Mets Reunion With Jose Reyes Unlikely

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: Don't see him coming back.

REYES: Don’t see him coming back.

Making this an enticing thought is the future is not Omar Quintanilla and Ruben Tejada is quickly morphing into a past tense option at shortstop.

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.

As always, your comments are greatly appreciated and I will attempt to answer them. Follow me on Twitter @jdelcos

18 thoughts on “Mets Reunion With Jose Reyes Unlikely

  1. As you pointed out many times on this blog paying premium no cut $$ for a speed player will make you regret it. I liked Reyes. For years the saying was as he goes so goes the team.

    However, he has a long history of injuries that he seemed to solve for a few years. He also never seemed to live up to his talent. As great as his talent was he could have been better. His mind seemed to wander and routine plays would get mysteriously botched while the spectacular was routine. David seems to have fixed his throwing problems in the field to make him a consistent gold glove. I would like to see Jose come back to visit. I am sure he would get a lot of cheers.

    I just know that year 4 of this contract will have his team looking to dump him.

    Remember, last year we had a ss who while not as talented was a capable replacement.

    • Oh and for his career he seemed to fall in love with the HR making him strike out way too much or pop out. He would have been so much better as a line drive hitter who has a ton of RBI’s and doubles and triples.

      • dave: That has always been a flaw in Reyes’ game. Hit line drives, keep the ball on the ground and improve his bunting and he could be an offensive force. Or should I say, could have been a force. He’s had some impressive numbers but he always leaves us wanting more.-JD

        • Guys Jose doesn’t strike out. One of the toughest hitters to fan the last three years. In fact walked more than he struck out in 2011 and 2012
          Plus he hits homers in Toronto

    • dave: We all know Reyes wasn’t going to come back then, and certainly won’t now. Just throwing it out there because it is technically possible.-JD

  2. The question to me isn’t if Reyes will decline. We all know he will. The question is his contract worth taking on for the amount of production he can give us over what ever other alternative there is at the position and lead off role in the mean time? If the answer is no, are the Blue Jays willing to eat part of the contract? If the answer is yes, what do the Blue Jays want in return? If the Mets are willing to pay all of his 4yr/86MM, his trade value won’t be as high. The Mets only wanted to offer him 4 or 5 years two years a go, so this is their chance. Cecchini won’t be ready for about 3 years so Reyes isn’t a big roadblock.

    Wilmer Flores has more valued to AL clubs because of the option of DH’ing him. They can build a trade around him, a mid-level pitching prospect like a Michael Fulmer or Domingo Tapia and throw in Tejada and maybe Duda (also more value to the AL with a DH’ing option). The point is while Young has been a nice addition, he is only hitting .249 and he is the most likely OF to go to the bench if they opt for an additional power bat like Nelson Cruz, meaning he can’t lead off.

    If not Reyes, the likes of Peralta and Yunel Escobar aren’t bad options. They can hit like 6th and give decent protection to the middle of the order. Shortstop is the glaring weakness of the Mets right now. The hole that is still filled by their choice not to sign him 2 years ago. What better way to fix it that bring him back?

    • Tom: At this stage of his career, and considering the financial structure of the Mets, It won’t happen. I’d rather spend the money on an outfielder with power. For what’s remaining on Reyes’ contract, the Mets could fill a lot of holes.-JD

      • True. But the question remains as to how much money is actually available. With the Mets loan payments due for their new stadium, how much do they have to spend? Without Harvey in 2014 (a possibility given the new news), trading one of Gee, Niese, Mejia or Montero, all likely to be in the 2014 rotation, become less expendable. The best OF options likely come via trade (i.e. CarGo, Stanton). Not sure the Mets are willing to pay that price. I’m not sure which direction the Mets will go for SS, but relying on finding such an OF may not be the best idea. Regardless of who they do or don’t get in the OF though, having Tejada or Quintanilla in the line-up going forth is counterproductive.

