The future is now for the Mets at shortstop. After making his debut in the 2017 season, Amed Rosario is here to stay at shortstop. In addition to this, the Mets picked up the $8.5 million option on Asdrubal Cabrera’s contract, sealing his spot on the roster for the 2018 season. So what does that mean for former franchise shortstop Jose Reyes?
Reyes rejoined the team in 2016 after he spent a four year stretch playing for the Miami Marlins, Toronto Blue Jays, and Colorado Rockies. He came to a team that pushed for the 2016 wildcard game, and fl short to the San Francisco Giants. In 2017 Reyes had his ups and downs on the field. He produced a line of .246/.315/.413, so it was far from spectacular. He saw time at multiple infield positions, and even made two outfield appearances. However, if 2018 is to be a successful season for the New York Mets, Reyes should not be on the team.
The Mets simply have too much space taken up by other players to be able to afford to retain Reyes. I’d much rather see T.J Rivera in at second, short, or third than Reyes. On the season, Rivera was the better batter in many aspects. Rivera batted .290/.330/.430, and was more consistent overall at the plate. In addition, Rivera appears to be entering his prime as a player while Reyes has seemed to have left his.
The Mets also seem to be interested in adding an infielder to the fold this offseason. Whether it be Jay Bruce being an option at first base, signing Todd Frazier or Mike Moustakas to play third, it is more likely than not that there will be a new infielder on the team come spring training. Holding onto Reyes would take up cap space that the Mets could spend on one of the options listed above. Reyes would most likely command the same amount of money that Cabrera will be receiving, which could hinder the ability of the Mets to sign a premium infield bat.
However, if the Mets do retain Reyes, it would not be the end of the world. He still has decent range at the second base position, and could be a solid fill in for when Rosario needs an off day. They know that they would be getting a player with still decent speed. Reyes also surprisingly holds decent power, as he slugged 15 home runs last season. Of course, he can’t be counted on for that high of a number again.
The Mets have many choices to make this offseason. They already added a new head coach, Mickey Callaway, and continue to add on to the staff that he will have. They decided to hold on to Cabrera for another year, which leaves Reyes as the odd man out. While it is possible to retain him, I think it would be the wrong move to hold on to an aging Reyes given the presence of Rivera and the opportunity to add an infield bat. Adios, Jose!