Trade Candidate: Jose Reyes

Good shortstops are always in demand, especially midseason. The number of contending teams in need of infield help almost always outweighs the number of quality MLB shortstops, so it stands to reason that a team not expecting to contend would be open to dealing its shortstop in the right situation. That's likely to be the scenario that we'll see this summer with the Mets and Jose Reyes.

Reyes, 28 in June, signed a four-year deal in August of 2006, and the Mets exercised their $11MM option this past offseason. Reyes hit the disabled list last year due to a thyroid issue after missing most of 2009 with a hamstring injury. He also battled through oblique strains over the course of the 2010 season, but appears healthy now. He's off to a nice .304/.333/.478 start with five stolen bases in five attempts.

Vintage form would see the switch-hitting Reyes as a 60-70 SB threat capable of hitting around 15 home runs while playing solid defense. That type of production would have teams lining up, but even with a more pedestrian season (by his standards), Reyes should attract significant attention at the deadline.

One knock on Reyes may be his career OBP of just .335, which the Mets said they'd like him to improve before considering a new deal. That OBP and his injury history may have been contributing factors in the recent Jayson Stark report that quoted one NL scout saying he'd recommend Reyes on a two-month rental, but not on a long-term deal. That may be just what's in store, as a month ago when Joel Sherman talked to five non-Met executives, not a single one saw Reyes returning to the Mets in 2012. So where might he end up? Let's look at some possible destinations:

  • Milwaukee – The Brewers are stuck with Yuniesky Betancourt as their primary shortstop for the time being, so it stands to reason they'd look to upgrade at the deadline. Their farm systems have been picked pretty clean by the Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke trades, however.
  • San Francisco – The Giants are trusting Miguel Tejada and his nearly 37-year-old frame to be their everyday shortstop, and they don't have much in terms of contingency plans. Tejada's defense and OBP woes may have San Francisco looking for external options come July.
  • Cincinnati – The Reds are going with Paul Janish and Edgar Renteria to fill out their shortstop position, but they've looked for a leadoff hitter and a more concrete solution at short in the past. Reyes could fill both of those roles on a short-term basis in 2011 as they look to defend the NL Central title.
  • Minnesota – If the Twins can turn around their terrible start to the 2011 season, they could certainly use an upgrade over Alexi Casilla at shortstop. With newcomer Tsuyoshi Nishioka on the shelf, their middle infield depth is particularly weak at the moment. The Twins were said to be at their payroll limit entering the season, however.
  • St. Louis – Ryan Theriot and Skip Schumaker are currently playing up the middle for Tony La Russa, so it's not a stretch to see the Cardinals in search of a midseason improvement if they can remain in contention without Adam Wainwright. Like Minnesota, we heard that the Cardinals were low on funds late in the offseason.

Of course, injuries and other factors could lead other teams to enter the running for Reyes, as he currently only represents a midseason rental. The Mets will likely have a steep asking price for the three-time All Star, but teams are willing to part with elite prospects to make short-term pushes every year; 2011 should be no different.


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69 Comments on "Trade Candidate: Jose Reyes"


4 years 4 months ago

Maybe the Dodgers?

RAYS7
4 years 4 months ago

If you think about it , he would make a good fit for the Rays . So would K-Rod

4 years 4 months ago

Imagine if the mets could dump K-Rod on any team, pay all his salary, I don’t care. I hope that’s sandy’s plan dump K-rod on a team with a closer already mid season so we can stop worrying about his games completed countdown.

East Coast Bias
4 years 4 months ago

I think the Mets should extend him instead of trading him.

4 years 4 months ago

I know he’s an exciting player, but there comes a point where its better to part ways for your future. Reyes already has leg problems, his game is based on speed, he’s not a good base stealer (he’s just really fast which makes up for his terrible jumps and stupid tell he has on first, which he could lose soon also can he pleeease steal before the 4th pitch of an at bat?) players whose game is based on speed peak at 27; and this is just me…he’s starting to remind me of manny.

andrewmets9
4 years 4 months ago

When did Manny get 60+ stolen bases. when did Manny hit leadoff for 6 straight years. When was Manny called a great defensive player. When was there a term called a “manny run”. When Reyes is at his best, he is a top 10 player, no question about it.

