One of the key components of being a leadoff man is the ability to get on base, and people familiar with the Mets' thinking tell SI.com's Jon Heyman that the team wants Jose Reyes to improve his on-base percentage before they give him a multiyear deal (Twitter link). The 27-year-old posted a .321 OBP in 2010.
Reyes' OBP was an issue earlier in his career as well; he got on base just 30.3% of the time in his first three seasons, a span of 1,254 plate appearances. He responded by posting an OBP between .354 and .358 in the next three years before a hamstring injury shortened his 2009 campaign. Reyes' career OBP is .335, and for comparison's sake, leadoff hitters around the game got on base at a .329 clip in 2010.
Reyes will earn $11MM in 2011 after the Mets exercised the club option in his contract. He's scheduled to be a free agent after the season. Last month we heard that the team wants to see if Reyes can stay healthy this summer before offering him a new contract. That's fine with the switch-hitting shortstop; he recently said he prefers to wait until after the season to talk about a new deal anyway.