Jose Reyes: 5 Teams Who Should Risk Signing Him Long-Term if Star Leaves NY
After the conclusion of the World Series, the Mets will have a specified length of time to sign the shortstop, or else he will most likely test the free agent market. Of course, the Mets would love to re-sign Reyes for the next five or six years, but being that Reyes will most likely try to get as much money as possible this offseason, it's not certain that he will return in 2012 as a Met.
That being said, there are also a good number of teams that will be interested in Reyes' services. Teams in need of a shortstop and/or leadoff hitter will certainly try to land the superstar. Here are five teams that are very likely to make an offer to Reyes.
1. San Francisco Giants
One team that could definitely benefit by having Jose Reyes leading off and playing shortstop is the San Francisco Giants.
In 2011, the Giants barely missed the postseason and while their pitching was dominant once again, their offense struggled mightily. They also may have an opening at shortstop, especially if top prospect Brandon Crawford needs more time in the minor leagues to develop his hitting.
Going into 2012, Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval are projected to arguably be the only feared hitters in the Giants' lineup. Right fielder Carlos Beltran, a former Met, could definitely put in a good word about Reyes to Giants' manager Bruce Bochy and general manager Brian Sabean. Beltran, along with Reyes were both part of the Mets' core from 2005-2011.
There is also a possibility that the Giants could make a run at signing either Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder to play first base. This could both help and hurt the possibility of them signing Reyes as well.
If the Giants give a large contract to Pujols or Fielder and sign Reyes as well, they would easily become the best all-around team in baseball. However, depending on what the Giants' payroll will be, signing Pujols or Fielder could also hurt their chances of also signing Reyes. After all, money doesn't grow on trees.
All in all, the possibility of Reyes playing alongside Posey, Sandoval, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Brian Wilson may sound very tempting for the Giants and they will definitely be very active in trying to sign Reyes.
Chances of Reyes Signing: The Giants are one of the clear cut favorites to sign Reyes and it should come as no surprise if that is the team he is playing for in 2012.
2. Boston Red Sox
Another contender that failed to make the postseason in 2011 were the Boston Red Sox.
Thanks to their infamous collapse, the Red Sox may try once again to re-vamp their roster and throw money at the best free agent on the market. Furthermore, there is a good chance that Marco Scutaro will not get re-signed and they will try to upgrade their shortstop position by getting the best shortstop on the market, which would most likely be Jose Reyes.
Jed Lowrie could become the Red Sox' new starting shortstop, but his value is greater as a utility middle infielder. The Red Sox also have a top prospect in Jose Iglesias in the minor leagues, but the team may want him to develop more before he ultimately gets called up for good.
General manager Theo Epstein has been known for signing many of the top free agents in a given offseason, so there is a very good chance that the Red Sox will at least talk to Reyes and his agents, and maybe even make him an offer.
Chances of Reyes Signing: The Red Sox already have one of the top payrolls in all of baseball, but with the horrific collapse they suffered in September, they may try to improve their team as much as possible by bolstering their lineup and signing Reyes. However, the Red Sox already have Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford as two speedy leadoff hitters, so it's not like they need even more speed.
All in all, the Red Sox are probably not a top team to sign Reyes, but again, due to the collapse they had, anything could happen with the team.
3. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
One team that could use an offensive upgrade would be the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
The Angels already have solid depth in their infield with Maicer Izturis and Erick Aybar both capable of playing shortstop on a regular basis. However, they both suffered late season injuries, so their health status may be questionable at the moment, and this could prompt the Angels to make a big move in upgrading the position.
Recently, former Angels general manager Tony Reagins resigned from his post, which means that the new general manager, whoever it is, may try to make a big splash by signing someone like Reyes to a large contract.
The Angels already have a solid lineup that includes Mark Trumbo, Vernon Wells, Torii Hunter and Peter Bourjos, along with the anticipated return of Kendry Morales. They also have a solid rotation with Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana leading the rotation. Adding someone like Reyes could just be what the Angels need to get back to the postseason in 2012.
Chances of Reyes Signing: The Angels are likely to make an offer to Reyes, depending on what their new general manager is like and how he goes about his business. If the new general manager does not feel good about the health of Aybar and/or Izturis, don't be surprised to see the Angels making a serious attempt to land Reyes.
4. Detroit Tigers
One team that could be a great fit for Reyes is the Detroit Tigers.
The current AL Central champions are likely to not re-sign Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen in the offseason, which would lead to around $20 million off the books. The Tigers could use this money to bring in a solid shortstop and leadoff hitter in Reyes.
Furthermore, current shortstop Jhonny Peralta has had experience at third base, so a switch to third base should not be a problem for him and the Tigers. As for third baseman Brandon Inge, the Tigers could either try to trade him or keep him around as a utility player.
The thought of Reyes possibly playing alongside Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Justin Verlander and Jose Valverde would probably make the face of any Tigers fan light up. It would probably generate a lot of merchandise and ticket sales in 2012.
Chances of Reyes Signing: The Tigers should certainly be in the mix to sign Jose Reyes, especially if they fall short of winning the American League pennant. They will likely have the money to sign a high profiled player and the team needs more speed at the top of the order, which Reyes would provide. If the Giants for some reason decide to back out, look for the Tigers to potentially sweep in and give Reyes the contract he would want.
5. Toronto Blue Jays
Finally, one team that could surprise some people by potentially making an offer towards Jose Reyes is the Toronto Blue Jays.
In the past few seasons, the Blue Jays have consistently finished in fourth place in the AL East division. They have had potential, but they also happen to be stuck in the same division as the Red Sox, Yankees and Rays.
They have a superstar outfielder in Jose Bautista, plus solid hitters in Adam Lind and Rajai Davis, and two up-and-coming young hitters in Brett Lawrie and J.P. Arrencibia. From the pitching end, Ricky Romero has developed into a dependable starter.
The Blue Jays currently have Yunel Escobar as their shortstop, but if the team feels that it could really contend in 2012, they might make an offer to someone like Reyes in order to boost some speed at the top of the order.
The Blue Jays are already known for their power, but if they become lethal on the bases, the offense would be even better. A lineup that features Reyes and Rajai Davis at the top and with Bautista and Lind in the middle would certainly be fearful for any opposing pitching staff. Furthermore, a Reyes signing would instantly bring more ticket and merchandise sales to the franchise.
Chances of Reyes Signing: The Blue Jays are not a favorite by any means to sign Jose Reyes this offseason, but again, if the front office feels that the team could really contend next season, there is every possibility that the Blue Jays could at least make an offer to Reyes.