The Jose Reyes Chessmatch
Update June 21, 2011 5:30 PM
According to Michael Baron over at MetsBlog.com, Sandy Alderson spoke at CitiField today with reporters and according to SNY producer Matt Dunn, he said he reached out to the agents of Jose Reyes recently, but were told he will not negotiate a new contract until after the season.
I find this interesting considering the story of Reyes having spoken to Scott Boras in some capacity was brought to mention by the mainstream press. Whether anything can or should be made of Sandy Alderson having recently spoken to Reyes agent is entirely up to you the reader.
If there ever was a player primed and prepared to massively capitalize on free agency – it’s without question Jose Reyes. First off, you have to be living under a rock not realize that Reyes has finally entered the apex of his prime.
He’s on pace to become the Mets all time single season leader in hits and perhaps the team’s first ever league MVP. Arguably, his presence alone has kept the Mets in the hunt for the Wild Card if not the National League Eastern division.
Timing they say is everything. Personally, I admit it annoys me when players seem to magically find their career years in their walk years but it is what it is. Finally and completely injury free, Reyes is able to showcase his incredible talents at a time where the focus clearly is on him, especially with the losses of David Wright and Ike Davis to injuries.
As important as it is to have guys like Wright, Beltran and Davis in the lineup, having a healthy Reyes completely changes the dynamic of the game – period. And in a contract year you can guarantee that Reyes’ agent will be sure to point that out to Sandy Alderson and ownership.
I remember watching a game on SNY and Gary Cohen mentioned that the Mets have a staggering record of something like 110 wins to barely 20 losses when Jose Reyes scores at least 2 runs in a game. Forgive me for not recalling the exact figure but it was almost comical in it’s accuracy.
It illustrates the impact of having Reyes in the lineup, however it also belies the fact that you need someone to drive Reyes in once he gets on base. Either way you look at it, the Mets have shown over the last few years, when they lose Reyes to injury, they lose…period.
The general idea is that Reyes will command a Carl Crawford type contract – something in the neighborhood of 7 years and $140 million. The Mets would be paying Reyes well over $20 million in his mid-thirties, a definite risk considering that Reyes relies on his speed as his main weapon. But with every long term deal comes some risk. If ownership’s goal is to be risk averse, then perhaps it’s time to reassess why they are owners in the first place.
I posed a question on Twitter the other day asking would you prefer if the Mets offered Reyes more money ($25 mil.) for fewer years or something similar to Crawford? I, like Joe D believe that acting like a small market will only hurt the Mets in the long term. However I’m seeing this more as a chess game then ever before.
When your owner does an interview and makes a few disparaging comments about one of his franchise players health and how he won’t get Crawford type of money, a few eyebrows tend to raise as to what their intent is long term. Now with Reyes strategically floating the idea of switching agents and joining the dark side that is Scott Boras, makes me see this situation in its entirety for what it is – a stage play.
So far the Mets made their move stating that Crawford type money isn’t where they’re going to begin negotiating and Reyes pretty much countered with the Boras card, who is notorious for securing back loaded deals for his clients. So in the end what do we want? More money with fewer years or less money over a longer term and back loaded to the gills?
Either way as fans if you do the math, we have only have 38 more games until the July 31st trade deadline, or as it may become in Mets history, the day we yet again lost our Franchise player.
About the Author: Joe Spector
I'm just your regular Joe. Staff writer @ Metsmerizedonline.com. Happily married and a father to a baby girl. I attended my first Met game at the ripe old age of 3 where my father scored a foul ball and had it signed by Lee Mazzilli, Joe Torre and Joe Pignataro. It was my Holy Grail - 'till I buried it in the backyard. I have my own website where you can read my drivel at your leisure @ www.thespectorsector.net
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