Crazy idea: Mets trade Cuddyer to Rockies for Reyes + cash

Jose ReyesInteresting stuff happened on Thursday. It was revealed that the Mets checked in on Andrelton Simmons, were told it would take Harvey or deGrom, and promptly checked back out. Simmons was ultimately dealt to the Angels.

Meanwhile there seems to be a chance that the Mets would not even tender a contract to shortstop Ruben Tejada who is in line to make about $3 million in 2016.

A few days ago Jose Reyes, former beloved Mets star, got into major trouble with the law as he was arrested in a domestic violence incidence. Reyes had a so-so season in Toronto during 2015 and when traded to Colorado played poorly on both sides of the ball with general disinterest.

All this being said it might make sense for the Mets to check in on how much it would cost to reacquire Reyes and how much of the contract the Rockies would be willing to eat. Keep in mind that Rockies bloggers are calling for Jose to be traded or even released.

Jose Reyes’ contract calls for him to receive $22 million in 2016 and then another 22 in 2017. He has an option for 2018 and a buyout for $4 million. Simply put he is owed $48 million for the next two years of playing.

Here’s his Marcel projection for 2016: BA .275 HR 9 SB 20 and an OPS of 710. This is not something you would want your team paying $22 million for. But it is likely worth about half that especially if he can play better defense than he did for the Rockies in his stint there.

The swap that could make sense for both teams is:
Jose Reyes + $23 million for Michael Cuddyer

Cuddyer had great success with the Rockies. It is likely that they would welcome him back with open arms. They have been discussing signing Daniel Murphy to be their first baseman. Perhaps Cuddyer could fill that position.

Cuddyer is owed $12,500,000 for the 2016 season and there is no 2017 option involved.

The way it works for the Rockies is they are out from under Reyes’ contract. They have a hot prospect shortstop named Trevor Story who should be ready some time this year. They get back a familiar face for a position of need and while they lose a good bit of money on the deal it is still far far better than releasing this troubled player and swallowing a $48 million loss.

Meanwhile the Mets rid themselves of Cuddyer and likely have upgraded at shortstop. At his worst Reyes still figures to be a better offensive and defensive performer than Wilmer Flores. The team likely could release Tejada and pocket the $3 million savings (minus the half mill given to his replacement, likely Matt Reynolds).

The $12.5 million that Reyes gets from the Mets in 2016 would be the same that they would have given Cuddyer. And then in 2017 Jose gets the same $12.5. By the time 2017 is over some of the shortstop prospects in the Mets’ system should be ready to take over.

Of course, one big consideration is what length suspension Reyes might be facing. If the commissioner comes down hard with a 50 or more game suspension then the whole thing would need to be rethought.

Given how difficult and expensive it is to get a shortstop who can play defense and offense this crazy idea just might work.

16 comments for “Crazy idea: Mets trade Cuddyer to Rockies for Reyes + cash

  1. Chris F
    November 13, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    …and possibly jail time.

    If he is found guilty, I hope MLB removes him from the league. There is no room for domestic violence followed by a reward of millions of dollars in salary. If hes not found guilty, Id still rather have Tejada, Flores, or Tejada/Flores. Reyes is terrible.

    • Rae
      November 15, 2015 at 9:46 am

      Reyes will face both prison time and suspension from MLB. I’d rather keep Cuddyer then waste time with Reyes. He can no longer throw and is not speedy fast any longer. Cuddyer may be better in 2016, and he will hopefully recover from his knee and core injuries, and he does provide us with a right hand bat off the bench. He can play a little 1B which will help when Duda goes into his long slumps. Sign Span, Zobrist, O’Day and bring up Jeff Walters to help with relief as he was a really good closer in AAA who is in the Mets system. I really like the ideas of Mickey Jannis who is a knuckler with a lot of throwing similarities to R.A. Dickey. Keep Niese in the bullpen as he throws a good 3 innings real well but he is not starter material any longer.

  2. November 13, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Larry,

    It’s crazy and as crazy trade ideas go… I’ve seen worse, but…

    Domestic violence should just be a non-starter. I was a Reyes fan but that type of behavior is unacceptable and I don’t want it on my team.

  3. RealityChuck
    November 13, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    There’s crazy, and there’s batsh*t insane. This is in the latter category.

    Reyes has little to offer. He’s injury prone, his hitting and fielding are deteriorating, and his contract would cripple the team (and I doubt the Rockies are going to pay enough salary to change that). Throw in the domestic violence issue and he’s toxic.

  4. Rene
    November 13, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    I do it if the League suspend him at least we don’t have to pay him and we get money and get Cuddyer off the team.

