Former Mets All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes signed with the newly named Miami Marlins Sunday night. The deal took the baseball world by surprise, as there was little to no speculation that Reyes would sign so soon. He did, though, and here we are now.
Mets fans are still trying to recover from the state of shock of losing their beloved, Reyes. Opinions on the Mets' actions have been popping up everywhere. The team is drawing loads of criticism from writers and its fans. The criticism is definitely appropriate for the situation.
It has been revealed that the Mets didn't even offer Jose Reyes a "concrete" contract. The Mets pursued Reyes, but the nature of their pursuit was nowhere near aggressive as Miami's was. The Marlins made it clear that they wanted Reyes, while the Mets simply did not.
Jose Reyes ended up signing a six-year deal worth $111 million. That averages out to $18.5 million a season. That turned out to be well out of the range of what the Mets would have been willing to pay Jose Reyes. Sandy Alderson and Co. stood their ground and didn't bat an eyelash as they watched Reyes leave Queens.
The Mets made it clear that they would not guarantee a sixth year to Reyes due to his growing injury concerns. That approach is understandable, but should one year really make that big of a difference?
Reyes will be 34 at the end of his six-year contract with the Marlins, so he will be well into his decline. That guaranteed sixth year ended up putting the Mets out of the Jose Reyes sweepstakes for good. Although it is disappointing that that is the main reason why Reyes is no longer a Met anymore, it should be respected.
The truth is that Reyes is indeed injury-prone. He suffered two injuries during his contract year, and missed the majority of the 2009 season. As a player who relies on his legs, his injuries are clearly a big warning sign. The Marlins took a shot, though; we will see if Reyes makes them look smart or foolish.
The truth is that the Mets and their fans will not know if Sandy Alderson made the right move by letting Reyes walk until at least 2014. If Reyes can minimize his injuries and produce, then he will be looked at as a bargain; on the other hand, if Reyes' seasons continue to be riddled with injuries, then the contract will be ranked among the worst in MLB.
But let's evaluate what we can now. The facts are that the Mets' everyday shortstop will now be Ruben Tejada, the Mets saved around $20 million by letting Reyes walk, and the Mets will be getting a second-round pick as compensation for Reyes.
Yes, you read that right; the Mets lost their superstar shortstop, Jose Reyes, for a second-round pick in the 2012 June Amateur Draft. That stings for the fanbase, as the Mets could have possibly netted a few top prospects for Reyes during the regular season.
Fans shouldn't be angry that the Mets didn't trade Reyes during the season, though. The Mets were still in contention surrounding the trade deadline, and Reyes was coming off an injury, so his value took a hit. The Mets also knew that losing Reyes would greatly diminish the team's chances of contending and Citi Field will be empty in his absence.
Hindsight is 20/20.
The Mets knew that they would have a chance to re-sign Reyes in the offseason, and they ultimately came up short in their pursuit of him.
The team now has to look forward to the future. The money that would have been spent on Reyes will now be used to help the Mets get out of their financial problems. The truth stings for Mets fan, but they have to realize that this might have been necessary for the Mets to do.
Alderson and Co. set a ceiling for what they would be willing to give Reyes, and they stuck with it. They stood by what they said, and they didn't go against themselves. The Mets obviously didn't believe that Reyes was worth the contract that he scored from Miami, and in turn, he left New York.
I wanted Jose Reyes back in Queens as much as any Met fan, but when you see what he got from the Marlins, you can kind of understand why the Mets let him go.
The short-term effect has the potential to be brutal to the Mets organization, as attendance is expected to plunge and the team is expected to be a non-factor in the new powerhouse, the National League East.
Though the Mets are projected to have an awful season in 2012, crazy things have happened in baseball. The Diamondbacks made it to the playoffs last year and the St. Louis Cardinals pulled off an improbable September playoff run, and eventually capped it off with a World Series Championship.
The Mets won't lay down or throw in the towel for 2012 just yet. The games are played for a reason and the Mets do indeed have plenty of talent left on their roster. The walls are coming in at Citi Field, and the addition of a second wild-card team seems to greatly increase the Mets chances of succeeding.
With that said, losing Jose Reyes is extremely tough and it does sting. But fans have to realize that moving on from Reyes might have been the right thing to do. I was all for bringing back Reyes, but to a reasonable contract.
The Marlins took a risk that the Mets weren't willing to take. At the end of the contract, one team will look smarter than the other, depending on how Reyes performs. This move will be analyzed in many different ways, but time will tell if the Mets made the right move by letting Reyes walk.
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