To say Jose Reyes is a shell of the player he once was would be an understatement.
The Mets re-upped on the infielder for the 2018 season, signing him to a one-year, $2 million contract.
New York thought he had turned a corner after a strong second-half in 2017 as well as having a positive relationship with young buck Amed Rosario.
However, Reyes has been downright awful. He is just 5-for-36 on the season and has logged an -0.3 WAR in 23 games. Of the four hits, just one has gone for extra-bases. He has also drawn just two walks.
New York made the proper decision in cutting bait with Matt Harvey, and they need to continue doing so with the dead weight on their team, starting with Reyes.
The Mets have several options in the minor leagues who are performing well right now and could help this team at the Major League level much more than Reyes can.
Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Gavin Cecchini came into Spring Training this season with a mission: to prove that he was the player New York thought they were getting when they drafted him in the first round back in 2012.
The now 24-year-old came into the 2018 season with more muscle and an improved swing.
Back then he said he believed he was a Major League caliber starting player.
“It is tough, because I believe I should and can be a starter in the big leagues and help a team win,” Cecchini said. “It’s just kind of a tough situation with all the infielders and veterans that we have right now and I feel that I am big- league ready at this moment, but that stuff is out of my control. I can’t control whether I make the team or not.”
He also added that he worked extensively this winter to kick some bad habits he had fallen into.
“I got into some bad habits with that, coming out of my legs and throwing straight over the top,” he said. “I got back to doing what I’ve always done whenever I got drafted when I was doing great defensively. I got back to working on arm angles.”
So far this season with Vegas, this has translated positively.
The infielder has hit .317/.361/.505 with two homers and nine RBI in 101 at-bats. In the field, he has split time mostly between second and shortstop, but more at the former.
Cecchini is young and hungry, and is worth giving a shot at in a Major League capacity. He would be better defensively than Reyes at this point, and far better offensively.
One of, if not the most, sure-handed defenders in the Mets system, Luis Guillorme has also been thriving offensively with Triple-A Las Vegas this season as well.
In his last 10 games alone, he has hit .441 with one homer and 10 RBI. Altogether on the season, he owns a slash line of .300/.394/.433 with one homer, 15 RBI and 14 walks.
While he won’t hit for much power, Guillorme has proved he can get on-base, as evident by his high OBP this year and .376 OBP with Double-A Binghamton in 2017.
Guillorme would be a big boost to New York defensively and could come in late to shore up the infield.
Like Cecchini, he has played both second and short this year, but has spent most of his time at the latter. He has converted 14 double plays and committed just three errors in 187 innings.
A familiar face, Ty Kelly is now in his second-stint with the Mets organization.
He is having a solid year thus far with Triple-A Las Vegas, batting .298/.365/.587 with six homers and 22 RBI. He has also drawn 11 walks.
Kelly, who will turn 30 in August, is by no means a top prospect or a prospect at all for that matter, but could give the Mets some versatility in the field and could string together some hits off the bench.
This year for Vegas, he has played all three outfield positions and every infield position minus first base and catcher.
While he won’t set the world on fire, Kelly would provide more to this team than Reyes both offensively and defensively at this point.
Phillip Evans cracked his first Opening Day roster this season, but got just a taste of some action, logging three at-bats before being sent down to Vegas.
While Evans hasn’t had a robust year at the dish, his versatility in the field alone could be helpful to the Mets.
Evans is a better defender than Reyes at second and third base and has experience in the outfield, both of which New York could benefit from.
Overall, it’s time to end the Jose Reyes era in New York once and for all.
It’s easy to romanticize the player he once was, but unfortunately, he just isn’t and won’t be that same player again.
Even in a reserve role, he has failed to benefit the Mets in a positive way.
Bringing in some fresh blood that is more youthful and can perform better than Reyes is of utmost importance and would be shrewd on New York’s part.
Additionally, with Amed Rosario struggling to get anything going, bringing in a fresh player from Vegas could help give him some days off to clear his head.