Jose Reyes, INF
Player Data: Age: 34, B/T: Switch/Right, Free Agency: 2017
2017 Primary Stats: .246/.315/.413, 15 HR, 58 RBI, 50 BB, 79 K, 75 R, 145 G
During the 2016 offseason, the Mets picked up Jose Reyes‘ option for the 2017 season. Why wouldn’t they have? Reyes was getting paid the league minimum $535,000 to play. While he clearly wasn’t the same Reyes the Mets were used to from 2003-2011, it’s hard to find many veteran players who could produce anything for that amount of money.
Having said that, Reyes did not even seem worth a roster spot early on in the season. During his first 18 games, the former All-Star batted .095/.186/.127 with five runs, no home runs, and no RBI. Patience was certainly running low, but he was able to catch fire before possibly losing his place on the team. From April 23-May 6, Reyes went 15-for-43 (.349) with 10 runs, three home runs, and 11 RBI.
Reyes was able to get his batting average over the Mendoza Line for the first time all season on May 20. However, that only lasted for eight games. In his last game of May it slipped back under and stayed under until the end of June; which was also a subpar month for Reyes.
From July onward, Reyes completely turned around his season. He put up a .302/.330/.535 slash line in July with 10 runs, two home runs, and 12 RBI. He didn’t do too bad in August either, but was injured for 11 games.
He ended 2017 with a bang, as he played extremely well in the month of September. In 26 games he hit .300/.375/.530 with 19 runs, six home runs, and 18 RBI. The last time Reyes hit more home runs and drove in more runs during a single month was in August of 2006.
Overall Reyes had an inconsistent season. There were points when it was hard to justify keeping him on the team and there were other points when he was the hottest hitter on the team.
Reyes brought his usual excitement and entertainment. He showed he could still run and hit as he was able to notch his 500th career stolen base and his 2,000th career hit along the way.
His defense is what made him a negative-WAR player, however. He had a 2.0 offensive WAR, but a -2.1 defensive WAR. The defense is what caused him to have a -0.6 overall WAR.
Did You Know:
Reyes played in the most games (145) since 2012, scored the most runs (75) since 2014, hit the most triples (seven) since 2012, hit the most home runs (15) since 2008, and drove in the most runs (58) since 2008.
As mentioned above, picking up Reyes’ 2017 option was a no-brainer. If worst came to worst he would’ve been off the team and the Mets only would’ve had to eat a sub-$1 million salary.
Reyes’ status on the Mets for 2018 is a lot less certain. While he still will be collecting $4 million from the Colorado Rockies, it would be hard to picture him accepting the league minimum for the third year in a row.
The Mets won’t have to pay him too much at this point in his career if they want him back, but even a little is a lot for this franchise. There are no guarantees we will be seeing Reyes come 2018.
If he does indeed re-sign with the team, he could end up with a similar infield role that he had in 2017. That of course depends on the health and depth of the infield.