Not only Sandy Alderson and the Mets will have the Reyes Dilemma to deal with this off-season.
Easily one of the top 3 FA this off-season, factoring in his position on defense he could be the top target for countless teams. Jose is one point behind in the batting race for the NL and is in his prime playing a prime position. So where is the dilemma?
Obviously with Reyes, he is going to get a high dollar amount per year. No matter what the deal, factor in 16-22M per year. The question becomes how many years? Since returning from the disabled list for the 2nd time this year with leg injuries his line looks as follows.
.299 BA .716 OPS 4 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 10 BB, 10 K, 2 RBI in 98 PA. Factor that over around 700 PA and you get a season of 28 2B, 0 3b, 0 HR, 70 BB, 70 K, 14 RBI…. Yeah some of those numbers are likely to change. You would have to have more RBI assuming that many hits and he would luck into a HR here and there. More concerning though are the stats that make Reyes who he is. 2B, 3B and SB. Clearly the Mets and Reyes are at this point in full protection mode saying so openly.
Assuming Reyes gets a deal around 6/110 million can a team afford to have that much money wrapped up in something that may have to be wrapped in bubble wrap to keep in the lineup? Look I am the first to point out how Reyes was an iron man for years 2005-2008. However, heading into 2012 Reyes has not played a full season since. Now Reyes is back but is either holding himself back or being held back.
While replacing Reyes would be difficult for sure, when looking at total production for the season is it as hard as we think?
Here is Erick Aybar’s stats for the year:
If Aybar was a FA what type of contract would he get? Obviously no where near as much as Reyes. However, would the money spent on him combined with the money saved from Reyes and spent on pitching produce a better result?
Aybar is not a FA this year and may not be for a while as he is entering his final arbitration year and I would expect an extension. Aybar is not the point. The question remains, can a team other than the Angels, Sox, Yankees, Phillies… your near luxury tax or over teams afford to tie up such a large percentage of their salary to a player that has to be protected? That could average only 100 games a year healthy or 120 games playing at less than full-speed?
This type of question pains me to ask. I love Jose Reyes and the energy he brings when healthy. I have spent 9 years of my life watching him in awe of his ability. However, as we have always said the Mets are paying Sandy to make tough decisions not necessarily popular decisions.
Ask yourself this question, would this team be better with Tejada at SS with an additional Closer and SP replacing Reyes salary? Not just for 2012 but for 2012-2017?