Mets Crossfire: The Jose Reyes Dilemma

In a new feature that we will be doing from time time to time, myself and Joe D. from Metsmerized.com will do a point/counterpoint on various Mets hot button issues. This week, we share our opposing views on whether the Mets should re-sign Jose Reyes or just cut the cord and move on from him already.

John Delcos On Reyes – Lets Move On From Him Already

In an ideal world, Jose Reyes would stay healthy, be running free and sparking the Mets to the playoffs, as he did in 2006 – five long years ago and the only year in which the team made the playoffs with him.

However, it is not an ideal world and it might take another five years before the Mets see October again. By that time, Reyes would be at the tail end of the longest contract I’d be willing to give the All-Star, but fragile shortstop.

Reyes’ blistering first half took him off the trading block, and his second trip to the disabled list now makes him impossible to deal by the waiver deadline. He might still be disabled by the end of the month and the Mets will forced to settle for the compensatory pick because that’s all they’ll get when he signs elsewhere this winter.

The gamble at a boat load of prospects has passed.

With no chance to move him, the Mets are faced with the paralyzing choice of coming up with a long-term contract north of $100 million to keep Reyes or going the unpopular route and continuing their rebuilding program without him.

I’m inclined to choose the latter, because after all, it is not an ideal world, and the world that has been Reyes saw one playoff berth, several trips to the disabled list and leaving us with a feeling of wanting more than being satisfied with what we had.

Reyes makes his living with his legs and by the end of his contract his salary would become an albatross, much like it was with Carlos Beltran, Francisco Rodriguez and Jason Bay. He’s not running free now and there’s no guarantee about the future.

That Reyes is breaking down again, as he has the past two years, is not shocking. But, it would be a surprise is if Reyes were to stay healthy for the duration of his deal, whether it be four years, seven, or anything in between. That’s a long shot.

General manager Sandy Alderson should not be seduced by Reyes’ first half and realize numbers in a walk year must be scrutinized carefully. Reyes hasn’t played this well in three years.

Looking at the Mets and it isn’t hard to see next year could be the same as this if the team stays intact and Johan Santana returns. But, even then, there are holes in the rotation and bullpen, a health question in Ike Davis at first, David Wright trying to rebound at third, and questions in all three outfield positions.

Assuming Matt Harvey and Zach Wheeler are the real deals, we’re still roughly three years away. And, how healthy Reyes will be then is anybody’s guess.

Perhaps the Wilpon’s financial problems will be resolved by then. Maybe not. However, the $100 plus million it would take to keep the risky Reyes might be better spent on filling the myriad of holes on their roster.

And, with that kind of money, they should do better than the patchwork likes of Chris Young, Willie Harris and R.A. Dickey.

The Mets could move to rebuild with that money, or they could dig themselves into a deeper hole if Reyes doesn’t stay healthy. In his nine major league seasons, he’s only done it four times.

It’s time for the next chapter.

Joe D. On Reyes – Special Players Like Him Are Irreplaceable

While I clearly understand the rationale of those who are unwilling to see the Mets pony up the big bucks to keep Jose Reyes in Flushing, I on the other hand emphatically disagree with that strategy.

For all those who are constantly chirping on our comment threads about rebuilding the farm and building a winning team from within, why are many of those same folks the ones championing the exit of our one homegrown All Star, Jose Reyes?

Did I suddenly wake up this morning and find myself in Kansas City – Where home grown stars are traded or simply allowed to walk once they reach free agency? Is that what the Mets have been reduced to while playing there home games in the largest and richest sports market and the grandest stage in the world?

I don’t think and Bronx Bombers fans had this debate before Derek Jeter signed his first mega-deal in 2001 – a ten year $189 million dollar whopper of a deal. That was ten years ago, right after Jeter put up similar numbers in 2000 (.339 BA, 50 XBH, 22 SB) as Reyes has this season (.336 BA, 36 XBH, 34 SB).

Is the debate really about making the Mets better? Or is this really about money?

Yes, I agree that Jose Reyes is always an injury risk and there is no arguing that point, but does that mean we simply let a team like the Yankees, Phillies or Red Sox take the risk while we play it safe even at the risk of winding up with more egg on our face?

