With the New York Mets' recent financial situation and the San Francisco Giants' desperate need for offense and a real shortstop, Jose Reyes has been one of the hottest names floating around MLB trade rumors.
This is an intriguing idea for both teams. They have exactly what each other wants and needs. However, neither team will bite the bait for a small price.
Reyes will be a free agent at the end of the season. The Mets are facing a $1 billion lawsuit due to their involvement with the Bernie Madoff scandal. All that is for sure is that they will be reducing their payroll significantly in 2012.
If New York is not a postseason contender (in the highly competitive NL East) when the July 31 trade deadline rolls around, you can bet that there will be no more "Joseeeeeé, José, José, Joseeeeeee—José, José" chants for Los Mets fans at Citi Field come August.
The defending world champion San Francisco Giants have been plagued with issues in 2011 of similar magnitude but very different circumstances.
San Francisco won its championship in 2010 because of its dominant pitching staff and timely hitting. A band of misfits and castoffs was strategically strung together by mastermind general manager Brian Sabean.
Sabean did everything in his power to keep his champions together, making only a few small moves during the offseason. However, fate destroyed his careful work when San Francisco was plagued by several devastating injuries.
A team that has notoriously struggled offensively and barely strung together enough runs to secure wins for its staff has already lost almost all of its biggest producers at some point this season.
Heartbreaking injuries to the comeback Pablo Sandoval, sensation Buster Posey, the consistent and reliable Freddy Sanchez and a few other utility players have created a "giant" need for an offensive spark plug.
The Giants currently hold the sixth-worst batting average in the majors and are last in runs scored.
Somehow they have managed to stay within half a game of first place in the NL West the entire season (proof that great pitching really does go a loooong way, my friends). Although the NL West is admittedly not the most competitive division, this has been no easy feat for the Giants, and they will need to make a move to stay there.
The Giants have a big hole at shortstop, especially with an aging Miguel Tejada picking up most of the playing time there and hitting just .226.
With second baseman Freddy Sanchez possibly out for the season and the middle infield positions being held down by high-potential but not so high-impact players who have been brought up to the majors in wake of recent injuries, the need for an offensive shortstop with speed and range just became a high priority for San Francisco.
If you looked up "Jose Reyes" in the dictionary, that is exactly what you would see: "an offensive shortstop with speed and range," and one having one of the best years of his career, leading the league in runs and average with the second-most stolen bases.
If San Francisco wants to have a shot at repeating its title—or even remaining a contender, for that matter—it will probably need someone of the likes of Jose Reyes to fill the void in 2011.
What exactly would the Giants have to give up to make this happen?
New York needs good, young players, particularly pitchers. San Francisco has many very valuable young players and pitchers, but some may have too much future value to be traded.
This could involve Giants top pitching prospects such as first-round draft pick Zach Wheeler, as well as young position players such as Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford, who both still have developing to do but have already shown potential at the big league level.
Other players that will be targeted are members of the Giants' top-tier starting rotation.
Giants GM Brian Sabean will not give up his ace Tim Lincecum or workhorse Matt Cain. He would be lucky to get rid of Barry Zito in a package to the Mets. However, this could be even more costly for the Giants, who still owe the struggling lefty over $40 million and would likely have to buy out the rest of his contract.
With the season comeback player Ryan Vogelsong is having, you can bet the Giants are going to hold on to him as long as he keeps up the best numbers and performance of the entire pitching staff.
However, No. 3 starter Jonathan Sanchez, who has had several shaky starts this season, although he can be lights out when he's locked in, has been relatively inconsistent with 38 wins and 44 losses in six seasons with San Francisco.
It might be smart for the Giants to include Sanchez in a package with prospects to bring Reyes to SF.
It all depends. Do the Giants want to give up the potential future success of their franchise over the next decade to bring Jose to the team for the rest of 2011?
Yes, with the year Reyes is having, his addition would all but guarantee postseason success.
However, if San Francisco makes a trade for Jose, it would likely be a short-term "rental," as when he goes on the free agent market after the World Series, it would have to re-sign him.
Reyes is only 28 years old, and if he keeps up his All-Star numbers through the second half, he will demand and likely be awarded a big-time superstar contract the likes of those of Troy Tulowitzki and Carl Crawford.
The Giants will not sign Reyes to a long-term contract. If they do, it will cost them.
Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson's contracts are all up in the next few years. This is a team that is built around pitching, and it won the Giants a World Series. If they want to repeat as champions anytime soon, they need to save their money to keep the pitching staff intact.
Look for a team with a higher payroll to sign Reyes for 2012. The New York Yankees? That's a whole other story.
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