Always More To The Story

An article by posted on November 9, 2011

What if there is more to the Jose Reyes and NY Mets negotiations than we all are assuming?

I’m guilty of one thing, I like to think outside the box and sure I may be totally wrong here but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

To set up my point, I think back to July 30, 2004. A day most Mets fans remember as the day they gave away Scott Kazmir.

The Kazmir deal is pretty interesting when you look back on it today.

When Kazmir was traded, the majority of insightful Mets fans were upset about the fact Victor Zambrano was the return, but mostly they were upset because the Mets just dealt away what we all knew was going to be a superstar.

Right? Didn’t we all know, that we had a star in the system with Kazmir?

Yet, the Mets gave up on him so easily. As time went by, it came out that the Mets did not feel Kazmir would live up to his potential. In fact, we kept hearing about how he was bound to be injury prone based on the way he throws.

Sure, they got a terrible return for the guy based on his hype…but they were dead on with regards to his potential injury problems. In fact, Kazmir’s career essentially ended at age 25. Sure, he bounces around from here to there, but he’ll never live up to the hype.

I believe teams know more about their own players than everybody else. Why wouldn’t they?

People wonder why the Mets have been so slow to discuss a contract with Reyes, and I contend it’s a smart play because they are now able to measure the market for him.

People forget that everybody knew Jose Reyes was technically available for trade during the 2011 season. There’s no chance if another GM called Alderson and asked about Reyes that he hung up on them.

So, right there, we already have Alderson measuring the market for Reyes’ talents. Granted, it could have been on a rental basis, but he’s still able to gauge another GM’s needs and how badly they want Jose Reyes on their team. It also gives Alderson an idea of how much value they attribute to Reyes.

Jose Reyes has been on the DL 7 times since joining the Mets. Sandy Alderson has been the GM for a little less than a year now, and during that time, Reyes has been on the DL twice.

When John Lackey was a free agent with the Angels, everybody knew the Angels were not going to overpay for him. Why do you think that is? You think they didn’t like Lackey? If that were the case wouldn’t they have gotten rid of him on their own?

Isn’t it strange that John Lackey spends his entire career with 1 team, then that 1 team doesn’t come close to over-paying for him and then Lackey hits a sharp decline which eventually ends with Tommy John Surgery?

One thing that always bothered me about Jose Reyes was his involvement with Tony Galea.

For those that do not remember, Galea was the Toronto based Doctor who was being investigated by the FBI for drug violations, including conspiring to smuggle human growth hormone into the United States from Canada.

Let me be clear about one thing. I’m not suggesting that Jose Reyes took HGH. I have no evidence of such a thing.

However, in today’s game which stands in the shadow of the steroid era, I find it hard to just blindly “accept” that an athlete visits a Doctor being investigated for HGH. Reyes visited Galea for a “blood spinning” procedure, which “didn’t work.”

My bringing this up is not in any way to sully Jose Reyes’ name, or to accuse him of anything. It’s to show that there is always more to signing a player to a long-term contract than just “he’s exciting, he won a batting title this year and the fans like him.”

Fans for the most part see a player, and think in the present. That is why fans generally are not GM’s. If you’re signing Reyes to a 5 year contract, you have to project what he’ll be in 2015. If you’re signing him to a 7 year deal, what will he be in 2017?

There’s always more going on behind the scenes. It seems like fans have made huge assumptions lately, as though Alderson is sitting in his office playing Angry Birds and drinking tea. He’s not a dumb man.

The best part about Sandy Alderson in my estimation is he does NOT think like a fan. I felt Minaya did. That’s not always a bad thing. At the end of the day, this franchise in 2011 needs a leader that thinks about the long term implications of every move they make.

Signing Reyes to me is a more complex decision than most fans give Alderson or the Mets credit for. You cannot deny his injury history, you cannot deny the fact that players get slower with age, and you cannot deny the fact that in all likelihood the Mets are getting 2010 Jose Reyes and not 2011 for the length of his contract.

There’s nothing wrong with 2010 Reyes, he just isn’t worth an open checkbook.

I often think of this situation like this, “If Jose Reyes were a homegrown player somewhere else, and hit the open market, would you want the Mets to sign him to a Crawford like deal?”

If Reyes signs somewhere for 5 years, and roughly $100million and it comes out that the Mets wouldn’t match then, then yeah I will wonder why and want an explanation.

If Reyes signs a Crawford like deal that MANY of us looked at and suggested it was a bad move, then I’m sorry but I will bid Reyes adieu and wish him luck. If Crawford’s deal was a bad idea for a team like Boston, then there’s no way it could be a good idea for the 2012 Mets.  

My loyalty as a fan is to the name on the front of the jersey. In today’s game, players come and players go. It’s sad to see, but one must think about what is best for the franchise. I hope Jose Reyes is a Met when Spring Training opens up, and I hope if he is, that his contract is one that allows the Mets the flexibility to pursue other areas of need and never once will they look to “dump his salary.”

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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