Did we nurture and develop Jose Reyes from a raw 16-year old, just so we can see him play the prime years of his career for one of our rivals?

Even if you were to convince me that letting Jose Reyes walk at the end of the season is a good idea, can somebody please tell me who replaces him at shortstop or at the top of the order? How do you replace a catalyst like Reyes? How do you replace the best shortstop and only All Star on the team?

Ruben Tejada at shortstop? Justin Turner? Angel Pagan leading off? Don’t make me laugh…

This front office already has a daunting task in trying to replace Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez this offseason on top of a dozen other concerns, and you want to add replacing Jose Reyes into that mix?

I’ve already see what this team looks like without Jose Reyes in the lineup, and excuse me for telling you they are dead in the water without him. It will take years and maybe decades before we ever develop another homegrown player like Jose Reyes.

Reyes is probably the best position player the Mets have ever developed in their almost 50 year history. Sure… Let’s just let him walk away… Great idea…

7 thoughts on “Mets Crossfire: The Jose Reyes Dilemma

  1. Amen to that. Letting Jose Reyes go is sheer lunacy. That man MUST be signed. If the Mets have ANY chance of competing in the next 3 years, you’re going to need Jose Reyes. The nutty idea that 20 million of Jose’s money should go to starting pitching, position players is plain nuts. Three players making 6.5 million each will NOT fix the problem we will have.

  2. One more thought. If we have 7 holes, we are adding 3 more by letting Reyes go. 20 million is NOT fixing the issue.

    Hole #1- Elite lead off man
    Hole #2- Elite defensive SS
    Hole #3- Leader

    Yes, leader. Despite all the talk about Wright being the media’s choice as the face and “leader” of this franchise, perhaps we should look back @ 2006 when Carlos Delgado arrived on the scene. Amidst the talk of Pedro, Wright, Beltran, it was Carlos Delgado who said that the guy who gets everyone started and the guy everyone looks to for a spark was the Jose Reyes.

    Sometimes the media creates leaders because they’re the person whom they get along with for whatever reasons. Jose Reyes will be this team’s leader and true driving force as long as he slides on that uniform.
    He’s the guy the fans gravitate towards. He’s the guy who makes the crowd cheer.

    Wright may be the media darling, but between the lines (where it counts) it’s all about Jose Reyes. Wright has never been the leader of this group.

    The media serves to poison fans, but reality can never be lied to. When Wright was out, the Mets flowed without an issue. With Jose Reyes out, we’re down the toilet.

    But never forget the media controls your thoughts……

  3. I keep flipping. I see his talent, but then the injuries scare me. He can change the team and the team wins when he plays. The problem is when he plays.

    Do you sign him or not? I would lean towards not. You can’t win when your best player is hurt. We went through this. Our best player at the plate was Alou. It was always when he comes back, etc.

    It will be impossible to replace him, but maybe Ruben can play for a year or two and someone from the minors can mature. The money we save can be used for multiple players. If they don’t want to go the FA route, they can draft and overpay for talent and hope they can play.

  4. I am torn a well. you wont find a bigger reyes fan. hey i still miss endy chavez.
    Yes Reyes can change the game scare the crap out of the pitcher etc. but the issue is he has burned fast and HOT then nothing but cinder. how many trips this year to DL? you cannot win that way. You have all said it we cannot win without him, so how long have we been without him due to injury?
    In the end, the choice will be Alderson, so lets see and see.

  5. OmarFan (1-2): Thanks for your input. I’m glad you joined in the discussion and you brought a lot to the table. There’s no doubt that not having Reyes will create other holes, but my thinking is primary because of his breakdown potential. With the figures I’ve heard regarding Reyes could go toward rebuilding. How well Sandy Alderson uses that money remains to be seen. Remember, I wasn’t talking about $20 million, but closer to $100 million, which would be the entire value of the package.-JD

  6. dave (3): Replacing Reyes would be extraordinarily difficult to replace. That is, a healthy Reyes would be. But, a broken down Reyes can be filled by Angel Pagan (leadoff) and Ruben Tejada (shortstop), at least for the time being.-JD