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

because you sounded so sure, i just checked. reyes has never been a top 10 player

at his best in 2008 (6 WAR), he was the 14th most valuable player in baseball. manny, incidentally, was 11th that year

4 years 4 months ago

Ok I’ll play along. When did Jose Reyes ever hit 40+ home runs, or 100+ RBI’s, or an OBP of .400+, or have a SLG of .600+, or an AVG of .310+, or a BABIP of .325+, or a wOBA of .400+? When did Jose Reyes ever hit cleanup in a batting order? If you go to runs scored they both are usually good for 100+. If you go to WAR, Manny’s highest is 7.5 and Reyes’ is 6.

When Manny was at the top of his game the only hitters you could argue were better were Albert Pujols, A-Rod, and Miguel Cabrera. And in yet Manny could be argued to be better (except for Pujols).

Look man, they are completely different players. One is a great power hitter and really weak defender and the other is a great base runner and good defender. Manny couldn’t ever steal 60+ bases and Reyes will never hit 40 home runs. I understand Manny’s defense sucks but if it weren’t for the steroids that he got caught taking over the last couple of years he would be a lock for the HOF, no questions asked. Statistically speaking Manny is one of the best hitters to ever play the game whether you want to admit it or not. The only way I would take Reyes in his prime over Manny in his prime is if my team was stacked with power hitters and had no speed.

andrewmets9
4 years 4 months ago

STEROIDS. enough said.

4 years 4 months ago

Please don’t tell me you’re one of those people who thinks that just because a player was caught using steroids once that that means he must have taken steroids his whole career..

stl_cards16
4 years 4 months ago

Twice. While I think people overreact to someone using steroids. Manny did get CAUGHT twice.

4 years 4 months ago

Right. I should have put twice, my bad. But it’s the fact that it’s at the end of his career and that him getting caught using steroids shouldn’t translate to the rest of his career. If he had used them earlier in his career I’m sure somethings would have come out already. He’s one of those players who proved he didn’t need steroids to be good.

stl_cards16
4 years 4 months ago

“He’s one of those players who proved he didn’t need steroids to be good.”

That’s the sad thing about this era though, we will never know. We don’t know how long he used them. There are more than likely ALOT of players that people say “Oh he would of never used steroids” that did use them. I’m sure there are also alot of players that some people guess/assume they used steroids, that never did.

I hate when people guess or assume someone used steroids just because of their build or their stats or what age they started producing or declining. But when a guy has been caught doing it, you can’t give him a free pass. By the way, I still believe Manny should be in the HOF.

JaySchu
4 years 4 months ago

Three times. He also failed the initial test that MLB conducted prior to banning steroids and instituting in-season drug testing.

gornie
4 years 4 months ago

Please don’t tell me you’re one of those people who thinks that just because a major leaguer hasn’t gotten caught means that he’s been clean his whole career. Heck, Jose Reyes is as questionable as anyone while we’re on this topic…now I’m not saying I know he juiced, but by some estimates 80% of the league was juicing less than a decade ago.

Infield Fly
4 years 4 months ago

and this is just me…he’s starting to remind me of manny.

Ugh! It IS you because aside from the hairstyle (which many players have now, i.e.: Andrew McCutcheon, who is much closer to José’s build) there’s not much “Mannyness” about José (Manny was allergic to hustle on your average day, and definitely his game was not about speed or basestealing…to say the least!). Unlike Manny, José is not an enigma – even to his teammates – like Manny was, and while he makes his mistakes sometimes, he sure isn’t a butcher…which is more than Manny could say. :p

The rest of what you said made sense, even if it did bum me out!

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

jose is an exciting player and he’s a pleasure to watch when he’s on his game. i do think he represents a substantial risk for the mets if they are the ones that give him the long-term deal he’ll be seeking. but some risks are worth taking

Infield Fly
4 years 4 months ago

Couldn’t have said it better!

And just who do Wilpon & Co. think is going to replace the revenue José brings in just by being José? (not Manny, ha ha!). I can’t think of one player…especially if the plan is not to spend big going forward.

phoenix2042
4 years 4 months ago

I don’t mean to be argumentative, but are you or aren’t you in favor of Mets extending Reyes? Do you think any long term deal for him at what would be his “fair” or realistic market price is a good idea? Because you say, “but some risks are worth taking.” And then right below, “a good OBP may not be essential to being signed for a player with reyes’ tools, but it absolutely is essential to being worth signing. a top of the order bat simply must must must get on base at a good rate.” So is he worth it, in your opinion?

