Is Re-Signing Jose Reyes Really The Mets Top Priority Of The Offseason?

An article by posted on October 30, 2011

On Saturday, John Volpe submitted a Fan Post in which he points to the similarities between when the Mets traded Tom Seaver (Midnight Massacre) and the current Jose Reyes situation. He included a quote from Tom Seaver and wrote:

Even the great one, Tom Seaver himself, shared his thoughts on Reyes not to long ago. ”Unless you have a game plan to go in a different direction, you can’t get rid of him. He’s too good,” Seaver said.  ”Reyes is a player you build around. If the Mets don’t re-sign Reyes, what are you going to replace him with?”

One reader (Hodges14) left a comment that shed some light on the compensation picks we would get if Jose Reyes walks:

The thing with Reyes is that the most the Mets will get out of it is two picks. If the rumors we hear are true and either the Marlins, Nationals or Cubs get him, we don’t even get their first round pick because it’s protected.

If the Giants or Phillies bite you’re getting either #20 or #31 overall. That doesn’t guarantee anything. A top ten overall pick stands an 85% better chance of making it to the majors than any pick below that.

So what is the backup plan?

David Lennon of Newsday wrote this morning that the Mets will not pursue any significant free agent should they fail to sign Reyes.

If Reyes turns out to be beyond their financial reach — a very distinct possibility, given their money concerns — the Mets are unlikely to target another top-shelf free agent.

I agree with Lennon, in fact I never believed for one moment that the Mets had any interest in bringing Jose Reyes back.

First they were unwilling to deal with Reyes when his agent told the Mets that Reyes wanted to re-sign with the team, but would not negotiate once the season started. Sandy Alderson passed, but not before taking a shot at Reyes’ OBP and devaluing his biggest asset; his speed.

A healthy Jose Reyes went on to post an MVP first half and was voted onto the All Star team, at which point Alderson made a halfhearted attempt to begin negotiating when he knew fully well that it wasn’t going to happen because Reyes did not want any distractions during the season.

The story was conveniently portrayed as Reyes having no interest in re-signing with the Mets. The next day Reyes had to have a clubhouse press conference to diffuse the situation and he reiterated that his first love was the Mets and that New York is where he wanted to play for the rest of his career.

The next day, Alderson, doing a little damage control himself, reported that there would be time to exclusively negotiate with Reyes after the World Series and that he would honor Jose Reyes wishes not to negotiate during the season.

This weekend, news leaked out that there would be no exclusive negotiations as Sandy Alderson prefers to let other teams set the market for Jose Reyes. Really?

Why tell fans about the exclusive negotiating window back in July, if you never had any intentions of negotiating at that time anyway?

The fact is that the only time the Mets made any attempt to negotiate with Jose Reyes, was when they absolutely knew it would get rebuffed.

Whenever the Mets did have ample time and exclusivity to negotiate with the prized shortstop, they looked away and did nothing.

Are those the actions of a general manager following through on his promise that he would make every effort to retain Jose Reyes and that it would be his top priority of the offseason?

You tell me…

I don’t really know what the Mets top priority is this offseason… But believe me, it’s definitely not re-signing Jose Reyes.

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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