Whomever the Mets hire as general manager I will be curious to see his take on Jose Reyes.
Will he believe the team should be built around Reyes, or would the Mets be better served to deal him as an attempt to plug several holes, notably in the rotation and bullpen?
The path of least resistance would be to pick up Reyes’ $11 million option for 2011, then use that season as the basis to negotiate a long-term extension.
The gamble would be to pull the trigger now, thinking his value has peaked. At 27, Reyes is entering the prime of his career and should command a lot in return.
Reyes has missed a lot of time the past two seasons with health reasons and said he’ll work to strengthen his core in the offseason as to not have a recurrence of the oblique problem.
Reyes had a hot stretch this season when the Mets were playing well, but too often was not the player billed up to be, and the question was raised several times: Is this is good as it will get for Reyes or can he become that elite player?
That might be one of the toughest issues for the new general manager to address.
Reyes had his issues with Manuel, and to a lesser extent Willie Randolph, and the managerial hire might help the general manager decided if he will re-energize the shortstop.
All those variables will be evaluated should the team consider trading him, but that will happen after another important evaluation.
If the new general manager believes an overhaul is needed, and more than few pieces are required to return the Mets to contending status, then, depending on the return, I could see him exploring a Reyes trade.
However, if the assessment is this team isn’t far away, especially with the healthy returns of Jason Bay and Carlos Beltran next season, then holding onto him would be the prudent option because I can’t see obtaining player who will be more valuable to them than a healthy, productive and motivated Reyes.