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

assuming a 2006-2008 caliber performance (.360ish wOBA) this year, yes i’d say the mets should take the risk

assuming an early-years caliber performance (solid average, sub-.330 wOBA), i’d say no

guydavis
4 years 4 months ago

way to dodge the question, dude.

muskyfish
4 years 4 months ago

My gut still says he is in New York for a long time. The moneyball aspect of his OBP is overrated in this case. You can’t sit around and wait for the three-run bomb anymore, game changers are back. If he can his walks back up a bit, it just means he will be a better player, but I don’t think its essential to being resigned. He is perfect for that park and that team. I can’t imagine they want to compound the 2nd base trouble by going in that direction at SS too. He is a fan favorite, who can start rallies and win games. He is still young. Finally, this regime will not constantly give away 1st round picks to sign overpriced FAs…. so a quick replacement is not readily available.

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

a good OBP may not be essential to being signed for a player with reyes’ tools, but it absolutely is essential to being worth signing. a top of the order bat simply must must must get on base at a good rate

ARod's Ring
4 years 4 months ago

it would make sense for Boston.

East Coast Bias
4 years 4 months ago

Don’t they have a top notch shortstop almost ready for the majors? Even shares the same first name.

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

lowrie’s pretty ok himself

phoenix2042
4 years 4 months ago

I think Boston’s lineup is fine. They’ve got massive power and some blinding speed guys in Crawford and Elsbury. What they really need is pitching and maybe a catcher if they decide Salty can’t cut it. No need to overpay for Reyes with prospects ready to step up and more pressing needs.

ARod's Ring
4 years 4 months ago

Imagine, Elsbury, Crawford and Reyes. As a Yankee fan I would jump off my window.

Infield Fly
4 years 4 months ago

As a Yankee fan I would jump off my window.

HAH! Mets fans are getting ready to jump just reading that! 😀

phoenix2042
4 years 4 months ago

As a Yankees fan, I wouldn’t mind Reyes as Jeter’s replacement at shortstop. Although I wouldn’t want him for more than 3-5 years because much of his game relies on defense and speed, which will decline quite a bit when he hits his thirties. He actually reminds me a lot of Crawford: Blinding speed, medium power (in the teens for HR), and great defense. Basically the same age as well. And that kind of player loses their value once their speed drops (both defense and SB), and Reyes doesn’t have the OBP or power to develop even decent “old player skills” in the latter years of the contract. Still I would love to have him for 3-5 years max.

Vmmercan
4 years 4 months ago

I think there’s a 0% chance Reyes is a Met next year. You can say all you want about what market they fit under but right now their market is non-existent. You don’t even know if their owners can still be owners a year or two from now. I know some people like to come out and shoot occasional optimism but the Mets’ franchise beyond what they put on the field is a disaster and that’s where the real crisis is. They may be able to hold onto one of Wright or Reyes (and in that case it will 100% be Wright) but not both. If they were wise they would try to rebuild some farm system by trading him at the deadline.

Vmmercan
4 years 4 months ago

And what do I base it on besides a 1 billion dollar lawsuit and legal accusation issues on the people signing the pay checks? The fact it was Alderson they hired. A MLB front office guy who made his bones on small market teams. Alderson coming on board to me is nothing more than a Donnie Walsh job. He’s being hired to gut the team, rebuilt it and restore order for a big market team somewhere down the line. That’s his specialty and the whole moneyball background just adds to the fact Reyes doesn’t fit those plans.

4 years 4 months ago

Twins are not at payroll limits. That is just a bunch of garbage they made $26 million last year and can add a piece for the right price. Target Field is a cash cow and they know it, but want everyone to keep thinking they are a small market team when their payroll is over $100 million.

Reign Delay
4 years 4 months ago

So do you think they are likely to go after Reyes?

4 years 4 months ago

They should, but won’t. That’s the normal Twins front office mentality.

2010: We SHOULD trade for Cliff Lee…but we WON’T.
2010: We SHOULD hold on to Wilson Ramos just in case Mauer gets hurt…but we WON’T.
2011 off-season: We SHOULD trade for Zach Greinke…but we WON”T.
2011: …??

