Monday, December 5, 2011

Reyes is Gone for Better or Worse

Jose Reyes was the future of the Mets, but now is just another in a long line of what could have beens. The Miami Marlins just outbid the New York Mets for the services of the All Star/NL batting champ shortstop that was the face of a franchise for many hopeful Mets fans.

One could argue that Reyes is one of the few Mets players in the last two decades that could get people in the seats just to see him. He was energetic, exciting, but often injured. Our hopes for Reyes never quite translated into reality until this past season. Just when our dreams seemed to finally becoming true, the nightmare that is the New York Mets swooped in to crush them.

I'm not going to get into the details of money, the solvency of the team or how we were outbid by a famously cheap organization. The fact is if the Mets REALLY wanted to keep Reyes, they could have. But they chose not to.

The Mets had the money to spend, but didn't.

Whether this is the right move in the long run will be overlooked by the time that moment comes. We live in a short term world and a fan base that is desperate for some glimmer of hope or ray of sunshine, this move is just another in a long line of dark clouds that hover over Queens.

Chances are Reyes will not repeat the success of 2011. He was healthy for the majority of the season and was hitting at a ridiculous rate that had been unseen in his entire career. We also saw him slow a bit on his propensity for stealing bases and of course he spent some time on the disabled list.

All that coupled by the fact that he's only played an average of 100 games over the last 4 or 5 seasons means that not signing Reyes to a long term contract for big money was a smart investment for the future.

But here's your short term losses.

The Mets just lost the interest of a major part of their casual fan base who comes to games or watches SNY to see Reyes play. The team also just flushed down the drain one of the players they have built up for the last 7 years. Wright and Reyes were the shining stars that made many 30 something Mets fans temporarily forget about the coulda/woulda/shoulda that was Doc & Darryl.

On top of that, the Mets have just parted with the best lead off hitter in the National League, one of the best defensive shortstops and their best threat on the base paths. Oh yeah, and Citi Field was made for a player with Reyes' skill set.

Again, the long term rewards of this move will not be remembered. In 6 years when Reyes only plays 80 games due to injuries, Mets fans aren't going to say, "Wow, it's a good thing we didn't give Reyes a 6 year deal!" Instead we'll be forced to remember the player we had as he continues to haunt the Mets faithful throughout the next 5 seasons as a star player on a division rival.

And we all know that when the Mets trade a player, they tend to get better. So it's time to say so long to Jose Reyes and trust that Mets management knows what their doing although if history has anything to prove that's not likely.

No one is calling the next 5 years the Ruben Tejada era, but maybe we will? Probably not. Prove us wrong Mr. Alderson.

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