Why Reyes Won’t Be Traded

An article by posted on May 13, 2011

There are two sides to the Jose Reyes fan argument. There are people like me that say trade him, and get something for him that has more of a guarantee than a compensation draft pick or two. 

And then there are the people who want to pay Reyes whatever it takes to sign him and keep him in a Mets uniform, or they think Reyes would take some sort of hometown discount to stay. 

If I haven’t been clear, I totally disagree with signing him. I think he and his agent cannot be fools, and cannot honestly think now is the time to give the Mets a hometown discount. Not when they need more starting pitching, more bullpen help, and possibly help in the outfield and behind the plate or at second base. 

If this was 2006, yes I think Reyes would give them a hometown discount. However, this is Reyes only real chance at earning a huge contract and at the same time, it could be his only chance to go play somewhere where he can win a championship sooner rather than later. 

Cliff Lee loved Texas, it was close to his home, they were willing to pay him a ton of money to stay put and he just went to the World Series, but at the end of the day he went where the money and the better chance to win was. 

Carl Crawford came up through Tampa Bay, and I am sure had a great relationship with several of Tampa’s finest stars. However, at the end of the day, Boston can pay you more, secure your future better and has a better chance to win year after year than Tampa Bay does. 

When you hit free agency, your agent should be able to figure out what your player’s worth is on an open market. It’s just like buying a house. When you buy a house, your agent shows you “comps” or comparables. These are houses like the ones you want to buy, and what they went for.

So if houses in your desired area went for $250,000 and are built similar to yours or yours is nicer, then your agent is going to tell you that you can’t lowball this offer. You can’t look around and see $250k and offer $180k. You may not get a chance at a second offer.

So with all of that said, the reason I don’t think signing Reyes is the best move for the franchise is because I do not trust that Jose Reyes who turns 29 years old in a few weeks will be a value to the Mets 4 years down the road.

Just as I do not expect Carl Crawford to be as valuable to Boston 4 years down the road, and just as the Mets didn’t expect a guy like Beltran to be as valuable in 2010 as he was in 2006. 

The difference here is very simple. The Mets could sign Beltran to 7 years, $119m because they honestly felt within 3-4 years that they’d have as good of a chance as anybody to win a World Series.

If the Mets won a World Series within 2006-2009, nobody would care what Beltran was making right now or that he was hurt for so much of 2010.

Carl Crawford was signed to help win Boston a World Series within the next 3-4 years. Not to win one in his 6th or 7th year of his deal. 

So the problem I have with Reyes is I do not see how the Mets can win a World Series within 2-3 years. There are just so many holes to fill, and not enough depth coming through the minors.

Sure we can be excited about some young talent, but we’re likely the only ones. Nobody around the league is saying “when Captain Kirk comes up, the Mets will be dangerous.”

Heck, the Phillies have a better club, spending as much money as the Mets and STILL have better game changing prospects. Domonic Brown who was injured in Spring Training is a better prospect than anybody the Mets have. He’s a game changer most likely. 

So yes, I love watching Reyes play, but you don’t hand a player who relies on speed first at age 28 a 6 or 7 year deal if you can’t win it all within 3-4 years max. You don’t sign players to massive contracts to put fans in the seats. That is what franchises who are begging to fall into a black hole ass do. 

So here is my prediction, and if I’m wrong, it’s okay. I’m just telling you what I think will happen. 

I do not think Alderson will trade Reyes. I think he will trade Beltran, because that is a no brainer. However, I think trading Reyes makes Alderson the bad guy. 

I expect Alderson already knows what it’s going to take to ink Reyes. He has to have had some sort of conversation right?

The problem Alderson runs into here is that he knows what it will take but he cannot tell us that right now. You can’t be a GM and tell Matt Cerrone that Reyes’ agent just told you on May 13th that if we want to keep him it will cost of 6 years, $100m.

So on the flip side of that, you can’t trade Reyes without looking like you have tried to sign him. Plus, no player is going to get traded mid-season while they are a free agent and work a deal out with their new team right away. Which means the prospect the Mets will net from dealing him, could have little upside, even less than a compensation pick. There’s just no way you can do that in my opinion. 

And then lastly, you can’t trade Reyes and THEN tell the fans “look he told us he wanted $100m for 6 years and we just couldn’t do that right now.” Because a) half the fans won’t believe you and then b) the other half will say you play in New York, why can’t you sign him? 

So the ONLY option Alderson has in my opinion is to get outbid. Because if Reyes goes somewhere like San Francisco and loves it there and then signs an extension which is less or around what we all expect the Mets can handle, then Alderson is in trouble.

What Alderson has to do is let this go into the Fall and Winter, and let Reyes make his own bed. He’s got to put it out there that they made a fair offer to Reyes, and if he wants to stay in New York, he can take it or leave it.

So when Reyes takes a much better offer from say the Phillies, the Angels or the Yankees (just for example), then Reyes becomes the bad guy who left New York for more money, and Alderson becomes the guy who did everything he could within reason to keep him here. 

Alderson gets his 1 or 2 compensation picks, and moves on from this, and if Reyes signs with a team like Philadelphia, he gets booed every time he comes to New York. 

I’m willing to be wrong here, but to me there’s really no other option in my view.

About the Author ()

Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.

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