-handed-hitting slugger. The Nationals did not confirm that they have interest in Reynolds. If he were to join the Nats, Reynolds would be a backup third baseman and first baseman behind Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche, respectively.

Reynolds is familiar with several members of the Nationals. Besides being a high school friend and college teammate of Zimmerman's, Reynolds is active in ziMS Foundation, a charitable organization started by Zimmerman. The ziMS Foundation is dedicated to the treatment and ultimate cure of multiple sclerosis. Reynolds was also a teammate of LaRoche's when both were with the D-backs in 2010.

Reynolds was also drafted in the 16th round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft by general manager Mike Rizzo when both were with the D-backs. Rizzo was a scouting director at the time. According to another baseball source, Reynolds also has high regard for manager Matt Williams, who taught Reynolds the mental side of the game of baseball.

According to the same source, Reynolds still considers himself an everyday player, but if he played for the Nats, he would get no more than 250 at-bats. Teams such as the Twins and Yankees have interest in Reynolds, who could sign sometime this week.

Last season, Reynolds played for the Indians and Yankees, and he hit a combined .220 with 21 home runs and 67 RBIs. His best season was in 2009, when he hit a career-high 44 home runs and 102 RBIs for the D-backs.

The Nationals are looking to improve their bench this offseason. Last year, for example, the Nats' reserves were a disappointment, going 44-for-212 (.208) with seven home runs and 17 RBIs as pinch-hitters.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.