Reynolds was a solid contributor to the Rockies' bullpen the past three seasons, climbing the ranks as a 20th-round pick. However, he's not a hard thrower, and as the Rockies remake their relief corps, he was deemed expendable, shipped to division rival Arizona for infielder Ryan Wheeler as Colorado builds up inventory to help acquire a starting pitcher.
"Colorado drafted me, and I loved my time there. It's a sad moment to have to leave," Reynolds said. "But I have to look forward, and staying in a division where I am familiar with the hitters is comforting."
Wheeler, 24, provides more depth at the corner infield spot. It also gives the Rockies additional chips to play as they step up their pursuit to add rotation help. The Rockies have had productive talks with free agent Jeff Francis, whom they want back, and are counting on healthy returns of Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin and Juan Nicasio.
Wheeler totaled eight extra-base hits in 50 big-league games after batting .351 with 15 home runs and 90 RBIs in Triple-A.
"We love Matt, but we've had our eye on Wheeler, and getting him was big for us," director of major-league operations Bill Geivett said.
Moving Reynolds signals the Rockies' confidence in left-hander Josh Outman, whose fastball reaches 96 miles per hour.
Arizona's desire to land Reynolds was rooted in his splits. He has a career 4.34 ERA at Coors Field in 86 games and 3.33 ERA mark in 79 road games.
"I don't really think (Coors Field) was playing any differently than previous years. I just didn't pitch nearly as well as I would have liked last year," said Reynolds, who ranks third in appearances by left-handers over the past two seasons.
Reynolds followed Josh Roenicke off the team. Roenicke, who led baseball in relief appearances, was claimed off waivers by the Twins earlier this month.
The Rockies also set their 40-man roster Tuesday, adding former first-round pick Tim Wheeler, an outfielder, pitcher Joe Gardner, and Single-A shortstop Cristhian Adames. Utilityman Matt McBride and outfielder Andrew Brown were outrighted and assigned to Triple-A.