About a month ago, I explained that each player to sign a free agent contract worth more than $100MM since the 2007-08 offseason capped his walk year with a healthy, productive final month. At the time, Jose Reyes was returning from an extended stint on the disabled list – his second trip to the DL of the season – and his free agent value was far from finalized.
“For Reyes to join Carl Crawford in the $100MM club,” I wrote at the time, “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.”
Whether or not you agree with Reyes’ decision to leave today’s game after raising his league-high average to .337 with a bunt single, there’s no denying that his final month has been statistically strong and, just as importantly, healthy. Reyes has appeared in 25 of the Mets’ 28 games and has a line of .340/.411/.443 for the month with four stolen bases in as many attempts and a pair of home runs (both homers came yesterday).
His season line sits at .337/.384/.493 and he has a league-leading 16 triples to go along with 31 doubles and 39 stolen bases. He's sixth among NL position players in FanGraphs' wins above replacement and there's a good chance he'll win the batting title over Ryan Braun.
Some teams will shy away from Reyes because of his injury history, but plenty of potential suitors are still out there. Will he obtain $100MM? Recent history says he has done his part. Now it’s up to team owners to make their offers.