The One Guy I’d Trade Reyes For
Mike Francesa has been ruffling feathers with his silly proposition that the Mets trade one of their “core” players. We know he’s only trying to boost ratings at a time when there is no postseason baseball to report in New York, but what the heck, I’ll bite.
First, I wouldn’t trade David Wright, and neither would the Wilpons ever trade their ideal face of the franchise. The guy is franchise owner’s dream — clean-cut, handsome, superstar offensive numbers, Gold Glove winner, media friendly, home-grown, perfect family background, and active in the community. He’s going nowhere, so it’s not even worth discussing.
As for the other “core” guys, I assume we’re talking Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and maybe Carlos Delgado.
It would appear that Delgado’s option will get picked up, and I’m not sure there’s anyone on the market who’s better at 1B — unless the Mets are going to either make a blockbuster trade or go after Mark Teixeira. Neither seems plausible. So that discussion is over.
Carlos Beltran is a player I would consider trading, but I’m not sure the Mets would get equal value for him in return. He’s not the superstar he signed up to be, and will always need a superstar hitting behind him. In other words, he’s not a guy who will lead a team — not offensively, and not figuratively. He simply doesn’t have the personality to be a big-time star. He’s perfect, though, as a complementary guy. He’d fit right in on the Yankees, for example. Maybe the Yanks would trade A-Rod for him, who the Mets would then move to 1B? Probably not. Otherwise, I’m not sure what you’d get in return for him that would make the Mets immediately better. If the Mets were considering a complete rebuilding, then he’d be the ideal guy to send away for a multi-prospect package. Otherwise, he’s not going anywhere.
That leaves Jose Reyes, who is one of my favorite players to watch of all time. That said, there’s one deal I’d make that would send him away: to Philadelphia for Jimmy Rollins.
Now that you’ve puked up your breakfast, I’ll explain why. Offensively, the two are nearly identical, with Rollins showing more power. Reyes is a great player, and is more talented overall than Rollins. Reyes is also younger, and a better defender. And faster. But Rollins has something on Reyes: attitude.
In the hypothetical situation that the Mets would consider trading Reyes, I would want it to be a trade of extreme magnitude — something that would immediately change the face and personality of the team, and send shockwaves through the organization. Bringing in J-Roll would do just that. No longer would we have to listen to Rollins yapping about how his Phillies are the team to beat, and then getting ticked off when he backed up his words. Instead, we’d be hearing him say the Mets are the team to beat, and infiltrating the entire team with that cockiness. It’s that cocksure attitude that made the Mets the most successful and most-hated team in MLB in 1986, and made for a fun season. Rollins is not one to go gently into the good night. There aren’t many characters like him left in MLB, and as much as I hate him, I’d love him if he were on my side.
In the long run, it would probably be a bad deal for the Mets — similar to when the Cardinals sent superstar shortstop Garry Templeton to the Padres for the good-field, no-hit wizard Ozzie Smith (oops, says San Diego). Reyes’ best years are surely ahead of him, and he will, I believe, eventually fulfill the enormous expectations many have placed on him.
Don’t worry, the Mets and Phillies would NEVER swap shortstops — and I doubt the Mets will ever trade Reyes, period. Even though Rollins seemed to wear out his welcome in Philly, and the Mets supposedly want to change the culture of their team, it ain’t happening. And if it came right down to it, I’d probably not make the trade if it were presented to me, and I were the Mets’ GM (a grossly unrealistic hypothetical situation in itself if ever one was presented).
But it sure would be intriguing …