A Fans Reaction: The Mets Prudently Allow Reyes to Walk

It’s easy to criticize Mets GM Sandy Alderson for allowing their all-star shortstop, Jose Reyes, to walk away so easily. After all, Reyes is one of the most entertaining players in Major League Baseball. He is a catalyst any team would enjoy at the top of their line-up.

As reported by multiple sources Jose Reyes signed a bloated six-year, $106 million contract to play for the suddenly unrestrained Florida Marlins.

With the agonizing shadows of Bernie Madoff, foundering attendance, and the pressure to reduce payroll for the upcoming season, re-signing Reyes was not an attractive option for the New York Mets. They would have been pressed to have spent the rumored $70-80 million over six-years they considered offering him, never mind the king’s ransom paid by the Marlins ownership.

Simply stated, Jose Reyes’ contract to bring his considerable talents to Florida is simply ridiculous. Both the Mets and Milwaukee Brewers (another Reyes suitor) were wise to avoid this bidding war.

The Marlins are banking on the 28-year old, four-time all-star to lead them to a world championship. The current NL batting champion had a stellar season in 2011, hitting .337 with 39 stolen bases. He set a career high in OBP at .384. Reyes is a career .292 hitter and has been the National League in stolen base leader three times.

With the good, comes the bad with Jose Reyes. Specifically, Reyes has not shown the ability to stay healthy. Over the past three seasons he has averaged just 98 games played. Not good news for a team willing to shell out almost $18 million per year even if it is for a player the caliber of Reyes.

It’s my belief that Sandy Alderson and the Mets brass made a wise decision not to pursue him. Additionally, they should be applauded from a public relations standpoint for managing fan expectations in bringing Reyes back to a Mets team in desperate need of an overhaul. As reported by FOX Latino, the Mets never made an official contract offer to Jose Reyes. The fans must realize this decision was made in the best long term interests of the club.

So where do the Mets look now?

While the New York Yankees of 1990 did not have the financial pressures that burden the Mets, the teams are strikingly similar. That Yankees team finished the season 67-95, seventh in the American League East. There lone star was Don Mattingly. It’s a team whose best pitcher was arguably Erik Plunk.

That same year, Gene ‘Stick’ Michael was hired as GM of the Yankees. He was committed to building the team’s farm system that produced Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter, and Jorge Posada. He added the likes of Paul O’Neill in a move that became a key cog to four world championships in five years for the Bombers.

In my opinion, the Mets should travel a similar course. Long term, I am confident they will solve their financial troubles and thrive in one of the best markets in the world. It will take some patience on the part of Mets fans, but their model for success is right in from of them.

References: http://www.baseball-reference.com/

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