MLB Trade Speculation: 10 Reasons Jose Reyes Is Worth Risking Top Prospects For

John SmithCorrespondent IIFebruary 23, 2011

MLB Trade Speculation: 10 Reasons Jose Reyes Is Worth Risking Top Prospects For

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    Jose Reyes is one of the best shortstops in the game today, and teams around the majors should seriously consider trading top prospects for him.

    The reason is quite simple, and I will get more in depth with the reasoning behind this in the later slides.

    Off the top, the shortstop position in the majors is relatively weak and Reyes is one of the best there is, both in the field and at the plate.

    Reyes has the ability to be a great leadoff hitter and he is also a threat on the bases as well. In the field, Reyes is also a solid defender at the shortstop position.

    He has played consistently in the last six years of his career, expect for the 2009 season.

    So why should teams consider trading top-level prospects for Reyes? Here are 10 reasons.

Offensive Production

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    Career Stats: .286 batting average, .335 on base percentage, 1,119 hits, 74 home runs, 379 RBI, 331 stolen bases.

    2010: 133 games, .282 average, .321 on base percentage, 159 hits, 30 stolen bases, 54 RBI, 

    Summary: Reyes has put up consistent numbers throughout his eight-year career with the New York Mets.

    Although Reyes doesn't put up big power numbers, he is still someone that gets on base quite often. As a leadoff man, that is very important.

    He is also a switch-hitter, which adds another facet to his game.

    Reyes is also a threat on the bases, which I will get to later.

Defensive Ability

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    Reyes plays consistent defense at the shortstop position.

    From a numbers standpoint, he has committed 95 errors at the shortstop position throughout his career. He has 2,378 assists and 1,190 putouts.

    He averages a 97.4 percent fielding percentage, which is the league average.

    Reyes has the quickness to make plays to his left and right, as well as the ability to turn a quick double play. He has assisted on 490 double plays throughout his career with the Mets.

Threat on The Bases

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    As I alluded to earlier, Reyes is a threat on the bases.

    Throughout his career, he has stolen 331 bases and has been thrown out 85 times.

    Although most of his steals came earlier in his career, Reyes still ended up with 30 stolen bases in the 2010 season.

    I wouldn't expect anything more out of him in the future, but pitchers will still have to account for Reyes when he is on the bases, which is always a good thing.

Leadoff Man

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    Another great aspect of Reyes' game is his ability to be an effective leadoff man.

    This will be one of the major positives that teams will consider when they think about acquiring Reyes.

    As a whole, there are a few very good leadoff men in the majors, and Reyes is near the top of that list.

    Reyes has hit in other spots of the lineup, including the No. 3 spot, but he is a great fit for a leadoff hitter, if your team needs that.

Playing Consistently

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    Reyes suffered a hamstring injury in the 2009 season, causing him to miss a substantial part of the season.

    Outside of that setback, Reyes has participated in more than 133 games in four of the last five years. From 2005 to 2008, Reyes played in more than 153 games, including more than 159 games three times.

    Reyes should be able to put up similar numbers in the future, barring any major injury.

    His injury in 2009 may have caused a dip in his numbers for the 2010 season, and there is a good chance that his numbers will improve in the 2011 season.

Mets Will Be Willing to Trade

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    The Mets will have a very tough task as a team competing in the 2010 season.

    They will struggle to maintain third place in the NL East.

    The Phillies come in as overwhelming favorites and the Braves are the second-best team in the division.

    Add onto that the fact that the Nationals are trying to improve and the Marlins will be decent, the Mets have their work cut out for them in the 2011 season.

    With that taken into account and the fact that Reyes will be a free agent following the season, the Mets should try to pick up value for him with a trade.

Future Potential

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    Reyes still has a lot of potential left in his career; he is only 27 years old and will turn 28 on June 11th, 2011.

    He probably has about three to four years left of very good production and could play effectively for the next seven or so years.

    If there is one aspect of his game that will suffer as he becomes older, it will be his ability to be a threat on the bases.

    However, Reyes could still bat in the leadoff position because he does a great job of getting on base.

Lack of Depth at The Shortstop Position

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    In preparing for my fantasy baseball draft, I have realized that there is a lack of depth at the shortstop position.

    Sure, you got Troy Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez, Elvis Andrus, Derek Jeter and Jimmy Rollins, but outside of the top six or seven, there is a drop off of talent.

    While there might be some good defensive shortstops out there, on the offensive end, the shortstop position is especially weak.

    Reyes is a top-five shortstop, and teams should consider trading some prospects for him to solidify that position.

His Contact

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    Reyes will be making $11 million this year, by far the largest amount he has been paid in a single season.

    In 2007, Reyes signed a five-year, $33.75 million contract, which averages out to about $6.75 million per year.

    For a player that is one of the best at his position, that is not that much money—he is definitely worth it.

    Reyes probably has about seven or so good years remaining in his career, if he decides to play that long. So Reyes could be looked at as the shortstop for your team for the near future.

He Is a Free Agent at The End of The Year

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    As I mentioned earlier, Reyes will become a free agent following the 2011 season.

    The Mets will have a tough time competing in 2011 because they are in the same division as the Phillies and Braves. Because of this, they need to be thinking long term, and how can they make this a better team down the road.

    With Reyes becoming a free agent, there is a good possibility that he will leave to go elsewhere following the season. Because of this, the Mets should try to add value now in case he leaves later.

    Getting young talent would be a move for the future, and there are plenty of very good 19- to 21-year-old players that need some grooming in the Triple-A level.

    Bottom line: Reyes is an elite shortstop in the game today, and teams should seriously consider sending top prospects to add him to their team.