In general I’m not a big fan of reunion tours, particularly when you see some crusty old rocker coughing his way through his hits from 10 or 20 years ago, but that opportunity, such as it is, has likely just hit the Mets’ front door. The Colorado Rockies today announced they have designated Jose Reyes for assignment. Since it’s highly unlikely he would be traded given the size of his contract, his diminished play last season and his off-the-field problem, in ten days he’s going to become a free agent. At a pro-rated $500K major league minimum would you take a flyer on him?
I’m going to shelve the domestic abuse issue for a moment and purely look at it from a baseball standpoint. Do the Mets need speed? Check. Do they need a leadoff hitter that would enable them to move Curtis Granderson into an RBI slot in the order? Check. Would the fans turn out in droves? Check. Is he better than Matt Reynolds (whose spot he’d likely take on the roster)? Perhaps.
Unfortunately his defensive skills have eroded considerably and he had arguably one of his worst seasons in 2015 with a .274/7/53 and 24 SBs over 481 ABs. Still, those are not bad numbers and even at age 32 the speed is enticing. Generally legs don’t improve with age, but take Rickey Henderson and Lou Brock who both stole bases at an elite level (Henderson into his 40s!)
The real question for the Mets is whether or not adding Reyes brings more positives or negatives. Obviously Bartolo Colon and Marlon Byrd prove that the Mets will turn a blind eye to people whose moral and ethical values are not consistent with the squeaky clean image that they try to portray when it helps sell tickets and jerseys. While the NFL has set a clear cut policy about domestic abuse, MLB is still finding its footing on the issue (complicated further by Reyes’ wife not testifying against him resulting in charges being dropped).
If they were to add Reyes, would it be to start at SS, forcing Asdrubal Cabrera to 3B? Does that turn 1B into a platoon with the lefty James Loney getting the lion’s share of the ABs with Wilmer Flores back to the bench? Or does Reyes become the new Eric Young, Jr. used as a pinch runner and late inning potential offensive spark when a baserunner is needed? For less than $500K would you take him, warts and all?