Before I begin, former Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels will be arrested after the NYPD concluded its investigation, but enough on that.
As Jose Reyes keeps sizzling and as this season keeps chugging along it’s now quite clear that Reyes wasn’t having a one or two week hot streak – Reyes is having the best season of his career. The timing is right for the 27 year old as this is usually when many players start to hit their peak performance levels. Of course having both hamstrings, your right calf muscle, and both Achilles tendons in perfect working order and pain-free does help.
So how are negotiations going? What negotiations? There are none. Alderson last said lets see how Jose Reyes performs this season, and Reyes said he’s not interested is negotiating during the season. Call it a game of chicken or what have you, but it is what it is, and neither side is talking – only ducking and deflecting. That can’t be good.
I won’t bore you with how Reyes ranks in the top five in the National League in about a dozen different categories because you’ve all heard it, read it, and know it. I will say Reyes is blowing Carl Crawford, Jayson Werth and Adrian Gonzalez out of the water offensively. So there’s that.
You’ll see a thousand more posts like this one between now and the end of the season when Jose Reyes becomes a free agent and has all the leverage in the world. It would seem like the worst possible way for the Mets to negotiate a deal with Reyes, because at least right now they have some leverage and bargaining power, but more important than that they have no other teams competing for him. Once Reyes hits the open market, given his age, his ability to ignite an offense, the scarcity of his position, and his apparent passion and enthusiasm for the game, you’ll have a dozen teams bidding for his services. That’s a fact.
Reyes will be the most talked about, written about, Tweeted about free agent of the winter once this season is in the books. And every single word that is written about him will find its way to your laptop, iPhone or monitor. There is no escaping it. Guys like Jon Heyman and Ken Rosenthal live for a player like Reyes to hit the open market – It’s exciting – It’s riveting – Jose Reyes hitting the open market is their wet dream.
But oh, how agonizing it will be for us - All of us.
While other teams drool over the possibility of fetching a prized shortstop, we may have to endure and put up with all those sublime and unending posts that will read “Mets Interested in Rafael Furcal” or “Mets Make Jack Wilson 2-Year Offer”. Please spare me.
Last offseason we went into the Winter Meetings needing a second baseman, two starting pitchers, a setup man and a bench. Mission accomplished… no wait, scratch that. This offseason we bring the same list only add to it a catalyst, a shortstop and a leadoff hitter.
I came across a decent article by Brian Costa in the Wall Street Journal where he said there would be no chance for a dream scenario. By that he means the Mets won’t trade Reyes for a haul of top prospects, and then re-sign him in the winter.
I don’t see that happening at all, but for a different reason.
First of all, if any team were to give up their best prospects for Reyes, it wont be for a two-month rental. They would want a negotiating window to sign him to an extension as the Phillies did with Roy Halladay and the Red Sox did with Adrian Gonzalez. So the chance of re-signing Reyes is nothing but a pipe dream or a warm drizzle of caramel on your sundae just to make you feel better.
The bottom line is that if Jose Reyes is still a Met on August 1st, he’s probably as good as gone. Why do you think they’ve been talking about the extra $50 million in payroll that will be freed up after this season? So that they could just turn around and re-invest it? Come on… You don’t really believe that - do you?
There will be no dream scenarios, no silver linings and no happy endings where Reyes and the Mets are concerned this offseason. The writing is on the wall.