While most Mets' fans are in favor of signing Reyes, I disagree for the team's long-term success.
There is no doubt Reyes is one of the most exciting players in the majors, and he alone sells a lot of tickets for the Mets. I know I turn on Mets' games just for the chance at seeing Reyes fly around the bases for a stand-up triple.
The Mets will do everything possible to keep Reyes, but is it the right thing to do? I don't think so, and here's why.
Mets' owner Fred Wilpon recently said Reyes will not get "Carl Crawford money." Crawford signed a seven-year, $142 million contract this past offseason to play for the Red Sox.
If the owner of the Mets already said he is not going to get this kind of money, what do you think Reyes' agent is going to say he wants?
You guessed it—Carl Crawford money.
It only takes one stupid team to offer this contract, and he will be gone from the Mets.
From the Mets' standpoint, Reyes will be 35 in seven years. He has been relatively healthy for his career, but one serious knee injury can be a career ruiner.
For a player whose game is built on speed, when he loses a step or two in five years, will he be worth $20 million a year? No, he won't.
It is no secret the Mets are in financial trouble. After the Bernie Madoff disaster and selling a minority stake in the team to David Einhorn, the Wilpons are not the most popular people in New York.
The Mets can definitely afford Reyes with Carlos Beltran's, Francisco Rodriguez's, Luis Castillo's and Oliver Perez's contracts coming off the books.
But if they sign Reyes, will they be able to build a team around him with such a budget constraint?
Mets' fans have to ask themselves if they want a couple of superstars with cheap options at other positions or a solid, rounded team that will succeed as a team while not depending on only a couple of guys.
If the Mets are able to keep Reyes, therefore not being able to afford other components to fill out this team, they are not going to be able to put a contender on the field while depending on their farm system.
According to Baseball America, the Mets' farm system is ranked No. 20. Wilmer Flores, a shortstop, is the second best prospect the Mets have according to the magazine. Chances are, he will not be Reyes.
Trading Reyes would result in a revamped farm system with superstars in the making who would give the Mets hope for the future. Is it risky? Yes. Will the fans like it? No. But for the long-term future, it may be the right thing.
Look at this Mets' team.
Mike Pelfrey is a good pitcher, a solid No. 2.
Jon Niese is a nice third or fourth option.
R.A. Dickey is 36.
Johan Santana may never be the same pitcher again, and have you seen his contract? It is immovable.
Ike Davis is a good player, Wright is a superstar (contrary to what his owner says), Pagan has overproduced in his time as a Met, Bay is still a major question mark and the bullpen is in shambles.
With the limited budget, a big-time free agent is not coming to help.
The Mets' years were in 2006 and 2007. The time has past where this team is a serious contender.
It is time for the Mets to tell the fanbase it is time to rebuild like in 2004 and 2005. Will Mets fans be happy and come out in flocks to buy tickets? Probably not, but this would help make the Mets the serious contender the fans want.
The Mets do not want to be the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Imagine the Mets do not trade Reyes, hold out hope he will sign, have a 78-win team this year and then Reyes bolts for the Angels, who could be willing to give him Carl Crawford money?
Mets fans would be devastated, and the team would be left with nothing.
This would put the team years behind where they will be if they do trade Reyes. They would get two first-round picks if Reyes leaves as a free agent, but I would rather get established prospects than two first-round picks who may go to college before playing for the Mets.
The Mets can get a very nice return for Reyes, who is having a fantastic year. Sell when his stock is high, and maybe the Mets will become another Cleveland team who got great returns on trades for superstars. The Indians did it, and they are in first place.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel Mets fans, but you have to let go.