Jose Reyes Free Agent News: 10 Teams Desperate for a Shortstop
On Sept. 28, 2011, Jose Reyes may or may not have played his last game in a New York Mets uniform. After nine seasons in the big city, Reyes is a free agent for the first time in his career. And considering the fact that he is the reigning National League batting champion, he will be paid handsomely by someone, if not the Mets.
The Mets could certainly still be in play for Reyes' services, however given the fact that David Einhorn backed away from his $200 million investment in the team, and given the fact that the Wilpons could still be on the hook for as much as $386 million in a lawsuit related to the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, that scenario is highly unlikely.
Back in April, Wilpon told the New Yorker Magazine that Reyes wasn't worth Carl Crawford money. With the season Crawford had with the Boston Red Sox, he wasn't worth that kind of money, however Reyes certainly could be with the season he put together in 2011.
So, which teams are in the market for a slick fielding shortstop who can run like a deer, hit for a bit of power and lead the league in batting? Well, just about every team would give up a percentage of gate receipts just to find that particular player.
Well, maybe that's a bit much, but no doubt every team would love to have Reyes on their team. But only a few teams will have the resources available to grab Reyes up like a great find on a clearance rack.
Here is a list of teams that will be in the hunt for Jose Reyes during the offseason.
The Atlanta Braves have a shortstop in Alex Gonzalez who is approaching 35 years of age, had a slash line of .241/.270/.372 and struck out 126 times against just 22 walks.
Oh yeah...and Gonzalez is not under contract for the 2012 season.
Don't think for one second that Braves' GM Frank Wren wouldn't think long and hard about making Reyes an offer he can't refuse.
Picture a lineup that includes Reyes and Michael Bourn at the top. Brian McCann, Dan Uggla and Freddie Freeman would be salivating at the thought of run-producing opportunities.
Boston Red Sox
As much as the Boston Red Sox will continue to say that they love the potential of prospect Jose Iglesias and his defensive prowess, they are still very reticent about the potential of his bat.
Theo Espstein has already gone on record as saying that he will look hard at his team and make the necessary changes after the epic collapse suffered by the '11 Sox.
Reyes at the top of the Red Sox lineup along with Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia might be a nice little salve for the wounds suffered during their September swoon.
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox are another team that were clearly unhappy with the way their season turned out, in part because of players not performing to expected levels.
General manager Kenny Williams has already made a major splash by hiring a manager (Robin Ventura) with zero managerial experience at any level, so it really isn't out of the realm of possibility that he could possibly consider signing Jose Reyes.
The White Sox have Alexei Ramirez under contract through the 2015 season, but at 30 years old he had his second-worst productive season in the majors and had his stolen base production drop by almost 50 percent.
Williams could certainly put a deal together for Ramirez if he felt that Reyes would be a good fit on the South Side.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Los Angeles Angels shortstop Erick Aybar had a nice season for the Halos, hitting .279 with 33 doubles, eight triples and 30 stolen bases.
However, the Angels once again suffered a serious hitting outage in 2011, unable to mount a consistent offensive attack on a game by game basis.
Reyes would give the Angels a leadoff man they've been seeking since the loss of Chone Figgins.
If only they could convince David Wright to join his teammate on the West Coast, then the Angels could solve their power problem at the hot corner as well.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers have prospect Dee Gordon who they believe can be a shortstop of the future for the franchise. However, it's not often that a player of Jose Reyes' caliber becomes available.
Whether or not the cash-strapped and bankrupt Dodgers can actually even consider making an offer to Reyes is another matter entirely. It's difficult to imagine that the Dodgers can even negotiate with Reyes at all, given the problems facing the team.
However, there's no question the Dodgers would qualify as a team desperate for the services that Reyes can provide.
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees can pretty much afford anyone they want, which clearly puts them on this particular list. While they may not be classified as being desperate for Jose Reyes, current shortstop Derek Jeter is definitely not getting younger.
While it would be a stretch for GM Brian Cashman to somehow pull this off, it's certainly not out of the realm of possibility.
After all, the Yankees will need a designated hitter next year. Maybe they can convince Jeter to do what Jorge Posada was unable to?
Hmmm... on second thought...
Rollins, who has spent his entire career in the City of Brotherly Love, has already gone on record as saying he will not accept a home town discount to stay with the Phillies.
With Phillies bats going silent during the NLDS and the possibility that first baseman Ryan Howard could be lost for at least the first six weeks of the 2012 season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn Achilles heel, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. just might be inclined to enter the Jose Reyes sweepstakes.
San Francisco Giants
For all of the hitting woes faced by the San Francisco Giants during the 2011 season, not many were worse than what two aging shortstops combined for.
Miguel Tejada and Orlando Cabrera hit just .234 with five HR and 39 RBI between them during the season. At a price tag of $7.5 million combined, the pair were woeful offensively.
General manager Brian Sabean will have Jose Reyes high on his wish list when the free agency window opens.
St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal has been a nice addition to the Redbirds, especially during these playoffs with some timely hitting and outstanding glove work.
However, at 33 years of age, Furcal almost certainly was a half-year rental when they acquired him from the Los Angeles Dodgers. GM John Mozeliak may be inclined to look Reyes' way.
Then again, it's going to be all about Albert, so to speak. Mozeliak will be busy trying to appease Pujols and keep him in a Cardinals uniform before even considering going after Reyes.
I admit, this one is probably a bit of a stretch. The Washington Nationals have a very good young shortstop in Ian Desmond, so desperate would clearly not be the word to use in terms of needing the services of Jose Reyes.
However, the Nationals are clearly a team headed in the right direction, with Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Morse, Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard, Stephen Strasburg and possibly Bryce Harper in a year or two.
Think about how much Reyes could catapult that team into contention pretty quickly.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle. Follow Doug on Twitter, @Sports_A_Holic.
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