So, Where Do We Stand With Reyes?
The Mets will make an offer for Jose Reyes this winter. Bet on it. He’s a core member of this team, which often wins when he’s on his game. However, making an offer and staying aren’t necessarily linked. And, the Einhorn deal falling through will have little bearing on the outcome.
How badly the Mets want to retain Reyes will be reflected in the dollar offer, which this spring was referred to as “Crawford money,” as in $142 million over seven years. At the time, Fred Wilpon said it wouldn’t happen, that something always happens to Reyes. Wilpon took heat for it at the time, but he was right.
Something has happened as in the form of two trips to the disabled list with hamstring injuries, critical for a speed player. The Mets need to be cautious with their offer to Reyes, even if there were no financial black clouds overhead. He’s a player who relies on legs that have been hurt. If it’s not the legs, it’s the oblique. It is always something.
The guy hasn’t stayed on the field for a complete season in three years and you know he’ll ask for at least five. Right now, that would be a risk.
The Mets might load up on the bucks and shorten up on the years. They could come in with $60 million over three years and if he proves healthy go through the process again. Or, maybe $80 million over four years. Even that’s a gamble for a team with as many questions as the Mets will face this winter.
Hometown discount? Probably not, even though the Mets did give him a long term deal early in his career when he desperately needed the money.
Both offers I listed are $20 million a season which is far from chump change. If Reyes likes New York as much as he says he does, he could consider going short and doing it again, and if he stays healthy, get another payday.
Both offers are enough for him and his family for generations, to live comfortable for the rest of their lives. The examples like Jered Weaver who ask “how much is enough?” are few and far between, and I don’t believe Reyes is one of those players.
The Mets will make an offer that would make him the highest-paid position player in franchise history and up there at his position with the likes of Derek Jeter, who has done it for 15 years. Their offer shouldn’t be classified as cheap considering Reyes’ issues, but will likely be rejected.
The contract won’t be what Reyes wants, but it will be more than what he needs. It’s all on him whether he stays.
Thoughts From Joe D.
From speaking to several people who have their finger on the pulse of this Reyes situation, everyone seems to agree that Reyes does want to remain in New York. What it really comes down to is if he’s willing to take a five year deal from the Mets to stay put, or take a six or seven year deal from another team and take the long term security. I get the feeling that Jose enjoys playing in an environment he knows and has called home for his entire professional career.
We all love Reyes and there’s no doubt that he is still a key component of this team’s offense. His two stints on the DL most certainly affected what he will ultimately get, but it also showed how stagnant the Mets offense was without his bat and his speed in the line-up. Since Reyes returned from the DL, the Mets are playing some inspired baseball again. Reyes also continues to lead the National League in batting.
One thing is certain and that is if the Mets do lose Reyes, it could take a couple of years to recover. Replacing a catalyst is never easy because there are too few of them to go around.
About the Author: John Delcos
I am an active member of the BBWAA and have covered Major League Baseball in several capacities for over 20 years, including ten in New York working the Mets' and Yankees' beat. I covered the Baltimore Orioles for eight years and the Cleveland Indians before that. I currently serve as an editor and senior staff writer for Mets Merized Online. Follow me on Twitter @jdelcos.
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