The Mets have had internal discussions about cutting ties with veteran infielder Jose Reyes, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post (via Twitter). With some upcoming roster decisions as players return to health, there could soon be added pressure to do just that.
Certainly, Reyes has done little on the field this year to stave off such a move. He’s slashing a meager .141/.208/.197, with just two extra-base hits through 71 plate appearances. While Statcast paints a slightly more promising picture — Reyes carries a .187 wOBA that’s well shy of his .250 xwOBA — the struggles can hardly be attributed solely to batted-ball misfortune.
While he brings defensive flexibility, Reyes hasn’t graded particularly well with the glove. Likewise, despite grading as a premium baserunner last year, he’s sitting at average in that regard so far in 2018. Just days away from his 35th birthday, Reyes has produced more negative value (-0.9 fWAR) than all but four other position players in the game.
Despite those less-than-promising numbers, Puma reports that there’s some hesitation from the Mets organization. Citing Reyes’s “roots” with the club, Puma says there’s a belief that he deserves a “proper sendoff.” That’s understandable, on the one hand, given that this is his 12th campaign with the club. That said, the circumstances under which Reyes came back to Queens — the Mets took him in when he was released by the Rockies after serving a domestic violence suspension — do not really speak in favor of any kind of preferential treatment.
Beyond off-the-field considerations, it’ll be tough for the Mets to hang onto Reyes given what he has shown thus far, despite the fact that he was a useful contributor over the prior two campaigns. As Tim Britton wrote today for The Athletic (subscription link), there’s a sense that the team is “teetering on the brink of another long, irrelevant summer” after it took a fifth-straight loss. While GM Sandy Alderson insists that he’s still optimistic and isn’t weighing a summer sell-off, climbing back into the postseason picture will obviously require the team to field a healthy and productive mix of players.
The Reyes question isn’t pressing just yet, but could be in the near-term. The team is carrying a five-man bench at present, with a roster that includes three catchers, four starters, and eight relievers. Upheaval is imminent, with Noah Syndergaard, Yoenis Cespedes, and Wilmer Flores currently rehabbing and perhaps not too far off from returns. With a wide variety of considerations in play, it’ll certainly be interesting to see how it all shakes out.