Jose Reyes Will Stay Focused on Baseball

In case you haven’t heard by now, Sandy Alderson reached out to the agents of Jose Reyes regarding his current and future contract situation, and the agents relayed the message that Jose is not interested in contract discussions during the season.

Can you blame him?

Back in mid-December of 2010, I posed the question “Would You Extend Jose Reyes?“. The question elicited over 30 comments, which is a fair amount for a little site like MetsToday. My feeling back then was to extend Reyes as soon as possible, while his value was relatively low (because of his injury history and thyroid concerns) and he was open to talking. Also, I felt that it wouldn’t hurt to at least have talks with Reyes to get an idea of what he was looking for — because you never know. Maybe he would have considered a 2- or 3-year extension. Maybe he would have considered a hometown discount. Or maybe not, but you wouldn’t know unless you asked.

As it was, the Mets refused to have any discussions — they preferred to “see how he plays”. A strange answer, because, if Reyes played poorly, then there wouldn’t be any point in extending him, and if he played well, they’d never be able to afford him.

Then in January, Reyes pulled a Pujols: he wasn’t going to engage in contract talks once the season began. On the one hand, it was a negotiation ploy, to get the Mets to at least open the door. On the other hand, it was Reyes doing something responsible — his job is to focus on baseball, not finances.

Now that the situation has presented itself, what do you think? Should Reyes be open to at least listening to what the Mets have to say — even though he wasn’t offered the same respect during the winter? Is this the Mets simply saving face for PR’s sake — i.e., having the excuse of “well, we tried to talk extension and he wasn’t interested” ? Do you think there is any possibility that a conversation could occur in-season? And if so, is there any possibility the Mets can afford what Reyes might be seeking? Finally, do you think there are any factors that could change everything — for example, if Reyes suffers an injury or if the Mets trade away a big contract? Let’s discuss in the comments.

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. Joe June 22, 2011 at 2:33 pm
    If the Mets are actually serious, they can talk to his agent(s); never say never about anything. The Mets upped the price; if they need to be “punished” or something, a total “don’t talk to me or my people” isn’t necessary.

    I don’t know how serious the Mets are — don’t know what is going on behind the scenes. Some analyst for the NY Daily News today thinks this report suggests he won’t be back. I don’t know. Hope that isn’t true. Could be.

    An injury will surely affect things. Getting rid of a big contract or getting something that opens up the way for Reyes can help. Don’t see it helping TOO much. What big contract really are we talking about?

    Can the Mets afford it? I’m thinking yes. Money is coming off the books. That will cover the first few years. But, again, don’t really know exactly how their financial accounts balance out.

  2. Walnutz15 June 22, 2011 at 3:03 pm
    Still very firmly believe that Reyes was never going to sign early. If my agent ever advised that, when I had complete faith in myself to come back and play to the level I was capable – then I’d have let him go on the spot.

    Reyes and his agent did everything right this winter — and the idea that he’s actually on the field and has been playing ridiculously well?

    The exact situation everyone wished to avoid.

    I can’t knock the Mets here, however. The only thing stupid about all of this was Wilpon coming out and saying that he’d “never get Carl Crawford money”.

    Otherwise, I stand by my initial commentary from back in December:

    “Reyes is a VERY tricky case.

    With a guy like Crawford on the market this winter — I think Reyes had very little chance of signing an early extension; as some wanted to rush into with him as soon as Alderson took over.

    I understand the fan-sentiment — but realistically speaking: Reyes never would have signed that early. I think you’d even have a hard time presenting an extension to him right now.

    If his agent’s worth a single dime, then he’s stressing the importance of health to his client for the upcoming season; and that he’ll be a VERY rich man by the time next winter’s through.

    Crawford’s contract
    Tulowitzki’s extension
    Jeter’s financials, at this point in his career

    All should make Reyes flash a tremendous smile.

    A solid season, coupled with 150-games player — and he can just about ask for whatever he wants…..because someone will very likely give it to him.

    Reyes’ agent is at a point where it would be foolish to let his client rush into anything.

    Personally, I’m of the belief that it would be crazy to pay a player like Jose Reyes upward of $20MM / per — and I actually love the guy’s tools (which are in the process of becoming less special [definitely lost a step on the basepaths last season, I wouldn’t try to deny that]).

    He has a TON to prove this season.

    Crawford’s contract was just insane to me….yet, I can see a desperate team like the Nationals (w/Werth) flying out of nowhere to drive things up for us next off-season; provided it gets there.

    Right now, there’s absolutely no benefit (either to Reyes, or his agent) to sign anything without seeing what transpires within the first couple of months…..and if he did want to, I’d instantly be even more leery of his health.

    He’s capable of commanding ridiculous money; which is scary for the Mets in any situation.

    If there’s 1 thing that’s become perfectly clear to me this winter, it’s that the Mets will be paying through the nose for Jose Reyes’ services next winter….if not, earlier.

    He will NOT be cheap.

    So much is dependent upon the condition of his legs, that I’d need to see him until at least the ASB to have any sort of idea how I’d want to proceed with him.

    Too many “up in the air” factors right now…..and we’re at a point where I think it’s a stretch to say the Mets would get anything remotely close to the packages that people want to propose with his name attached.

    …which is why we’re in a tough spot.

    I’d have to be completely floored with any kind of return, and realistically speaking – I just can’t see it at this point in time.

    Best move anyone’s made so far?

    Putting it out there that Reyes [or anyone else on the roster] could be had…..just make sure it’s the right deal before you go pulling any triggers.

    I expect him to be here in April…..and just hope the Mets have a good idea of how they want to proceed with him as the summer plays itself out.”

    In typical Met fashion – I have absolutely no clue which way they’re really leaning here. For an organization that botches everything, and makes mountains out of molehills — this is looking like Mount Everest right now; and you just hope they’ll be serious about things, by the time this gets to the off-season.

    ….if it does.

    I’m Reyes? I want to go to a winner, while racking up the best contract on the market.

    Later, Mutts.

  3. izzy June 22, 2011 at 5:45 pm
    Reyes is a man of his word. He said in the Spring he didn’t want to negotiate during the season. Guess Sandy wasn’t given a telephone book with agnets names for 7 or 8 months. Sandy dissed him and his agents with his comments about needing a season to observe and of course Fred. fred just couldn’t keep his mouth shut just wanting sympathy from a possible jury pool and all he did was diss Jose some more. Now Jose will test the market. Why should he do otherwise. Besides this regime, the Mets moved him to second for Kaz Matsui! There were questions over the years about his attitude and other things. Anyone surprised this guy wants to test the market. This ain’t the Yankees and Geo Steinbrenner.