Recently, there has been massive coverage in the sports world of the recently developed rivalry between Kevin Durant and Russel Westbrook. This rivalry has been caused single-handedly by Durant, who chose to depart Westbrook’s Oklahoma City Thunder. Many were under the impression that Westbrook and Durant were great friends, which propelled the storyline of their breakup even further. Many in the sports world acted like this was the first time that one star teammate left the other star teammate for grass that appeared greener. Fans of the Mets know that this was not the first time it happened, though.
Facing the trade deadline during the 2011 season, the Mets had an important decision to make. Star shortstop José Reyes was an impending free agent following the conclusion of the season. While trade rumors swirled, no deal for Reyes ever materialized. After winning the NL Batting Title, Reyes departed the Mets for the rival Miami Marlins in the offseason. Reyes’s departure not only left Mets fans without a star shortstop but also left David Wright to a team without much potential or star power.
Beyond the fact that Wright and Reyes were teammates, it was well known that they were best friends as well. The dynamic duo came up through the minor league system together, teaching each other their respective languages while simultaneously building a strong chemistry in the field. Through the late 2000’s, you could not find a finer shortstop-third baseman combo in the league. The two appeared to be the future for the Mets, and that they would the team to prosperity in the near future.
For Reyes, 2011 was the last season that he made an All-Star team. After only completing one year of his contract with the Marlins, Reyes was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. He had small success in Toronto, and when he was starting to feel at home there, the Blue Jays then traded him to the Colorado Rockies at the 2015 trade deadline. He was then released by the Rockies in 2016 following a domestic violence charge that was placed on him during the 2015-2016 offseason. The Mets then signed Reyes to a minor league contract and eventually brought him back to the big leagues in July of 2016.
As we all know, Wright took a different approach following the split of the two stars. Wright decided to stay with the Mets long term and signed a massive extension in the 2012-2013 offseason. Wright then started a slow decline after the 2013 season, and often suffered many setbacks due to the multitude of injuries that he has acquired. Whether or not Wright will be able to contribute to the Mets at any level this season is yet to be seen.
It has been a bittersweet reunion for Wright and Reyes. They are often photographed together while working out or taking BP down at Spring Training. It even seems that their friendship hasn’t even skipped a beat, though. The thought of what could have been if Reyes hadn’t left the Wright still lingers in the heads of many Mets fans. The fact of the matter is that Reyes jumped ship for the warm water of rival Miami, and left Wright alone with no help in New York. Although they are back again on the same roster, this breakup was hard to endure when it happened. So, Thunder fans, don’t worry. You will one day get over the loss of your star. And he may even come back to you one day.