The big buzz right now is Jose Reyes trade talk. Everyone is coming up with ideas, painting doom and gloom scenarios for the Wilpon-owned Mets and generally running off the rails with ludicrous suggestions. The Mets GM Sandy Alderson is considered a very smart baseball man and usually highly intelligent baseball executives don’t make dumb decisions.
Would trading Jose Reyes be a bad move? And if not, what team would you trade him to? Who do you ask for? Who would you be offered in return? Should they even be entertaining the idea of trading Reyes at all? These are fundamental questions the Mets braintrust are probably asking themselves.
Trading a 27 year old 3x All-Star off to a career year start who plays a position with few high level players doesn’t make a lot of sense. Especially considering that the team in question plays in baseball’s #1 market. I mean come on this isn’t a Tampa Bay or Kansas City-it’s New York freakin’ City. If the Mets say they can’t afford Reyes they’re liars, especially considering $60 million + is coming off the books for 2012. I think the impending Madoff lawsuit is overplayed too. Even if the Wilpon‘s are sued for $1 billion dollars they’d most likely file a counter claim. The mess would probably be dragged out in the court for years at that point and have no bearing on the team’s financial ability to sign Reyes.
But we all know trade speculation can be fun and despite logic there’s no guarantee Reyes won’t be traded. Recent season-ending injuries to Jenry Meija and Chris Young leave the Metropolitans razor thin in the pitching department. They’re best pitching prospects are 2-3 years away. So Alderson could look to stock up on quality arms. I’d have to believe New York would need to be blown away by a deal to push the button. But anything is possible.
I’m going to take a look at the teams in each league who I believe would be most likely to make a move for Reyes. The teams I chose are lacking at SS, have the horses to swap and are in a situation where Reyes could potentially make a significant difference in a team’s playoff aspirations. The American League is up first. By my count there are four teams in the junior circuit who would fit the criteria above. A few teams came close to making the cut but for various reasons I don’t consider them a serious bidder for Reyes services during the 2011 season. We’ll look at these ballclubs briefly.
First up is Minnesota. Despite their obvious SS need I leave the Twins out because they’re short on pitchers themselves and can ill afford to trade away any of that AA or AAA talent. Besides first they need to get Liriano straightened out to have any shot at playing in October.
With Reid Brignac far beneath the Mendoza line the Rays definitely have a need at shortstop. But they’re not the rent-a- player type of team and their own budget limitations hinder any real chance of locking Reyes up long-term. Tampa Bay definitely have the talent to trade but just not enough dinero for olé Jose.
I almost included the Rangers because they’re aggressive, finally had a whiff of postseason success and have high-caliber AA and AAA talent (pitching and otherwise) to center a deal around. But Andrus is locked into SS, is just 22 and has immense upside. If he were to get hurt or the Rangers struggle with injuries as well as mediocre play I believe they’d be more than willing to rent Reyes for a couple of months in the quest for the crown. But for now I don’t consider them players in any Reyes trade talks.
That leaves what I see as four American League teams who I believe could pull a trigger on a Reyes deal. I will look at each of these teams. Talk about possible trading chips and trade scenarios. Wrapping it up with what I think the actual chances of a trade between the Mets and that team for Jose Reyes.
(we’ll start by looking at those teams in the next blog. Then after we finish the AL we’ll check in on possible NL teams vying for Reyes’ services.)