Jose Reyes clubbed home runs No. 100 and No. 101 in a Mets uniform on Friday night as the infielder continues to finish his season strong, posting a .852 OPS in 52 games since June 27.
With New York shipping off a majority of its veterans after their season fell apart, Reyes was left as one of the remaining old-timers in the clubhouse.
The 34-year-old had gone 18 for his last 48 with a .474 OBP since Aug. 13 prior to Friday’s match with the Reds. He built off those numbers against Cincinnati after collecting two homers out of the lead off spot.
“I’ve said it to everybody. I want to finish my career here. That’s no secret to anyone. But they have that decision,” Reyes said after the game Friday.
While it hasn’t been easy for the longtime Met this season, Reyes has kept his head down and worked hard everyday, now finally seeing the results.
However, this may be the end of the line for 15-year veteran in a Mets uniform as the team may look to cut ties with him after this season as they begin to retool for 2018.
Prior to the game, manager Terry Collins commended Reyes for his leadership role in the locker room and taking control of a rather youthful clubhouse.
“I’ve been a huge Jose Reyes fan forever because he loves to play,” Collins said. “And I like guys who want to play and like to play, and Jose — unless there’s an injury — he wants to play every day. He loves it.
“I think his presence in that clubhouse, obviously he has a lot to say to the Latin guys because it’s easy for him, plus who he is, they know — they’ve been told — and certainly he’s been an idol to many of them so he’s got a lot to say about those guys.
“He’s going to be somewhere,” Collins concluded. “And he’ll be playing a lot, too.”
There’s no doubt that Reyes would love to remain in blue and orange and would be willing to take a lesser role to stay here. He also lives on Long Island in a house that he never sold even when he left New York after the 2011 season.
Reyes has also formed a strong relationship with top prospect Amed Rosario, saying that he talked with the 21-year-old everyday on the phone prior to his call-up. Since he’s debuted, you can see how close they are when they interact on the field.
While early indications point to Reyes going elsewhere this offseason as the Mets seem confident on retaining Asdrubal Cabrera and giving Matt Reynolds an extended look in addition to Wilmer Flores and T.J. Rivera, there is a chance he could return.
For someone like Rosario, it would be important to keep Reyes around as he obviously looks up to him. Secondly, unless the Mets bring in a glut of veterans, it could also help to have Reyes to loosen up the clubhouse like he has done the latter portion of this year.
“I know that I started the season horrible, but after a little while, I feel I have been playing pretty good baseball,” Reyes said. “I wish that I could come back next year for this team. I want to be part of this. But like I said, I don’t have that decision in my hands.”