Playing solid baseball as of late, the New York Mets may still see themselves as sellers at the 2011 MLB trade deadline, and the first piece to be moved will no doubt be All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes.
There has been plenty of speculation all season long as to where Reyes could potentially land, and some teams have even gone as far as making their known interest become public.
Reyes is a five-tool player that any team should covet, especially if the chances of a deep postseason run are present, and because of his value the Mets should be expecting a pretty package in return.
While many teams will certainly enter the bidding war for arguably the best current leadoff hitter in all of baseball, only a few can wow the Mets enough to iron out a deal. Here is my take on ranking the five best possible teams.
In a deal that would most certainly involve Angels shortstop Erick Aybar and some minor-league pitching prospects, the Angels will be receiving the league leader in triples (six) and stolen bases (17), not to mention the exciting, emotional leader of the Mets clubhouse.
The Angels play in a large market in LA, and while it’s not the same as the Mets in New York, the Angles should have the prospects and money to spend on a deal that would send Reyes west this summer.
After dealing with a calf issue in 2009 and a thyroid issue in 2010, Jose Reyes managed to see the field just 168 times over the course of those two seasons. After playing just 133 games in what was considered a down year in 2010, Reyes was worth 2.8 wins above replacement.
In arguably the best year of current Cardinals shortstop Ryan Theriot’s career, he played in 149 games in 2008 and was worth a total of 3.1 wins above replacement.
Analyzing this at face value, it seems a Jose Reyes down year equals a good season for Theriot, further emphasizing the St. Louis Cardinals' need for a better shortstop.
If the Cards decide this is the direction they need to go in at the deadline, the Mets will certainly ask for budding five-tool prospect Shelby Miller and a few more vital pieces.
Adding a dynamic piece like Jose Reyes to the Cardinals' potent lineup may be just enough to push them over the edge in the NL Central in 2011, but of course, a lot weighs on Albert Pujols’ impending decision this summer.
He brings up a lot of really good points and leaves no stone left unturned in his first excerpt taking a look at the trade market for Jose Reyes this summer.
To be honest, I really couldn’t have said it any better myself:
"The Reds have the best farm system of any team that has a need for Reyes. Although they are happy with Paul Janish defensively at short, can you imagine Jose Reyes on the Reds? Instant World Series contenders (if they’re not already). A package would have to include one of their top catching prospects, either Devin Mesoraco or Yasmani Grandal; middle infielder Billy Hamilton or Zack Cozart; a young bat like Juan Francisco; and a starting pitcher with tremendous upside like a Homer Bailey. If the Reds want Reyes, if the Reds can afford Reyes, they have enough to get Reyes.”
John Heyman of SI.com says that the Sox are looking for infield prospect Jose Iglesias to show he is ready as a hitter for the big leagues and that it’s “highly unlikely” they would deal their Jose for the Mets’ Jose, but then again, experts like Bowden find it very likely that Boston would be willing to cut ties with Iglesias for Reyes.
At any rate, the Red Sox have already made some serious improvements to their team that have propelled them to World Series favorites, and the addition of a Reyes-type player would only help enforce this fact even more.
Reyes has been hitting, running and fielding very well to start the season, possibly making it quite hard for Giants brass to hold their tongue and keep quiet, but if they want our guy, they’ll have to give up a pretty penny.
The Mets would target 1B/OF Brandon Belt, minor league right-hander Zack Wheeler, shortstop prospects Ehire Adrianza or Brandon Crawford and second baseman Charlie Culberson.
It’s not Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner or Jonathan Sanchez, but the potential is there for some great pieces if the Mets eventually decide to become sellers and rebuild for the future.