Mets Sign Another Reyes

Today the Mets bolstered their bullpen by signing free agent reliever Al Reyes, formerly of the Tampa Bay Rays — no doubt based on the scouting report by MetsToday’s own loyal reader “sincekindergarten”, who suggested Reyes a few days ago.

Signing Reyes makes great sense from every angle — and solidifies the Mets’ chance to finish the year with the more Reyeses on the roster than any other MLB team.

Seriously though, in Al Reyes you get not a great pitcher, but a decent pitcher who could benefit from the mystery of not pitching in the NL since 2005. His experience as a closer in the hard-hitting AL East certainly can’t hurt, either.

What can hurt, though, is his shoulder — he’s been on the DL twice this season with tendinitis issues. When he did pitch, he was inconsistent, sporting a 4.37 ERA in 26 games — though he did strike out 19 in 23 innings.

Is he the answer for the Mets’ closer job? Not likely, but if he’s healthy he might be able to get two or three outs in innings 6-8.

In related news, it’s been rumored that David Weathers, David Riske, Huston Street, Eric Gagne, and Jamie Walker have all cleared waivers.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude August 20, 2008 at 5:54 pm
    Reyes is also 38, so whatever health issues he has or had will only be complicated by age. But obviously the more arms and options the Mets have in the bullpen the better, and it was key to sign this guy before Sept 1 so that, in case he does emerge as one of the team’s better relievers, he can be carried on the postseason roster. Hopefully the rest he has recieved since becoming a free agent has healed his wounds, and the “unknown factor” of coming over from the AL will create confusion amongst his new NL opposition – very much like JC Romero for the Phillies one year ago.

    At the very least you can no longer say that Omar is sitting on his hands while problems on his team are going unaddressed. Ayala and Al Reyes may not be Huston Street and Brian Fuentes, but they are something, and combined all they cost was Anderson Hernandez.

    So now will Reyes head to AAA for conditioning and be called up prior to Sept 1, or will he hop right onto the 25-man roster and displace Joe Smith or Brian Stokes? Inquiring minds would like to know…

  2. joe August 20, 2008 at 8:11 pm
    Hmm … Omar on his hands …. couldn’t it also be termed “too little, too late”? The thing that bugs me is Minaya’s explanation this week is that players have to pass through waivers. Yeah, well, we knew we needed bullpen help before July 31, and nothing was done. And there are a few arms available, as pointed out here.

    Anyway … regarding Reyes, I would guess and hope that he will start out in A ball, under the supervision of Randy Niemann, at least for a few days, to make sure he’s healthy and to make any adjustments that may be causing the shoulder issues. Judging from the Mets’ medical decisions this year, I’m not counting on it and expect to see him in a Major League uniform by the weekend.

    I’d send down Smith and prescribe R&R, but I fear that Stokes will be the one to go.

  3. sincekindergarten August 21, 2008 at 4:22 am
    He’s starting in Binghamton. Also, I’d be sending Smith to N’awlins until Labor Day, too. We’ll see Al Reyes with the big club by next Wednesday (at Phillthy), I would think.
  4. isuzudude August 21, 2008 at 6:08 am
    I also think Smith would be the proper call to demote. Funny how back in May (I think) we all were lobbying for Smith to stay in favor of Sosa but feared the Mets would choose the latter because of his veteran status. But now we are lobbying for the veteran journeyman, Stokes, to stay over Smith. Ain’t baseball crazy?

    Joe, I agree that even a blind man could have seen that the Mets needed bullpen help (and perhaps even a corner OF) before the non-waiver deadline. But I think you make it sound too easy to go out and acquire some stud arm for the pen. The arms that have been dealt before and after the deadline include Chad Bradford, Scott Eyre, Kip Wells, Brett Tomko, Horacio Ramirez, Arthur Rhodes, Kyle Farnsworth, Damaso Marte, and Jon Rauch. Maybe I’m missing a couple, but those are the main ones I can recall. Anyway, the last 4 from that list cost either a top prospect or major league talent to acquire, a transaction the Mets were not in position to swing. And of the first 5 on the list, I think only Bradford would be a name that interests us, but he is pretty much a carbon copy of Joe Smith, and the Mets were shopping for arms who could get outs from both sides of the plate. I would have loved to have seen Omar go out and get Huston Street for 2 or 3 of our marginal prospects, but that’s not realistic. It’s more like the teams who possess the decent arms for sale jacked up the price to suit the market, and the Mets decided they were better off spending their money at a later time on more affordable commodities. I’m not going to fault Omar for that. If anything, I’d credit him for not further depleting the farm for a rental arm, but still working hard after the deadline to make sure issues are addressed.

  5. Micalpalyn August 21, 2008 at 2:13 pm
    Isuzu: Every year the GMs of lower echelon clubs try to strike it rich with a mediocre arm. Everyone wants to do the next Bagwell for Larry Anderson, Isringhausen for Billy Taylor, or Doyle Alexander for Smoltz. If Omar had spun Murphy and Evans for damaso marte no one would have blinked. but try that today and there would be mutiny.

    I’d DL Duaner and give his shoulder some rest.