    • Tom: Reyes is two years into a $106 million contract. He won’t live out the contract without another physical breakdown. Bank on it. For what’s left on his contract, the money is better spend elsewhere.-JD

  3. No way he comes back. In the post steroid era, I see long term contracts to players over 30 as dumb. Look at the Angels saddled with Pujols and Hamilton. How will they affor Trout when it’s his turn? I also don’t see outfield as an issue. Puello, Vaughn, den Dekker not far away. And Valdespin, despite his issues, was hitting .461 at LV in recent stint. I see SS and bullpen as major needs. And what to do at 1b, and where does Flores play? I liked Murphy but his glove is poor. I might move him. At 1b do Mets go after Cuban Abreu?

  4. What about a package deal with Jose Reyes and Jose Bautista for Flores and some pitching prospects duda and Tejada would you do that

  5. Why was Reyes’ leaving a “poorly calculated departure” on Alderson’s part? Not bringing Reyes back was the right decision. We see what happens to a team when high priced players break down or underperform (See Santana, Johan and Bay, Jason). They thought Wright was a better investment for both on and off the field reasons. Now the team should be able to fill their gaps with medium priced talent as the young arms develop.

    Also your original post references the Blue Jays as offering Reyes a $106 million contract. He actually signed with the Marlins.

    • jordan: It was poorly calculated because Alderson thought he could just let Reyes go and nobody would notice. Also, made correction on Marlins offering original contract. Thanks.-JD

  6. The comments about Reyes have always been interesting to me. If I am correct he led the Met in a several key milestones that were only surpassed recently by David Wright including games played and hits. His productivity regardless of his injuries was trending higher than Wright up until he left. I am a huge Wright fan and I am glad he will be in blue and orange, but people seem to forget what Reyes was and they act like the Mets are spending their money. Not only that, it always surprised me in several areas around Reyes. The medical staff misdiagnosed his injury in LA and set him up for scrutiny on one of his longest stints on the disabled list. He pushed to come back to no avail. Early in his career, when they asked him to change the way he ran, he obliged. He never did not work to get back on the field. His contract for $23 mm seemed low compared to Wright’s $50+ mm contract when Minaya was at the helm. Personally, I felt he got fleeced in that deal and the impending free agency two years ago was an effort to recoup. The Mets rode him into the ground despite, the injuries. He carried the Mets despite Wright’s back injury in his final season or second to last season, I believe. In fairness, he was critical to our success, and Collins figured it out the last year Reyes was here. He needed breathers and with Tejada, I believe, it was the first time he had a reasonable replacement to spell him occasionally. Lastly, he wanted to play here and excelled. I might consider him as I do worry about some of the names being discussed as potential Mets in 2014 because they do not know if they can handle NY, ie Jason Bay. Depending what it would cost, Reyes would be someone I would consider. I think Alderson had all the intentions of signing him except for the fact that he priced himself out of the Mets’ Madoff strapped budget. I wished Reyes would have asked me how the Miami deal would have went. Did anyone not see that coming? Seriously, was it worth it, Jose? He would have made the equivalent with endorsements. I would still welcome him back to don the number 7 jersey. I just think people need to remember what he brought when he was here and it was fun watching Mets games to see what he might do. I miss that and I am less concerned about the cost. It drives me crazy when I read blogs that talk about the dollars, our team sits in a major market. We are not the KC Royals. He is still better than most shortstops in MLB. Reyes and some piece , etc. is not the worst idea. Thanks for the interesting article.

    • Tibbs: Thanks for your very interesting comment and accept my apologies for not responding sooner. The Mets did handle Reyes poorly several times, especially by Jerry Manuel for making him play with an oblique strain. But, Manuel was out to save his job and that was his priority. By the time it was time to re-sign Reyes there was already so much wear and tear on his legs and the Mets’ financial stress dictated to let him go. That the Marlins were the only buyer justified that stance because there was no other market for him. Just the brain dead Marlins.-JD