Who Should Mets Bring Back: Reyes or Cabrera, Possibly Both?

Two of the New York Mets best players for the month of September have been veteran infielders Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera fueling the debate of which one should be brought back next year.

Reyes has not only been the Mets best player in September but he’s also been one of the most productive players in baseball with a fWAR 1.0 that’s tied with Aaron Judge and multiple others for the eighth best in the majors.

Reyes is slashing a robust .318/.408/.591 with five home runs, 15 RBI and six stolen bases in September.

It’s more than just September for the resurgent Reyes though, he has a .848 OPS in the second half that has boosted his overall season numbers up to .244/.315/.413 in 524 plate appearances with 32 doubles, seven triples, 14 home runs, 55 RBI and 22 stolen bases.

The switch-hitting Cabrera is slashing .383/.441/.667 in September giving him the 12th best wRC+ (190) in baseball. He also looks more comfortable at third base than he did at short or second.

Overall, Cabrera is hitting .276/.347/431 this season while lowering his strikeout rate (18.1% in 2016, 16% in 2017 and upping his walk rate (6.7% in 2016,9.1% in 2017).

Reyes will be a free agent this offseason after playing for the veteran minimum from the Mets this year (Rockies still paid him $21.46M). Cabrera has a $8.5 million option for the 2018 season that includes a $2 million buyout.

The Mets 2018 infield is likely to consist of Amed Rosario at shortstop, Dominic Smith at first base and Wilmer Flores playing all over the place. Which brings you to wonder who plays second and third base? Could Reyes or Cabrera help fill one of those holes or possibly both being brought back to try and stabilize a young infield.

One thing to keep in mind when talking about Reyes and Cabrera is how bad both have been overall defensively this season though both have been better at the positions they have played a majority in the second half (Reyes/2B and Cabrera/3B).

Another thing of note is that both of their slash lines are driven by great success against left-handed pitching, Reyes OPS vs lefties .866 compared to only .686 vs righties and Cabrera’s OPS against lefties is .906 while just .735 against righties.

So you have to guys that excel against left-handed pitching and are bad overall players on defense, that sounds quite a bit like Wilmer Flores (albeit he did hit righties better in 2017).

Cabrera will be the more expensive option of the two players, but I believe he’s also the better bet to be the more valuable piece in 2018. Cabrera did whine earlier this season about changing positions though he’s said nothing since getting regular time at third base.

About Michael Mayer 1244 Articles
Lifelong Mets fan born in 1987 meaning I still haven't witnessed a championship. Lived in Maine my entire life so I get my Mets fix from MLB.tv and MiLB.tv. Still playing and coaching baseball.Follow me on twitter @mikemayermmo