The Jose Reyes redundancy

It’s usually a good thing for an MLB team to have an infield utility player, one who can handle shortstop, second and third base as needed, and to provide some offense as well. But does a team really need two of these players?

The Mets have two such infielders on their roster, namely Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera. Both are natural shortstops who can also play second or third base. Both are switch-hitters who have seen their offensive production drop off this year, and both are on the wrong side of 30.

The Mets infield seems set for next year at first base with Dominic Smith and shortstop with the acrobatic Amed Rosario. It is possible, maybe even probable, that the Mets will either sign an everyday second or third baseman in the off-season, maybe even one of each.

Even with Rosario being a lock for the everyday shortstop, he will need someone to back him up, as none of the other infielders, specifically Wilmer Flores and T. J. Rivera, are shortstop material. There could be a role for a utility type player who can back up Rosario and fill in at third or second as needed.

As noted, both players are a bit long in the tooth, but Reyes is more so, he turns 35 next season while Cabrera will be 32. At the plate, Cabrera in 356 AB this year has a slash line of .261/.329/.393. Hardly great, but better than Reyes, who in 381 AB has a .223/.286/.35 slash line as of this writing. Both players have expressed a preference for playing shortstop, but with Rosario in the bigs neither one will be a starter with the Mets.

If the Mets go the cheapest route, Reyes would be their man. He is still owed four million from the Rockies for next year, so the Mets would probably just have to kick in the league minimum as they have the past two seasons. The Mets have an option for Cabrera for next year for 8.5 million, but if they choose to let him go it will cost them two million in a buy out clause.

It seems to me the Mets would do well to spend the extra bucks and keep Cabrera for another season. Reye’s batting stats dropped sharply this year, and at a year older they could drop off a cliff next year. Jose Reyes appears to be redundant at this point.

16 comments for “The Jose Reyes redundancy

  1. August 22, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    You answered your own question. Reyes is cheaper. Having Cabrera around means fewer ABs for potentially more productive bats like T.J. Rivera or Wilmer Flores. (Or maybe in a bizarro world scenario they ink Mike Moustakas).

    Since Reyes could probably be had for the $2 million or so of Cabrera’s buyout, they would likely take that differential and run…speaking of which, Cabrera can’t run a lick and although he is having trouble getting on base, Reyes is still much better than average on the basepaths.

    • Royce
      August 22, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      Reyes is a cancer that right there eliminates the need for him

      • TexasGusCC
        August 22, 2017 at 3:49 pm

        I think the cancer is more Cabrera. In fact, Cabrera seems to have some bad examples of treatment to Nimmo and Rosario, while Rosario goes out of his way to mention Reyes’ support.

        On the other hand, I do believe that Reyes is a bit too clownish and may be a distraction to focus…

        • TexasGusCC
          August 22, 2017 at 3:55 pm

          But I wouldn’t call him a virus. I would categorize a virus as intentionally maliscious, and I can’t say that Reyes picks on any of the kids the way I’ve read Cabrera doing it or at all. Reyes is even willing to mentor.

  2. Royce
    August 22, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Here are the facts about reyes the virus
    1) after the Rockies aquired reyes in 2015 they got 20 games worse that same year.
    2) the blue jays were under 500 with reyes in 2015 then they got rid of him and got 25 games better that same year.
    3) 2007 and 2008 biggest collapses in history
    4)2012 Marlins one of the biggest underachieving teams in MLB history 25 games under 500 with reyes
    5)2017 mets underachieving disaster
    6)since reyes the virus arrived cespedes has gone downhill
    Jose reyes is the rare person who is a virus that destroys every team he is on mentally ill bleaching his hair laughing non stop including when the team is losing. His unhealthy personality messes up everyone’s timing and makes guys lose urgency without them realizing it. Worst move in mets history bringing back that virus.

    • Jimmy P
      August 22, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      And he kicks baby ducks!

    • IDRAFT
      August 22, 2017 at 4:35 pm

      I’m not personally going to try and judge Reyes ability to be a contagion from this distance, however, any list this long that excludes “beats his wife” is kind of weird.

  3. Pete in Iowa
    August 22, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    I don’t like either one of them. Reyes just plain stinks and Cabrerra seems to want to play with the um — shall I say — flair that Cespedes so embodies.
    Move on from both. Ink or deal for a new utility man who can handle some short next season.

    • Chris F
      August 22, 2017 at 5:35 pm

      Ink a deal?

      Flores, TJ, Reynolds, Cecchini….the deals are already inked!

      • Pete In Iowa
        August 23, 2017 at 10:36 am

        That’s fine if you think any of those guys can handle short. While I really like TJ, Reynolds and Cecchini, I don’t think any of them would be a suitable shortstop, if say Rosario goes down with an injury for 20 or 30 games.
        Just sayin.

        • Jimmy P
          August 23, 2017 at 11:19 am

          Don’t worry, Sandy still has Omar Quintanilla on speed dial.

  4. Fletcher
    August 22, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    If Cabrera is still here (questionable) next week how can you justify giving him 8.5 million when you can get Reyes for so much less. Jose is still the fastest man on the squad, and a vastly better defender at short. Nothing against Cabrera, but it’s Reyes who makes sense.

    • August 22, 2017 at 11:00 pm

      To me, the question is do they need a starter or a reserve? I think Cabrera is better suited to be a starter, especially at 3B, where Reyes has struggled defensively. But if you’re looking for a backup, then Reyes makes more sense, in part because he should save them around $5 million.

    • Royce
      August 23, 2017 at 3:01 am

      Yes speed has really helped that’s why mets are under 500 with reyes the virus and every team with reyes becomes a disaster

  5. Metsense
    August 23, 2017 at 8:15 am

    Unless Cabrera is traded, the Mets will have to make a decision on Cabrera’s option shortly after the season is over. Right now, he is playing 2B and Flores is the 3B. This indicates that the Mets are more comfortable with Flores at 3B. Cabrera is fading and may no longer be considered a starter on a contending team. If the Mets plan to upgrade either second or third then they should not exercise Cabrera’s option and allow Flores to play the vacated position. Reyes, as a free agent, will not get many , if any, suitors. January would be the time to decide if they want him as a bench player.

    • Jimmy P
      August 23, 2017 at 9:07 am

      I vote getting rid of both. Team needs new identity, new dynamic. Things need to change.

      I like Cabrera, but he’s too banged up at this stage of his career, too expensive, too slow. On open market does anyone see him getting $8.5 million? You pay that if you want to give him a starting job. Please, no.

      Enough with half-hearted Jose Reyes. The fire has gone out. Fading embers that blow red-hot at times, but mostly gray ash drifting away in the wind. Not where this club needs to be.

      Every roster decision for Sandy can’t be determined by what’s easiest and most convenient.

      Get a real, everyday 3B who can field the position. Then move on to address the other significant holes up and down roster.

      A lukewarm response to this season will not get it done. There’s always a puncher’s chance — a way how things might work if it all goes right — but I do not believe the pieces are in place. Club needs an influx of talent, a transfusion.

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