After reportedly engaging in trade talks of trading its old shortstop and once top player on its roster, the Mets have decided to not bring José Reyes back to Queens. The shortstop who used to be known for his speed and ability to steal bases is now older and lacks his previous quickness and agility. In addition, the Mets would have to pay a pretty big penny if they wanted Reyes to return to its roster, with a salary at $22 million this year and $44 million between 2016 and 2017. This incredibly high cost for a player that is not as good as he used to be makes a smart move by the Mets on not trading him.
The Dominican Republic native originally signed a contract with the Mets back in 1999 when he was only seventeen years old. He made his Major League debut in 2003 a day before he turned twenty, and stayed in New York until he left for the Miami Marlins in 2012. During his time with the Mets he set several records that he still holds today, including being the team’s all-time leader in triples and stolen bases.
Reyes played for the Marlins for one season, and then signed with the Toronto Blue Jays from 2013 to 2015. He suffered from a rib strain in the beginning of the 2015 season and was then traded to the Colorado Rockies once he was deactivated from the DL. Reyes was traded in exchange for Troy Tulowitzki, who the Mets were in talks of bringing to New York, but were not able to finalize a deal.
Before his injury, thirty-two year old Reyes was ranked second to last in defensive saves by shortstops, and had a .613 OPS on left-handed pitchers. The player who once broke records in 2008 by hitting 19 triples in one season, now has not hit one triple at all this season. His record for stolen bases in one season, peaking at 78 in 2007, has now dropped to a mere 16 this season, proving more how much the player has changed since he was playing in New York.
The accumulation of Reyes’ injury and age has made him not the same player that the Mets once knew back in 2011 when he left. Although it would bring back great memories for nostalgic Mets fans, Reyes’ high price and performance this season would just create more financial stress than success on the field that they are ultimately looking for.
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