We heard the suggestion yesterday from David Lennon of Newsday that the Mets could be open to a reunion with infielder Jose Reyes, and now Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the club is “debating internally” whether to pursue him. ESPNNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin suggests that the team’s thinking has shifted in recent days, as sources had previously suggested there was little chance of a match (Twitter link).
It’s not difficult to see the connection on paper. Reyes had his greatest success with New York before leaving the organization via free agency before the 2012 campaign. Though his bat and glove have faded more recently, the Mets are desperate to bolster an infield that is currently missing Lucas Duda and David Wright.
MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo tweets that the Mets believe Reyes could play third base, though to this point in his career he has exclusively been a middle infielder (appearing almost entirely at shortstop). In theory, the switch-hitter could share time at the hot corner with Wilmer Flores. Either or both could also move around the infield as needed.
Now at the tail end of the deal he signed with the Marlins, Reyes is in quite a different spot than the last time he was on the open market. He has been traded twice and was recently designated for assignment by the Rockies. (Though he is still in DFA limbo, Reyes will ultimately clear waivers without a claim.) In the interim, he not only exhibited some erosion of ability on the field but served a suspension after being arrested and charged with domestic violence against his wife. While those charges were dropped, there’s little question that Reyes comes with serious questions beyond those of most aging ballplayers.
Reyes had continued to deliver above-average offensive production over the first three years of his big contract, but only slashed .274/.310/.378 over 519 plate appearances last year. Defensive metrics haven’t loved his glove for quite some time, though perhaps the lack of range would be less of an issue at third or second.
All said, it’s not clear that Reyes would represent a solution, but the Mets wouldn’t necessarily need him to represent more than a fill-in piece. There are still nearly six weeks until the trade deadline, so New York could simply look to hold things over while weighing more significant additions. And since Reyes is still being paid by the Rockies, the Mets could simply pay him the minimum for whatever time he spends at the major league level. Still, given the serious baggage and the lack of a positive recent track record, it’s far from obvious that Reyes would be a worthwhile target.