MLB: How Should the New York Mets Handle Jose Reyes this Season?

Nick Carlo@@carlo2612Analyst IIFebruary 13, 2011

NEW YORK - AUGUST 14: Jose Reyes #7 of the New York Mets in the dugout before a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on August 14, 2010 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

This upcoming baseball season will be Jose Reyes' most important season of his entire career. 

So many questions will be answered for him.  While no one knows if the answers will be positive or negative, Reyes just has to go out there and play his type of baseball.

The main question surrounding Reyes is how long will he remain a New York Met.  Some people believe he will retire as a Met, but some people think he will be on another team as soon as this season's trade deadline.

Reyes is in the walk year of the contract, and his last two seasons haven't been his best.  He's had his share of injuries the past two years, and his value is hurting because of it.  Earlier this offseason, the Mets exercised Reyes' contract option for $11 million.

Some people are saying Reyes isn't a Sandy Alderson-type of player.  Alderson is the new Mets general manager, and he follows many "Moneyball" ways.  He values stats such as OBP and SLG percentage over traditional statistics like batting average.

Alderson is a great baseball mind, and many people believe he will eventually turn the Mets around.  One of the biggest decisions he will have to make with the Mets is whether or not to keep Reyes.

If the Mets aren't in contention once the trade deadline approaches, there is a possibility Reyes could be traded.  He is still young, and if he puts up Reyes-like numbers, then he will have extremely high value.  The Mets could get some great prospects in exchange for him.

If the Mets are contending come the trade deadline, then Reyes will most likely finish the season in New York.  Questions about him will rise again once the offseason approaches though.  Given the financial situation the Mets are in, if Reyes has a great season and wants a nine-figure contract, it remains to be seen if the Mets will be able to afford him.

Reyes would be a prized possession in the free agent market, and if the Mets want to keep him, they will have to compete with other teams for him.  No one knows exactly what Alderson thinks about Reyes. 

I don't buy the whole argument that Reyes isn't an Alderson-type player.  I don't care what type of players Alderson likes, Reyes is one of the most talented players he has ever worked with.  He is the most dynamic leadoff hitter in the league when he's healthy, and I hope Alderson realizes that.

Health is a huge question for Reyes this season, but fans should believe he can put together a healthy season this year.  Reyes has only been prone to injuries the past two years.  Before that, he was one of the Mets' most reliable players. 

Reyes is still young, and his body is in fantastic shape.  He is coming into Spring Training 100 percent, and he is looking at a huge season for himself.  Assuming he stays healthy, he will compete for the MVP award this season.

Reyes is a once-in-a-lifetime player, and the Mets are extremely lucky to have him.  The numbers clearly show that when he hits, the Mets win.  When Reyes missed most of the 2009 season, the Mets were horrid.  Last year he played 133 games, and the Mets won 79 of those games. 

In a season where everything seemed to go wrong, the Mets went 79-83.  That is not bad at all, of course much more is expected from a New York team, but that record is not horrible.  The Mets' record dramatically increased from 2009-2010, and Reyes was one of the biggest reasons.

It is true the Mets haven't made the playoffs since 2006, but they have had solid seasons since then; they were extremely close to making the playoffs in 2007 and 2008.  The team had late-season collapses both times that prevented them from making the playoffs.

In 2007, the Mets won 88 games, and in 2008, they won 89 games.  Reyes played 160 games in 2007 and 159 games in 2008.  He also played in 153 games in 2006, exactly 20 more games than he played last season.

In 2006, the Mets went 97-65, and in 2010, the Mets went 79-83.  They won nearly a total of 20 more games in 2006 than they did in 2010.  Reyes played in 20 more games in 2006 for the Mets than he did in 2010.  If you ask me, that is no coincidence.

The truth is that Reyes is the engine of this team, and when he hits, the Mets win.  Simple as that.  I believe Alderson will turn the Mets back into contenders, and I trust him, but there are two things I do not want him to do.

Those two things are getting rid of David Wright and Jose Reyes.

Those two players are the heart of the New York Mets, and I hope Alderson realizes that.  If Reyes has a Reyes-like season, then Alderson should do everything in his power to keep him a Met for years to come. 

If you take the motor out of a car then it won't go anywhere, remember that Sandy.