New York Mets: Why Didn't They Go After Hiroyuki Nakajima?

Thomas HolmesCorrespondent IIIDecember 7, 2011

LOS ANGELES - MARCH 22: Hiroyuki Nakajima #6 of Japan hits a RBI double for the fifth run of the fourth inning of the semifinal game of the 2009 World Baseball Classic against the United States on March 22, 2009 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Mets fans, it's time to move on. 

Knowing we will no longer see Jose Reyes streak across the bases for a triple in a Mets uniform is perhaps one of the saddest and lowest moments in the history of the franchise.  Most of you reading this are probably still trying to figure out how you feel about it and whether or not to bother with an organization that has been in a perpetual downward spiral for years.  

Digging through my dresser yesterday I came across my bright orange Reyes t-shirt and wondered what exactly should I do with it?  

For now I decided to bury it at the bottom of the drawer, but on the way down I passed by my old wrinkled Hiroyuki Nakajima t-shirt and began to ponder if the Mets could have placed a bid on him instead?

So who exactly is Hiroyuki Nakajima you ask?

Arguably the best shortstop in all of Japan and possibly the Yankees new utility man according to ESPN's Andrew Marchand. 

Yet haven't the Mets been here before? Wasn't Kaz Matsui the best shortstop in Japan at one time.  Didn't he also play for the Seibu Lions and have punked-out hair?

Before you say, "No way, Jose!" hear me out.  

Right now the Mets' starting shortstop for next season is likely Ruben Tejada.  

I personally have nothing against Tejada; I can see him being a valuable middle infielder at some point down the road, but the Mets renaissance isn't going to begin with Ruben Tejada. 

Not to oversell Nakajima, but he is a smart, fundamentally sound ballplayer who hits to all fields, has a fair amount of power, and can cover a number of infield positions. 

He is a seven-time All Star and three-time Best Nine Winner, with two Gold Gloves and was a key cog on the 2009 World Baseball Classic winner, .364 while driving in seven runs. 

Having seen him play for three years in Japan, I can firmly attest he is more than capable of being an every day player in the U.S. and quite possibly a steal for a mere $2 million dollars to post.  

So while I fully understand the Mets are on a budget and concede it's disappointing/embarrassing to not make an offer to Reyes, it's downright ridiculous to ignore Nakajima. 

If the Mets never had any intention of making an offer for Reyes as Bob Klapisch at Fox Sports reports, then why not put in a bid for Nakajima as Plan B? 

Perhaps it's only fitting that Nakajima could be going to the Yankees, a team financially sound enough to bid on Nakajima as a luxury or simply an insurance plan for an aging Derek Jeter.

Kudos to the Yankees in having the strategic savvy to potentially snag one of the best players at the position in all the world for a mere pittance.  Jeers to the Mets for being too short-sighted to even bother to try.