Mets Unlikely To Re-sign Jose Reyes
Funny, I did not realize that the Mets “exclusivity period” to negotiate with Jose Reyes had passed as of last Thursday. Why? Perhaps because I kept waiting to hear news from “a person close to the situation” regarding a rumored offer of some sort by the Mets during that exclusive window of time. Certainly, the Mets would not throw away that opportunity to re-sign their first and only batting title winner?
Yet, clearly, they did. According to various reports, the team has chosen to see what offers the star shortstop will entertain from others before the Mets show their hand. Apparently, they believe that there is a possibility that the open market will be somewhat depressed, and Reyes won’t get any kind of contract offers approaching “Carl Crawford Money”. Rather than bid against themselves, they’re going to see what the market bears, hope it will be less than a 5- or 6-year, $90-110M offer, and then swoop in with a very fair 4-year deal in the $60-70M range. After all, Jose loves playing in New York, and won’t he be happy to give the team a home-team discount?
In related news, the Wilpons are selling the Brooklyn Bridge — and entertaining all serious offers.
spin thinking behind this “wait and see” strategy is that superstars Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder may take “hometown discounts” themselves — or at the very least, accept contract offers that would seem low in comparison to what they might have demanded in the past three years. Part of their lower perceived value is due to the fact that the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers are all presumably out of the bidding for the first basemen — the Dodgers because they are broke and for sale, the other two clubs because they already have immovable first basemen with long-term contracts. It’s all nonsense, of course — pure lip service to keep the fan base appeased while discounted season tickets are on sale. Let’s be serious: if Jose Reyes can’t garner at least a 4-year / $70M deal elsewhere, the MLBPA should bring collusion charges against the owners again. And if a 4-year / $70M deal is the very best that Reyes can find outside of Flushing, he’s likely to take it from another team rather than the Mets on principle. After all, it was the Mets who refused to even accept a meeting when Reyes suggested a discussion to extend his contract prior to the 2011 season (when the Mets had significant leverage in negotiations, and likely could have locked him up for a discount), it was Sandy Alderson who said Reyes would have to prove himself before they considered an extension, it was Fred Wilpon who insisted Reyes would not get “Crawford money”, it was an unnamed Mets official who intimated that Reyes was not “Alderson’s kind of player” (presumably because he didn’t take enough walks), and now, it is the Mets who have chosen not to make any offer at all during their exclusive time to do so. After all that disrespect, why should Reyes give the Mets any kind of discount? We haven’t even gone into the time they moved him to second base to make room for Kaz Matsui, nor the time they forced him to run like a drunken chicken.
Here’s my outlook: Jose Reyes has played his last game as a New York Met. I cherish the time we were able to watch him in his youth, and that we were able to watch him grow. I’m thankful the Mets didn’t trade him in July, so that we could see him for an extra two months. If he winds up re-signing with the Mets I’ll be surprised and ecstatic, but most of my thoughts concerning Reyes are focused on hoping he signs with an American League team, and failing that, hoping he signs with a team outside the NL East. Because it’s one thing to lose Jose Reyes, but yet another to see him beating us 18 times a year playing for the Phillies, Nationals, Marlins, or Braves.
What’s your take? Do you think I’m nuts, and that the Mets have a realistic chance — or desire — to sign Reyes? Let me know in the comments.