  5. dan
    November 13, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    check the stats, jose has been ranked at the bottom of the defensive statistics for the last few years – stupid idea! fyi, flores and tejada combined were in the top 10 in war for shortstops in 2015.

  6. Matty Mets
    November 13, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Interesting idea. Not sure either team would go for it. While he’s certainly not the player he used to be, he’s still a better offensive player tham Tejada and a better shortstop than Flores. Switch hitter, still has some speed, could bat leadoff. I love any idea that starts with dumping cuddyer, but this is a long shot as it would involve 2 gm’s admitting to mistakes and swallowing their pride.

    • Larry Smith
      November 13, 2015 at 8:30 pm

      Actually it might mean Alderson would be admitting a mistake. Colorado only brought in Reyes because it was necessary to get out from under the humongous Tulowitzki contract. Their plan seems to have been to flip Reyes as soon as they could.
      The domestic violence charge is what has made him radioactive and it’s why the Rockies would pay a lot to be rid of him.

    • dan
      November 13, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      hmmm ops the same for both of them, tejada has a better obp and is a much better defensive player – plus reyes is owed 48 million over the next two years. yes cuddyer was a bust last year as a starter, but he was a good pinch hitter, backup at lf, rf and 1b. And from what conforto said more than once, he has been very open in helping him adjust to the majors.

      • Larry Smith
        November 13, 2015 at 8:49 pm

        I have to disagree with your statement that Tejada is a much better defensive player. Fielding stats are elusive but for middle infielder Range Factor still tells a story. In 2015 a season where Reyes was purportedly not doing his best work he put up a range factor per 9 innings of 4.38 while Tejada’s was 4.22. For their careers Reyes’ RF/9 innings has been 4.14 while Tejada’s has been 4.32. Tejada could be said in the long haul to be a better defender but certainly not a “much better” one. And then Reyes has it on him on offense and ability to steal bases and take extra bases on hits.

  7. TexasGusCC
    November 13, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Doesn’t coincide with the Mets players’ squeaky clean image; might be more appropriate for Jerry Jones?

  8. EddieMetz
    November 13, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    Well, Larry, you certainly stirred things up with a Reyes possibility.

    If Reyes only gets like a 25 game ban, if Rockies would take Cuddy and eat Money, then, and only then, does this start to make sense. Lots of ‘ifs’ but many crazy scenarios happen with teams with bad contracts.
    While we are at it, maybe the Rocks would also take Niese’s $9m, Lagares $4m starting next year, and send us CarGo as well ?

    CarGo could go to RF, Grandy in CF and Conforto in LF. Reyes leads off and Grandy drops down in the lineup to help drive in more runs. Losing both Murphy and Cespedes scares me to no end….all the way back to the terrible offense Mets had in the first half, while the pitching staff labored to keep them in games. Keep Colon to replace Niese as the 5th starter until Wheeler gets back.
    As a whole, interesting.

  9. Eraff
    November 14, 2015 at 5:22 am

    If the evaluation of Reyes is that he has greatly faded, then I have no interest .

    It’s far more likely that the Mets can make Cuddy er work out as a th bench and 1b/of platoon. Is also more likely that they could package Cuddyer and absorb lots of his contract to trade him away….. without absorbing a tremendous headache !

    I love Jose!!!!! They should have signed him, and th8nking may have worked out differently…… but let it go.

  10. blaiseda
    November 14, 2015 at 7:28 am

    You’re right that’s crazy.

  11. Larry Smith
    November 15, 2015 at 11:19 am

    As to those who think Jose is going to jail I think we’ve seen that the great majority of athletes who have committed domestic violence do not go to prison. If his wife plans to stay with him she’ll retract some of her charges and if she does plan to split then she can expect an unusually good split of household assets. I very much doubt that he’ll end up behind bars.
    Others suggest that Cuddyer is a better candidate for a rebound season than Reyes. I don’t buy that. I’ll take the younger and more athletic player as the better bet to return to close to prime form.
    Some espouse signing Ben Zobrist. Good luck there too.
    Exactly how many players have the post-Ponzi Mets signed in a competitive auction? None. Estimates are that BZ will get a contract of four years at a salary of $15 million or more per season. The Mets, unless they drastically change stripes, are not going there.
    More reasonable possibilities are guys like Parra and if a few teams want him I doubt the Mets will top even them.
    The trade I have suggested is fraught with danger but it is one of the few ways that the team could improve its talent base – at its weakest position – without breaking the bank.
    Along the way people like Wright and Granderson could make Jose’s return a better transition than he’ll have elsewhere. With proper contrition and counseling Jose Reyes could rehabilitate himself and his reputation.

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