We will see.

twins33
4 years 4 months ago

I agree it’s not true, but it’s also not a move that they would make. Twins said they wouldn’t add more at the beginning of the season so they are able to spend during the season if they have to. One of the reasons Pavano re-signed.

But I definitely do not see them going for Reyes, especially since he’s a rental.

Kyle
4 years 4 months ago

One team missing here would be the Dodgers, but perhaps it’d be more accurate to suggest they’d be interested in signing him long term after the season, cuz this season should really blow for the Blue.

Victor Kipp
4 years 4 months ago

There are a lot of possibilities here. Every team out there knows the Mets are in a tough spot financially and if they fall out badly in terms of standings no team will give the Mets anything of real value for him. I could see….Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, Angels, Texas, SF, ARI, and Min as teams that have the resources to acquire Reyes. Its unlikely any NL East team would be able to get the Mets to trade him to them, however…in a fire sale it doesn’t really matter cuz your basically blowing up the whole damn team any way. before this season started I wanted the Mets to turn things around but I now see that the best course of action is to trade everybody they can. Hopefully the Wilpons sell the team so one day the Mets can get some dignity back and be relevant.

Signed Red Sox fan

3runhomer
4 years 4 months ago

I agree that Reyes will be sought after, but if I am a GM, I would be much more willing to depart with elite prospects to trade for Stephen Drew. Drew is under contract for 2012 as well, and I feel Drew is a more prized hitter than Reyes. I think Drew will be one of the most sought after players come mid summer!

4 years 4 months ago

But Reyes is a game-changer. He has a good bat, great speed, and good defense. He steals bases in timely situations and often just whenever he feels like it. I would love to see my Twins trade for Reyes and somehow, considering we do have the funds to, re-sign him after the season ends and have one of the best shortstops in the game of baseball.

1. CF- Span
2. SS- Reyes
3. C- Mauer
4. 1B- Morneau
5. LF- D. Young
6. DH- Kubel
7. RF- Cuddyer
8. 3B- Valencia
9. 2B- Nishioka/Casilla/Hughes

The addition of Reyes makes the whole lineup better.

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

the top of that lineup looks fun. what are you prepared to give up?

4 years 4 months ago

I could see the Angels getting in on him if they are in first place or a close 2nd.

cookmeister
4 years 4 months ago

i agree. i think it really depends on How Izturis and Aybar are playing (as of now, Aybar had a good start but is on the DL, and Izturis is tearing it up).

4 years 4 months ago

Imagine what the Mets could get from the Reds who have a plethora of starters, young catchers, Yonder Alonso, and all around depth at all other positions in the minor leagues

4 years 4 months ago

The Reds make the most since for Reyes. Then they can send K-Rod to the Rangers to be their 8th inning guy (no extension). Then they can look to unload Beltran and start over.

4 years 4 months ago

I know they are stuck with Betancourt but Milwaukee’s minor league system is a bit lacking these days. Gamel should be untouchable and “replace” Fielder next year. Who else? Parra? No way they should be first on this list of potential matches for a Reyes trade…

frogger6
4 years 4 months ago

I have a feeling gamel is not untouchable. The brewers have some decent young pitching prospects to combine with gamel… It just depends on what their w/l record is and what they want to give up

4 years 4 months ago

i think its going to be a big trade between the mets and A’s alderson and bean are good frinds and oakland will be in the race for the al west and need bats i could see reyes,wright,and beltran if not all 2 of the 3 for sure

RazorShines
4 years 4 months ago

Wright will never be traded, he’s the franchise and they lose their whole fan base if he’s traded, which ultimately means money, dont be stupid

4 years 4 months ago

wow must be a mets fan but just so u know when teams suck wich the mets do they trade thier good players away and get good youg players in return and rebuild and if u notice david wright to oakland is a hot roumor that could happen i did not say it would ill try not to be stupid mister baseball expert

4 years 4 months ago

giants cant afford him, dont be stupid

RazorShines
4 years 4 months ago

What’s funny about all this is Reyed wants to be a Met, he says he only wants to play next to David Wright, loves New York, loves the organization that took him from the poor Dominican to the paradise of America and loves the fans. It seems Reyes and Mets fans are the only people who knows he’s not going anywhere

jakec77
4 years 4 months ago

Ok, but what can the Mets reasonably expect as a return on a J Reyes rental?