Emotions do not always hamper decision-making.
Think of relationships. If you are unhappy, following your feelings brings you happiness. “Doing what’s right” often correlates with the wishes of your significant other.
But there are moments when emotions must be cast aside –like when trying to build a World Series champion for the first time since 1986.
July is the most important month in the New York Mets’ quest to win their next World Series. That distinction will certainly not come in 2011, so the trade deadline is GM Sandy Alderson’s lone opportunity to accelerate when it does.
The Mets own three assets whose organizational value lessens with each passing moment: Carlos Beltran, Francisco Rodriguez and MVP candidate Jose Reyes.
Each player must have a new zip code by August 1.
One of the few negatives that a Stanley Cup victory by your favorite team brings is that unfinished articles become ancient during the celebratory “I’m not writing a damned thing this week” period. Since the night Tim Thomas lifted the Conn Smythe Trophy, Reyes has attempted valiantly to damage my argument.
Most Mets fans would pack Beltran and Rodriguez’s bags. They recognize that the prospects Beltran and Rodriguez can deliver are far more valuable to the well-being of the Mets than any production that the two veterans provide.
But Reyes elicits a different reaction. His game is aesthetically pleasing. “He’s the most exciting player in baseball," they subjectively proclaim. Public sentiment is on his side, for he has played as well as any position player in the National League.
Parting with Reyes makes Mets fans cringe. Newsflash: It should not.
When determining whether a prospective free agent should be dealt at the trade deadline, there are two questions that must be answered:
A) Is your team going to make a deep playoff run?
This answer is not debatable. If you think it is, please click here. Elaborating further simply wastes words.
B) Is your team going to resign the free agent?
Ahh yes, the million, err $120 million dollar question.
Hearts will be broken, but Reyes is not resigning with the Mets. Few stars resign with their organization upon reaching free agency. Fewer resign with organizations in financial peril comparable to the Mets.
Reyes’s electric run of late comes at the perfect time for the team to capitalize. Contenders everywhere—New York, Tampa Bay, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, etc.—need shortstops. The minor league systems of many of these teams are loaded with talent. A haul similar to what Texas received for Mark Teixeira can rejuvenate the organizational pipelines.
Plus, if the Mets deal Reyes to a small-market franchise, assuming they have the money—and putting aside the fact that there are better ways to spend money than overpaying oft-injured players who rely on their legs—the Mets would have every opportunity to sign him back in November. There is no reason not to trade him.
Alderson must put emotions aside and do what is best for the long-term health of the franchise.
Trading Beltran and Rodriguez are the singles. (The Boston Red Sox could desperately use Beltran’s bat in right field. Plus, they have two young shortstops to offer as Reyes’s replacement. And everyone can use bullpen help.)
Trading Reyes is the home-run ball, the 3-1 fastball that Alderson cannot afford to let pass.
Citi Field’s first championship banner is not coming with Jose Reyes; Alderson has an opportunity to increase how fast it comes without him.