Mack Ade - Jose Reyes


Good morning.

Whodda thunk it?

Nobody in Metsland ever thought Jose Reyes would be back in Queens wearing a Mets uniform. Maybe in a delicatessen wearing a Mets t-shirt, but nothing more than this.

Reyes became a free agent in June of last year and signed a minor league contract with the Mets. Because he was released by the Colorado Rockies with time left on his contract, all the Mets had to do was pay him a prorated league minimum for the remainder of the 2017 season. He was also under contract for the 2018 season, so why not pay him the minimum also?

Even at 33-years old, Reyes turned out to be the uber-utility infielder they needed last year. At times, David Wright, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Neil Walker all hit the disabled list and Reyes was there to play whatever position that was needed. In the end, after 255 at-bats with the Mets, he hit .267/.326/.443/769, with 8 home runs and 24 runs batted in.

Mike Maer, from Mack’s Mets added –

Jose Reyes’ return to the Mets last year was a gamble which paid off happily.  Not only did Jose prove he still has some good baseball left in the tank - he also brought his signature energy to the dugout, and was a solid citizen throughout the year.  All at a bargain price.

To me, the most interesting thing to see with Reyes for 2017 will be if and how the Mets find ways to get him in the lineup semi-regularly.  All infield positions are theoretically spoken for with the return of David Wright and re-signing of Neil Walker.  Yes, it seems fairly likely that there will be ample opportunities for Jose to play with the whole starting infield dealing with some combination of age and injury.  Still, I think the most important and exciting element that Jose brings to any team is his presence as an everyday leadoff hitter.  I could easily see a scenario where at some point with the overall offense struggling - even if the starting infield is healthy - Terry Collins is tempted to try to get Reyes into the leadoff slot every day. 

In the happy event that the starting infield is healthy and productive, I do wonder how Jose’s game would respond to spotty playing time.  Playing irregularly is something Reyes has never had to deal with, and which many former starting players have struggled with. 

Can he make the adjustment to a utility infield role?  Will he have to, or will we see him atop the Mets lineup on most days?  Certainly an interesting subplot as we head toward Spring Training.

Joining in was Christopher Soto, of Mack’s Mets –

As is the case with David Wright, as much as we love him (as a player), Jose Reyes is on the tail end of his career and needs to be evaluated as such. Now that said, Reyes is still quite the useful asset. If we take the 60 games he played as a Met last season and extrapolate that over a 162 game season.....Reyes was on pace to produce a stat line of .267 AVG, 121 Runs, 20 HR, 65 RBI, and 24 SB. Any idea who the last 20 HR, 20 SB Met was? That would be Carlos Beltran 9 year ago in 2008. How about the last Met to score 100+ runs? Also 2008 when the trio of Beltran, Wright, and Reyes all did it.

Of course.....we shouldn't expect Reyes to survive a 162 game season at this stage of his career, however, in his new role as the super utility starter, it is not outside the realm of possibility to see in rack up 450+ at bats in 2017. In addition, should (aka....when) David Wright ends up back on the DL, Reyes gives the team a solid back-up option (honestly...a better one in my opinion) to plug the hole.

Opinion – This is a no brainer. Reyes will be the starting third basmena until David Wright returns.

What he will never be in the player he was when he and David Wright joined this team a thousand years ago.

My two utility infielders in 2017 are T.J. Rivera and Wilmer Flores, with Gavin Cecchini in Vegas awaiting a phone call. 


Thomas Brennan said...

I think Jose will "impinge" on Wright's playing time and get those 450+ at bats that Mets sage Chris Soto foresees.

Derek Jeter hit .300 for the 4th year in a row as a 34 year old, and hit .335 as a 35 year old. I think young Jose (still faster than 80-90% of big leaguers) will similarly have a big year, one that brings out that Reyes smile for us fans a whole lot.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

I don't know how big of a year he will have, but I am glad he is in the clubhouse.

Zozo said...

Reyes will make everyone else in the lineup following that much better if he is on base. The reasoning behind that is he is still a base demon and pitchers will give batters with him on base better pitches to hit.

bill metsiac said...

My head tells me that I should be glad he's here, because he fills a huge hole for us and is apparently a positive role model for the young Latino players here.

Yet my heart can't brush aside his final Mets year before his departure---the year when he repeatedly turned down team offers to negotiate an extension. The year he went from "Met for life with my brother David" Jose to "I'm going to whoever gives me the most money" Jose.

Daryl said a long time ago that the biggest mistake he made in his career was leaving the Mets as a FA to go "home" to LA. I'd feel a lot better about Jose if he said that, but I still haven't heard it.

If karma exists, it kicked him in the ass when he was traded from beautiful Miami, which he lavishly praised for the warm climate and large Dominican community, to Toronto, where taxes ate up the extra $$$ he got. Then again, when the Jay's became contenders and sent him to the cellar-dwelling Rockies. And finally when they dumped him after the DV charge and he was out of baseball for half a season.

But he's still getting his money (which we're not paying).

Was the difference between what the Mets would've paid you and what the Fish did pay worth what came with it, Jose? Karma can be a bitch, can't it? 😈

Thomas Brennan said...

Bill, I'm OK with Jose leaving when he did. He'd be rich either way, but he did get many millions more with the Miami deal, and lower state and local taxes probably added several million more to his calculation. And with his hammy issues, playing half his games in Florida's warmth had to be a health considerations. Muscles can pull more in cool weather.

I am very glad that fate led him back to the Mets and to have him back.

Reese Kaplan said...

Hmmn...I could see criticizing Jose Reyes for being a wife beater, or for sitting out to preserve his batting average to try to win a title, but show me where Sandy Alderson made an offer that he turned down? If it's not offered, then you can't criticize him for leaving when someone else is offering the money.

I'm with Soto that Jose's best days are behind him which makes it doubly puzzling that players who best days are ahead of them -- Flores, Rivera, Cecchini -- don't even get a look at playing 3B regularly. You can't live in the past. There are very few players like Bartolo Colon who play better in the latter stages of their careers. Look at his metrics as a third baseman last year -- FUGLY. Also look at his hitting against right handed pitching -- .239.

Mack Ade said...

Bill -

Reyes left because he wanted money to take care of multiple members of his family that were dirt poor back home. I had a long talk with his brother about this when it happened. You and I would have done the same thing.

bill metsiac said...

Again, it's my heart vs my head, and all I can go by is my memory of reports all season long about his refusal to listen to Mets offers of long-term extension.

My head is glad we have him back, but that doesn't change my heart.

And I still don't know what $110 mil does that $100 mil doesn't. If that was the difference, then my answer to you is no. I would NOT have done the same.

Mack Ade said...

Bill -

I have no dies where you got your info that the Mets offered Reyes $100mil back then.

The Mets never formerly offered him, or his representative, a centavo.

Your claim is fake news.

Reese Kaplan said...

That was my point earlier. The Marlins stepped up and made a reasonable offer (some might say an overpay). The Mets never made an offer of any kind. In fact, there were some rumblings of racism at the time since they had no problem locking up their white third baseman.

bill metsiac said...

I didn't say the Mets made a $100 mil offer. I said I read a REPORT (Which may have been wrong) that they told his agent that that figure was their limit. Once Miami offered $110, there was nothing to offer.

If Jose had said he'd like to stay but had to listen to other offers, I'd have felt differently.

Actually, if he did (as reported) tell the team before the trade deadline that he was going FA, I'd have traded him for a boatload of talent. The team was going nowhere that year, with or without him.

Mack's Mets © 2012