Will Duda Be On Mets Bench? Will Alderson Stick To His Guns On Reyes?

An article by posted on December 22, 2010

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York held a Mets chat yesterday afternoon, and he tackled some good questions from those who participated. I found these two to be of interest.

MetsFan73 – Hi Adam, thanks for taking our questions. My biggest concern that this will be Jose Reyes’ last season in a Mets uniform. From your dealings and insight, so you think there is any chance of him being on this team in 2012 and further?

Adam - There’s a distinct chance Reyes is not a Met in 2012, although I’m not writing him remaining off. That will be the first true insight into Sandy Alderson, in my opinion. If Alderson is fundamentally opposed to giving six-year contracts to 28-year-olds, and someone else will, will he let Reyes walk? Or will he deviate from his beliefs because of what Reyes means to the franchise? Perhaps he’ll blink and bend. I don’t know.

Scott – What, if any, playing time will Duda have? If they’re rebuilding, does Bay’s contract look more attractive as a trade, assuming he remembers how to hit.

Adam – If Bay, Pagan and Beltran are the starters and healthy, Duda is in Buffalo. Terry Collins is on the record saying Duda is not going to be a major league bench player. Bay’s contract is not attractive in a trade. Remember, it was backloaded, with a low base salary in the year that already has passed. So the four years, $66 million is skewed toward the part that has yet to expire.

Regarding Reyes, I think it will be interesting to see how this plays out. Will he give Reyes the longterm deal he is certain to get from a half dozen teams if he has a solid season, or will he let him walk and stick to his guns? And if Reyes does walk, who replaces him especially with no shortstop close to being major league ready down on the farm?

Regarding Duda, two things. First, I was surprised to see him move ahead of Fernando Martinez on Baseball America’s revised Top Mets Prospects list. Second, this is the first I’ve heard about these comments Terry Collins made about Lucas Duda not being on the Mets bench next season.

Here’s one thing I find a little troubling so far. Why are Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson making spring training decisions now?

So far, in the last four weeks I’ve heard them say Ruben Tejada is not in the second base mix, Jenrry Mejia will not be on the Opening Day roster, Josh Thole has won the #1 catcher job, Oliver Perez could replace Pedro Feliciano, center field is Carlos Beltran’s job to lose, and now this Duda statement from Collins.

It seems a little too premature to be saying things like this to the press or the fans. What if Mejia pitches 18 scoreless innings in spring training and strikes out 25 while walking three? Does he really go to the minors considering where the Mets rotation stands right now? All I’m saying is lets keep it tight-lipped and let all these guys come to camp and play their hearts out. Then we can begin to evaluate players and make decisions based on their actual performances rather than their “assumed expectations”. To quote a Kenny Rogers staple,

You never count your money, when you’re sitting at the table. There’ll be time enough for countin’, when the dealing’s done.

Off topic, but yesterday I learned that notable actor and New York icon Robert DiNiro is set to begin production on a new motion picture that will chronicle the rise of Freddie Mercury and Queen. After years of rumors, it looks like this time it’s official and filming is set to begin right after the new year rings in. It will mark the 20th year anniversary of Mercury’s death, one of rock and roll’s legendary performers.

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