I would have loved to be able to root for Reyes on his new team. Objectively, I believe he made the right decision. He went to a young team opening a new stadium in a theoretically big market where he will be a main attraction and make way too much money over way too many years. I just can’t get behind the guy for going to a division rival. Regardless, he’s gone. However, unlike my fellow blogger on this site, I don’t think this was a matter of just not getting it done. No, this was entirely more deliberate.
The Mets approached this in a very un-Mets-like fashion and, for now, that is a great thing. Previous Mets endeavors of this sort would have been wildly public, relentlessly fleshed out, and replete with mishaps to dissect and analyze for years to come. Again and again, I come back to my faith in the new front office. Sandy Alderson didn’t go public with speculation (or frustration, for that matter), didn’t get into a bidding war he could never have reasonably won, and put the franchise first. How many times have you heard that the whole is greater than its constituent parts? Well, the Mets are greater than their constituent players, even their best one. That Sandy was able not only to recognize, but adhere to that simple morsel of logic ought to renew confidence in him amongst the Mets faithful.
I won’t go into how I will remember Reyes. I have already given my take on what to make of him, and besides, the ever-brilliant Deadspin has already done a better job of it than I could have. I have already made clear in previous posts that I thought the only viable option for resigning him was to keep the offer too low for him to consider anyway. I’m glad it played out just that way. I won’t remember December 4th, 2011 as the day Reyes got away. Instead, I will remember it as the day the Mets got serious about how to build a contender. We need only look at the albatross contracts of Mo Vaughn, Castillo, K-Rod, and Bay to remind us that throwing money at the problems doesn’t work.
For the first time in a decade, I can say that I would have done everything exactly the way the team actually did it. I wish it didn’t take losing Reyes to get to that point but the road to success is bumpy, and not yet through Flushing. That being said, Sandy is in the process of laying down the bricks.