Mets have been fair with Reyes.

To those who believe the Mets haven’t been fair with Jose Reyes, I beg to differ. Reyes is coming off a five-year, $33.75 million contract.¬†Five years ago, when the Mets’ playoff window seemed wide open, they signed cornerstones Reyes and David Wright to long-term deals at a time in their careers when they didn’t have to.

The Mets did so because Reyes was starting to raise a family and was concerned about money. The Mets weren’t being totally altruistic because their belief was Reyes was becoming an impact player and wanted to avoid arbitration and put off free agency.

Signing them young is usually a good move, but in retrospect with Reyes, the case could be made they paid him for three injury-riddled years. Even so, the market has dramatically grown more expensive the past five years, so the reverse is true that the deal might have kept Reyes from getting more.

So, it’s a gamble by each side.

This time, there would be more of a gamble by the Mets because of Reyes’ recent injury history. With Reyes seeking nearly triple of his last deal, that’s a lot of money earmarked for a player with a propensity for breaking down.

While it is true that nobody can realistically expect Reyes to give the Mets a hometown discount and leave money and years on the table, so is the reverse in that how can one expect the team to give extra years and dollars to a player who may not be healthy during his contract?

The wild card in any contract is an injury, and that is the case with Chris Capuano. The Mets took a gamble on Capuano last winter when they signed the left-hander off an injury. The Mets were rewarded when Capuano proved healthy and received a solid season. Now, Capuano wants two years, something the Mets aren’t willing to do.


5 thoughts on “Mets have been fair with Reyes.

  1. Excellent points John. I agree the Mets have done right by Jose but I worry that they’re not doing a good job of handling the process of trying to re-sign Reyes.

    So far the strategy seems to be to leak all the reasons why they won’t sign Jose to prepare the fan base for his likely departure. That makes sense but they should couple it with a PR offensive that they are making every effort to get him back at a “fair” price.

    Of course one mans “fair” is anothers “discount” but the club doesn’t seem the least bit interested in communicating those type of efforts.

    Even if they don’t really have an interest in signing him to a “fair” price, they should have reached out to Jose’s rep during the exclusive signing period and announced/leaked that they had.

    At the end of the exclusive period they should have leaked that they are certainly “disappointed but not surprised “they couldn’t work out a deal. After all, they understand that Jose must look around. And of course do that while repeating that they are going to continue to aggressively pursue him.

    None if this will impact whether or not Jose returns but it could build some goodwill towards Team Alderson. Ane since it’s increasingly looking as though 2012 is the beginning of an major rebuild Sandy is going to need some goodwill. By not even pretending you’re going after Jose you risk losing the fanbase before you even try to sell a rebuild.

  2. I agree. The last deal Jose signed was fair to both sides. It gave Jose the security he wanted and the team locked him up for a good portion of his career. I think they got a steal. If they would have signed him later I am sure they would have paid more. I will not comment on the injuries vs value as you cannot know the future. But in retrospect looking at the market Jose would have made more if he waited. Same with David.

  3. cpins (1): I appreciate your kind and thoughtful response. You’ve hit the nail on the head on a lot of your points. The handling of Reyes’ likely departure is puzzling. It does appear they are conceding he’ll be gone and are just greasing the skids for the inevitable. … Why they didn’t reach out during their exclusive window is a mystery. There is a lot to be said for putting up a good PR front and the Mets have failed miserably in that respect. The Mets have received a lot of criticism for how they handle things, from injuries to ticket prices to recently firing staffers. This is just one more thing. The Mets are in a very difficult time in their history because of the Wilpon’s financial issues and they aren’t doing themselves any favors now.-JD