Ex-Mets Coach Chip Hale Is Already Giving Away Jose Reyes Job?

Thomas HolmesCorrespondent IIIOctober 20, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 02:  Jose Reyes #7 of the New York Mets congratulates teammate Ruben Tejada #11 after he scored the tying run in the sixth inning after a passed ball against the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 2, 2011 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Pirates 9-8.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Does anyone else find the story of Ruben Tejada getting Jose Reyes job strange?

Adam Rubin at ESPN is reporting that if Reyes signs elsewhere this offseason, "the organization is prepared to make Tejada his replacement. And Chip Hale, who has left the Mets to serve as Bob Melvin's bench coach with the Oakland Athletics, believes Tejada is ready to be an everyday major league shortstop."

Beyond the question of whether Tejada is ready, isn't it a bit soon and perhaps a tad reckless to have such statements circulating given we're only just starting the World Series?

More importantly, let's also consider the source here. 

Perhaps, Chip Hale has proven himself to be a reliable source for Rubin and others in the past, but two weeks ago even with Hale working for the Mets, such statements would still need to be heavily scrutinized. 

Today, how much value should they be given?  Hale is now an employee of the Oakland Athletics after having been released by the organization at the close of the regular season. 

Meanwhile what Rubin offers up isn't terribly insightful either, "Terry Collins recognized early in his managerial tenure that the handoff from Reyes to Tejada at shortstop might occur in 2012," before letting Hale expand up this statement. 

'Last year, when we sent Ruben back to Triple-A, the idea Terry had was that if there's any way that Jose is not going to be the shortstop in 2012, we need to really get Ruben ready,' Hale said. 'Obviously things changed, and the way things worked out, he kind of became our everyday second baseman. But when we sent him down there and gave him a little plan for his work, he really went at it and worked at it hard."

True or false, are we really going to be at the mercy of hearsay and conjecture from former Mets employees as they head out the door?

If Rubin is looking to hypothesize on potential moves, the Mets should consider this offseason that's fine, but basing your work on Hale providing personal anecdotes and conversations on behalf of manager Terry Collins from months ago is hard to defend without someone still working in the organization to confirm. 

The biggest loser in all of this is obviously Tejada who is now being awkwardly cast for the moment in Reyes immense shoes as a mediocre substitute at best, even before any actual moves are made.  

Mark Simon of ESPN Stats & Information is quoted, "If you look at it from a WAR [wins above replacement] perspective, Reyes was a 6.2 last year via Fangraphs. Tejada was a 1.8," Simon said. "The question would be: What is Tejada at his best...maybe a 3-WAR player? So there is a drop-off."

Drop off?  Comparing Tejada to Reyes is downright absurd at this point.  It's going to be hard enough for Tejada to get a fair shot, but holding him up against arguably one of the best players in baseball borders on cruel. 

If and when the time comes, Tejada will have to deal with the fallout, but for today, perhaps it's simply best to wait and let the dust settle before putting much too much credence in the musings of the former third base coach.