Reynolds' option declined; Ayala's exercised
First baseman remains under team control; arbitration a possibility
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles have declined the $11 million club option for first baseman Mark Reynolds and picked up right-hander Luis Ayala's club option for 2013.
Reynolds is still under team control and could be retained if the Orioles offer him arbitration or the two sides work out a deal. The 29-year-old Reynolds got off to the worst start of his career and struggled offensively most of the season, but he did hit 23 home runs and played solid defense at first base. That would suggest Reynolds, who made $7.5 million this season, would make a figure close to $9 million in arbitration, unless the two sides can come to an agreement.
If the Orioles decide to not tender him a contract by the Nov. 30 deadline, Reynolds would get a $500,000 buyout and become a free agent. In a weak year for corner infielders, he could opt to cash in elsewhere and leave Baltimore searching for a first-base solution, either internally or on the free-agent market.
Reynolds posted a .221/.335/.429 line with 69 RBIs in 135 games, playing through multiple injuries down the stretch.
Ayala, 34, went 5-5 with a 2.64 ERA in 66 appearances for the O's in 2012, allowing one earned run or fewer in 59 outings.
The Orioles also selected the contract of Delaware native and former University of Maryland Baltimore County pitcher Zach Clark.
Clark, 29, went a combined 15-7 with a 2.79 ERA in 28 games (26 starts) for Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk in 2012.
Clark was signed by Orioles scout Dean Albany as a non-drafted free agent in 2006 out of UMBC. He has gone 49-44 with a 3.68 ERA in 171 games (116 starts) in seven years in the O's system.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.