If you think the New York Mets’ parting with Jose Reyes was cold and difficult, just think about the potential of a possible reunion?
This is something percolating in my mind with the Toronto Blue Jays playing across town yesterday. However, it could happen because Reyes was traded from the team (Miami) that signed him a free agent, he’s eligible to go back on the market.
Reyes’ departure was a poorly calculated departure that became a public relations fiasco. All summer GM Sandy Alderson said bringing back Reyes was an option, but in the end, the Mets never offered a contract so when the Miami Marlins dangled over $106 million, he was off.
I wrote at the time it was a messy divorce, but not surprising for several reasons.
Mets ownership, mired in the Madoff case, was under dire financial distress. They had the money to offer one major deal, but it was to go to Wright, not Reyes.
Money puts a strain on the strongest relationships, but the Mets and Reyes were never all that tight, even though the team gave its mercurial shortstop a long-term deal early in his career.
While money is always the easiest thing to point to, but there was also the issue of Reyes’ health. Reyes missed two months this year with an ankle injury, but previously with the Mets was sidelined with several hamstring injuries, including twice going on the disabled list in his final season in Flushing.
Reyes is having a decent season, hitting .295 with a .352 on-base percentage. However, including his last year with the Mets, his speed numbers (triples, stolen bases, and stolen-base percentages) are in decline.
Quite simply, he’s not the player he once was, when from 2005-8, he stole over 56 bases each year, three times leading the league. In that span, he also led the National League in triples three times.
The Mets forecast a decline in Reyes’ speed-related production, and now at 30 it is starting to happen. More breakdowns can be expected as Reyes goes deeper into his contract.
Reyes is in the second season of a seven-year deal with an option for 2018. Nobody, probably not even Reyes, believes he’ll run better as the years progress.
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