Marc Carig of Newsday reports the New York Mets continue to view free agent infielder Jose Reyes as the most likely fallback option in free agency in the event the team does not make a trade for a second baseman.
With Ian Kinsler being traded to the Angels, after informing the Tigers he would reject a trade to the Mets, the top second base trade targets are Starlin Castro, Josh Harrison, and Jason Kipnis. According to various reports, the Mets do not have interest in Castro.
Harrison is a versatile infielder who is owed $10.25 million in 2018 with team options for 2019 and 2020. As per DRS, Harrison’s best position is second, but he can still handle third base. He is coming off a season where he hit .272/.339/.432 with a 101 OPS+ and 104 wRC+.
Kipnis is coming off an injury plagued season, and he has two years $28.3 million remaining on his contract with a $16.5 million team option for 2020. With the emergence of younger Indians players, Kipnis agreed to play center field when he returned from the Disabled List.
Despite that stint, Kipnis is likely to return to second base next year, a position where he has averaged a 1 DRS over the past three seasons. Kipnis’ real value is his bat where he has averaged a 111 wRC+ and 107 OPS+ despite having a down year at the plate last season.
In contrast, Reyes is coming off a season where he .246/.315/.413 with a -0.6 bWAR. Reyes only played 207.1 innings at second base last season where he posted a -5 DRS.
In addition to Reyes, other second base free agent options would include Howie Kendrick and Neil Walker, both of whom had much better seasons than Reyes. However, as noted by Carig, the team still views Reyes as the most likely fallback in free agency.