If you are immersed in the Mets’ blogosphere, you assuredly have read the obituary that has been written for the Mets, since it seems unlikely that the Mets will retain their franchise shortstop Jose Reyes.
If Reyes leaves- it is told through many others-the Mets will be one chaotic mess. Expect the demise of the Mets to be greatly exaggerated.
Look, the Mets haven’t been a good baseball ball club for the last three years. The Mets’ record in the last three years (226 and 260) suggests that they have been an incompetent team. Mets’ fans have to face the reality that their team hasn’t been a player in NL for years. 2006 was five years ago and gone is the thought they are close to resembling a playoff caliber team.
By the way, in those three years, who was playing shortstop for the majority of the time? Jose Reyes. The same player many Mets’ fans are obsessing to keep.
I am in no way advocating for the Mets to not pursue Reyes and make an appropriate offer, but rather I am cushioning myself for the blow when and if Reyes bolts Queens.
I get it. Reyes is a fan favorite. His exciting brand of baseball has broad appeal and his impact on the franchise goes beyond what he does on the field. His charm is marketable. These are factors that cannot be overlooked. For a cash-strapped franchise, losing a player of Reyes’ caliber will hurt the team in regards to tickets sold and trumping up casual fan interest.
However, look at it from on-the-field perspective. Reyes has battled lingering hamstring injuries for far too long and what if the Mets resign him and he misses big chunks of the season/s again? What happens then? Well, the Mets would be right back where they started. At least if they lose him they can save some money, which then can be used toward the rebuilding process.
The Mets need to build from within; develop a core of home grown players (think Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Daniel Murphy along with pitchers Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia) and then add pieces through free agency/trades when they can logistically and financially afford to.
If the Mets were to resign Reyes, a player in his prime, wouldn’t it be ideal for them to build around him and add more pieces? At this point for the Mets, that’s not fiscally possible and that’s probably why the Mets aren’t going to get in a bidding war. So, if you bring back Reyes, you’re just bringing him back to an already mediocre team. If Reyes walks, at the very least you can expedite the rebuilding plans.
Losing a homegrown player of Reyes ilk will of course sting in any context you put it in. In his nine years here, Reyes has captivated the hearts of many fans. However, it’s not like it’s without precedence.
Back in 1990, the Mets faced the same issue when Darryl Strawberry fled New York to take his talents to La La Land. Strawberry devastated a fanbase that adored him ever since he came up through the farm system.
One man doesn’t make a team. The Mets will still report to Port St. Lucie in February for spring training and we will move forward. It’s what we do.
These are trying times no doubt, with ownership continually letting down the fans. Let’s, though, trust Sandy Alderson and put some stock in his vision. We have to put faith the process that he has a plan to make the Mets relevant in the near future.
As fans, we have to be prepared to take Reyes’ possible departure on the chin. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but let’s not treat his departure as apocalyptic either. The sun will rise in the morning. And taking a cue from last year’s mantra after the Madoff scandal, I’ll leave you with this: Keep calm and carry on.