Jose Reyes’ Final Month

Jose Reyes, take note. All of the players to sign free agent contracts worth more than $100MM since the 2007-08 offseason capped their respective walk years with healthy, productive final months. If Reyes, who returned from a three-week stint on the disabled list tonight, hopes to sign a nine-figure deal (or, better yet, prove Fred Wilpon wrong and match Carl Crawford’s $142MM contract) it's in his best interest to finish the season in similarly strong fashion.

For Reyes to join Crawford in the $100MM club, he’ll probably have to show interested teams that he has recovered from the left hamstring issue that sidelined him for the past three weeks. No matter what Reyes does, he won’t silence questions about his ability to stay healthy for an entire season. But if the 28-year-old can finish 2011 with one more month of electrifying play, he’ll have a stronger case for a contract worth $100MM or more.

The most recent free agents to join the $100MM club wrapped up their walk years in style. Alex Rodriguez hit ten home runs after September 1st, 2007 before signing the biggest contract in MLB history. The next year, Mark Teixeira wrapped up his campaign with a .333/.417/.631 month that included five homers. His future teammate, C.C. Sabathia, posted a 2.11 ERA in 42 2/3 innings with a 43K/7BB ratio in Milwaukee that September, concluding a sensational three month stint with the playoff-bound Brewers.

The following year, it was Matt Holliday’s turn; the Scott Boras client finished his season with a .336/.405/.523 month that included five homers. Last year, Jayson Werth hit nine homers after September 1st for a monthly line of .300/.369/.600 while Crawford added four homers and posted a .360/.402/.588 line. And who could forget Cliff Lee, who posted a 1.93 ERA in September then contributed 35 2/3 innings of 2.78 ERA ball in the postseason as the Rangers reached the World Series (he had a 47K/2BB playoff ratio).

This is not to say that these players have a direct impact on the Reyes negotiations and it’s certainly not to say that they signed nine-figure deals because they had impressive numbers for a month. Teixeira, for example, could have hit .200 with one homer in September, 2008 and still signed for well over $100MM. However, Reyes isn't a surefire $100MM player, as Mets owner Fred Wilpon explained in a memorable New Yorker article this spring.

Teams will acknowledge Reyes’ game-changing skills even if he slumps in September and they’ll question his ability to stay healthy even if he plays every inning of every game from here on. That much is certain, but, to some extent, Reyes can change the way others perceive him between now and September 28th, when the Mets play their final game. The other recent additions to the $100MM free agent club finished the year with dominant months. Reyes can join them if he takes advantage of the season's final four weeks to convince teams he’s worth a mega-deal of his own.

16 Responses to Jose Reyes’ Final Month Leave a Reply

  1. Matt Moore 4 years ago

    We all know that this is just a dizaster waiting to happen. I beleive that whatever team signs him will waste all theyre money and be crippled… Literally… By him for the 6 yrs that they will give him.

  2. Gator4444 4 years ago

    Detroit has money coming off the books and the owner is willing to spend.  I think Reyes-Jackson can coexist pretty easily in that lineup. 

    • DutchTiger 4 years ago

      Peralta could play 3rd on days Reyes plays and SS when he is injured. That would pretty much solve the hole at 3rd, but still I’d rather have them spend it on a decent starting pitcher. 

  3. dirtydez 4 years ago

    If i’m the Cards i let Pujols go and sign Reyes, whatever it takes. 

  4. cubs223425 4 years ago

    I want no part of Reyes. This hamstring stuff is nothing new. I don’t care where he goes, the tweaks and DL stints will follow. He’s just Nelson Cruz at a different position. The worse thing it, though, is that he’s a runner. You don’t get to just constantly hurt your hamstrings and not have it takes its toll.

    I don’t think I’d break 5/$75 million for him because I’d bet his SBs are in the 25-30 range by then, rather than that consistent 45+ he needs to get to be worth $100 million+.

    • Foo Philly 4 years ago

      You hit the nail on the head with your comment. He shouldn’t get Crawford type money even if he didn’t have injury concerns. Crawford’s grossly overpaid. Jose shouldn’t make more than Tulowitzki who IMO is the best SS in the game. And this is coming from a Met fan.

  5. TheFreak2011 4 years ago

    Sure as the sun comes up, someone will overpay for Reyes; I hope it’s not the Giants, who should have learned from the Zito and Rowand fiascos, but they do have a need and have money coming off the books after this season – Tejada $6.5million, DeRosa $6million, Ross $6.5million, J. Sanchez could be non tendered at $4.8million, Burrell $1million, Torres $3.5million, Affelt $4million.  Those seven players, if none are re-signed, total $32.3 million.  Rowand $13million comes off after next season and they could just eat the money and release or trade him.

    That’s a lot of money available to sign players.  They might do both Reyes and Beltran.  I kind of hope they keep Beltran but hope they don’t sign Reyes because he’s breaking down more often in recent years.

  6. Steve Cochrane 4 years ago

    With the Mets wanting to play younger players, wouldn’t it be better for them to shut Reyes down for the year, or limit his play?  This could limit his appeared value to other teams, ensuring that the Mets would get the best deal.

    • Just from a PR standpoint it isn’t the most appealing move.  Even if they did this earlier in the year, he would at the very least go a one year contract with another team.  Play it out, reward the other team with a Type A ranking and get his 100 mil plus contract after the one year. 

  7. $6592481 4 years ago

    The big thing that worries me about him, isn’t just that he has been injured, but that they are leg injuries. His whole game revolves around his legs. Once those start to go, his value plummets. 

  8. He might still have a ton of value even without his legs, his bat is very good. Hits for great average and a strong line drive hitter. Its common for the legs to start going in the late 20s anyway (start is a very big word in that sentence if you wanna argue with me on it, i’m not saying speed based players become worthless at 27)

    I’d be very comfortable if the Mets started trying to resign him but get him to resign in a different kind of role. Heck if he stopped running full out his leg problems might go away.

  9. Baseballfan83 4 years ago

    If he stops running altogether though he is now near the 100mil mark. Then he is a light production guy that doesn’t run. And the problems wont go away because it seems to be that he is just soft. He stole two bases and then missed more than the minimum 15 days on the DL. It’s seems as if he is anything under 100 percent he will take off as much time as he can. As a Braves fan I hope the Mets re-up him real big and he can be their Soriano as they model themselves after the Cubs. 

  10. greggofboken 4 years ago

    You’re under a misperception about Reyes and his ability/willingness to play with injuries.  He has a history of wanting to come back too soon and the Mets (foolishly) have often accommodated him.  This most recent DL stint is possibly the latest example.  They face a challenge w/Reyes sitting him periodically rather than letting him go day-in/day-out.  He resists.  You may (or may not) remember the first game Jerry Manuel managed with the club, we saw this play out on the field.  Reyes came up short at first, and Manuel wanted to be safe and pull him.  Reyes through on on-field tantrum about being pulled.  Personally, I’d be more than happy with 5 years/$90M.  I understand others wouldn’t take the gamble.  Your take on his softness and desire is waaaaaay off.

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