Chris Walendin’s piece on the Mets’ effective payroll got me thinking about the switch from Jose Reyes to Ruben Tejada. There’s a chance that 2011 was Reyes’ career year, only he did it in 586 PA rather than 700+ PA. Reyes accumulated 6.2 fWAR last year. This year, 60 people have registered predictions for Reyes over at FanGraphs. Combined, they project slightly more playing time for Reyes – 624 PA – but a drop to 4.5 fWAR.

Meanwhile, Tejada last year had 1.8 WAR in 376 PA. If Tejada matches his 2011 production over 624 PA, he would be nearly a 3.0 WAR player, at minimum wage instead of the eight figures that Reyes is pulling down. Meanwhile, 26 people have projected Tejada over at FanGraphs and they combined to give him 574 PA this year and a 2.4 WAR.

Tejada has never been a highly-touted prospect. He didn’t earn a big signing bonus and he never appeared on a Baseball America Top 100 list. But he was in the majors doing a solid job at age 21. He’s not going to be as productive as Reyes on a per PA basis. But he’s likely to be healthier than Reyes over the life of Reyes’ big free agent deal, and won’t be contributing as much to the deficit, as outlined in Chris’ story.

In the last three years, Reyes has averaged 98 games per year. Over the last five years, it’s 123 games. If Reyes averages 98 games over the life of his contract with the Marlins, I think Mets fans will be ecstatic that he spent time on the DL in Miami while Tejada played SS in New York. Obviously, the Marlins are banking on 123 (or more) per season.

The only thing we know for sure is that Reyes will not be contributing to the Mets in 2012. They won’t have the upside of a 6.2 WAR performance from shortstop. But neither will they face a $2.2 million deficit with him like they did from his two DL stints. And for those who worry about how the Mets will do without Reyes, they were 17-21 in games he did not start in 2011, which works out to a 72-win season.


MetsBlog has video of new third base coach Tim Teufel talking about Ruben Tejada.

Jon Springer runs down the newcomers and what number they will wear during Spring Training. Matt Harvey will be #70 in your program.

Judge Rakoff placed the burden of proof at a high level for Irving Picard in his clawback lawsuits against the Wilpons. If Noreen Harrington is telling the truth, it may be game over for the Wilpons. As Howard Megdal tells it we’ve got a credible witness in Harrington going up against the “I don’t remember” defense of the Sterling Equities Partners.

Regardless of who made the decision, denying Howard Megdal a credential to any Mets game this year is insane. Greg Prince shows how this decision came to be.

Keith Law picked Domingo Tapia as the Mets’ top sleeper prospect. Law’s story is an ESPN Insider feature so this link goes to Rob Castellano’s riff on the Law news.

I was really struggling for column ideas so I visited the official Mets site, something I haven’t done since, well let’s just say it’s been awhile. Didn’t come up with any ideas but I did stumble across this mailbag column by Anthony DiComo that I thought was pretty good.

Give Ed Leyro credit – he worked a Jeremy Lin reference into a story about the Mets. Linsanity, indeed! The story is about Jonathon Niese, although we also need to know how Lin and Melo will mesh on the court.

7 comments on “Mets Jambalinka: Ruben Tejada, Matt Harvey, Domingo Tapia

  • AJ

    I’m sorry to see Jose Reyes go, but I’m looking forward to seeing what Ruben Tejada can do at short over the stretch of an entire season. Maybe it’s because I’m older and grew up watching a lot of baseball in the days when a guy like Buddy Harrelson could be a mainstay at the position for a contending team, but I still tend to think of short as a primarily defensive position, and what I saw of Tejada in the field looked pretty decent to me. He was respectable at the plate, too, but it’s more of a question if he’ll maintain that production. In the field I think he’s more of a known entity.

    And something that’s not mentioned a whole lot – as great a player as Reyes is, he didn’t exactly lead the Mets into a golden era. I’ll miss him, but maybe I won’t miss him all that much.

    • jerseymet

      I too am sorry to see Jose gone. He is an all time great Met. One man does not make a team though. Tejada will be there when the Mets get good again. I too think of short stop as a defensive position. Seaver spoke well of Buddy. Lethers used to be the norm…Pitching used to be more dominent. There is a connection.

  • Ed Leyro

    Thanks for linking out to me, Brian! I’m just amazed at how much the Mets keep shoving players like Jason Bay down our throats in the team stores but don’t celebrate their homegrown players more. I did a tour of Petco Park last November and was amazed every player represented in the team store, including recent call-ups from the minors. The Mets only seem to focus on four or five players at a time. Not coincidentally, they’re usually the highest salaried players on the team. Hopefully, they’ll get some Jon Niese jerseys and T-shirts out there this year, especially since he’s entering his third year as a regular in the rotation.

  • Chris F

    Tejada in 2012, yeah! I liked your story Brian.

    Im tired of the ceaseless complaining about Ruben. One thing that your article points out that most seem to forget, or never mention…he’s in the show at 21 and making his presence known. This year hes gonna his go full time, and at one position. His bat was coming along nicely at the end of ’11. this could be a solid year for him, but Im projecting a break through in ’13. Is he Reyes? No, nor should he be. Lets get back in a few years, and Im predicting we have a coveted MLB ss in our midst.


  • Metsense

    Brian, AJ, Jerseymet and Chris F are so right about their attitude regarding Tejada and if I can put my two cents or metsense worth in: the bonus is we have upgraded offensively at second base with Murphy who was a 3.2 WAR and 3.3 projected . (Turner was a 0.8, 1.1 proj and Tejada was as Brian mentioned) AJ summed it up “as great a player as Reyes is, he didn’t exactly lead the Mets into a golden era.” I am very comfortable with Tejada as our ss for years to come.

    • Metsense

      p.s too bad we couldn’t have taken Reyes money and spent it elsewhere.

  • electricmets

    Ruben Tejada might be one of my favorite players on the team now, and we’re much more fortunate to have him playing SS than have to plug some Alex Gonzalez-type retread there. He’s not going to be Jose Reyes, but how many players are? Reyes is no Hall of Famer, but players as electrifying as him don’t come along often at all. I said the same thing about Carl Crawford though, and I selfishly hope the Marlins get the same result.

    This is probably much to lofty a comparison for Ruben (at least for now), but no matter how hard I try, I can’t help but look at him and think of Lou Whitaker. 5-11, 170~ lb middle infielders who came up at age 20 and had no power to speak of, but were good contact hitters who could get on base at a good clip. Of course, Sweet Lou ended up belting 250 homers in his career and belongs in the Hall, but hey, why can’t Ruben?

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