Why the Mets Must Consider a Reunion With José Reyes

It’s been a long time since José Reyes has played for the New York Mets. The once beloved shortstop used to be a fan favorite in Queens. Now, it appears as though he wants a reunion with his old team.

Reyes was designated for assignment by the Colorado Rockies last Wednesday. Yesterday, the team requested waivers on him. If he clears waivers, he’ll be a free agent tomorrow. The 33-year old did not play in a game this year for Colorado. This was due to the fact that he was involved in a domestic violence incident during the offseason while on vacation with his wife. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred decided that Reyes would be placed on administrative leave to start the season. He was officially suspended on May 13. The Rockies eventually decided that he wasn’t worth the trouble, and released him.

The Rockies and Mets are two teams in very different situations. Colorado is under .500 and in third place in the NL West. They’re not expected to do too much this season. Keeping Reyes just didn’t make much sense.  The Mets are in second place in the NL East and are in a pennant race. However, they’ve been hampered by injuries all season long. Currently, Juan Lagares, Lucas Duda, and David Wright are all on the disabled list. Wright just underwent neck surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck. It’s very likely that he’ll be out for the year. Because of all these injuries, the Mets should really consider bringing Wright’s old friend José Reyes back to Flushing.

Reyes could really help the team right now. His bat could be a boost in the Mets mediocre lineup. A player who is very familiar with playing in New York, he’d have no problem adjusting. In fact, his best years came while with the Mets. During his nine seasons with the team, Reyes batted .292. He led the National League in triples four times. Also, he stole 60 or more bases three consecutive years, from 2005-2007. His last year with the Mets was in 2011, a year in which he won the NL Batting Title. He left after that season and signed a six-year, $106 million dollar contract with the Miami Marlins. After just one season, the Marlins traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays. Reyes was with the Blue Jays until last July when he was again traded. That was the deal that sent Troy Tulowitzki to Toronto.

A Reyes reunion with the Mets makes sense for both parties. This week, Reyes reportedly spoke to a baseball official and discussed how he desperately wants to come back to Queens. Apparently, he hasn’t been truly happy since he left in 2011. This isn’t all that surprising, especially considering the success that he had with the Mets. He’s ready to come back, so the Mets must decide if they really want him or not.

Reyes will most likely clear waivers tomorrow, making him a free agent. This gives the Mets a very good opportunity to get him at  a low price. It’s a low-risk, high-reward situation. If they were to sign him, they would probably play him at third base, a position he’s never played before. Asdrubal Cabrera is having a very good season at shortstop for the Mets, and they don’t really want to move him. Reyes certainly isn’t the same player that he was when he left New York in 2011. His offensive numbers have slowly declined. That being said, he still has some speed and a little bit of power. Additionally, his presence alone would be enough to boost the team’s morale. Reyes has always been known for being a good clubhouse guy. The only real reason that the Mets might be hesitant to bring him back is the domestic violence issue. Although he was never convicted in court due to the fact that his wife refused to cooperate as a witness, the whole situation doesn’t look so good. He did not have a history of domestic violence before this incident. It’s definitely something that Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson will need to think about when he decides whether or not to seriously pursue Reyes.

The timing seems right for the Mets to bring back José Reyes. They could really use him right now on the left side of the infield. It seems as though he’d jump at the chance to come back to the Big Apple. We’ll see if the Mets decide to make a move on him this weekend.

An Amazing “Story”

If you are an MLB fan and you have not heard about Colorado Rockies short stop Trevor Story yet, I’ll assume you have been on a camping trip this week with no connection to the outside world whatsoever.

Story leads the majors thus far in home runs with an incredible total of six, and has accomplished something that no other player in the history of the game has done.  Earlier this week, Story became the only MLB player to hit at least one home run in each of his first three (now four) career games, and is the first player since Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis in 2013, to homer in his first four games of the season per ESPN’s David Schoenfield.

This incredible feat began when the young short stop slapped a pair of home runs in his MLB debut with Colorado, in the Rockies opening series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, off pitcher Zack Greinke. Story continued his long-ball streak by blasting a homer each off of D-Backs pitchers Shelby Miller and Patrick Corbin.

 

 

(Clip of Trevor Story’s first two career home runs in his MLB debut. Video is Courtesy of MLB.com’s YouTube Account)

 

 

By all accounts, that would have been more than enough for most rookies, but Story isn’t done yet.

The Rockies celebrated Opening Day at hitter friendly Coors Field this afternoon (April 8th) taking on the San Diego Padres, who were coming off a forgettable, yet historical opening series shutout at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

And wouldn’t you know it, Story sent San Diego pitcher Colin Rea’s first offer packing in the bottom of the fourth inning, and homered again off of one of the Padres relief pitchers, Ryan Buchter, in the bottom of the ninth inning for his fifth and sixth home run of the year. Rewriting the record books a second time in the same week.

Story will have a chance to make it an unbelievable five consecutive games in a row tomorrow evening. The Rockies are scheduled to play their second contest of a three game series against San Diego at 8:10 p.m. EST. Drew Pomeranz is listed as the probable pitcher for the Padres.

 

Final Thoughts:

Eventually, possibly as early as tomorrow night’s game, Story’s home run streak will come to an end. Nevertheless, this has certainly been fun to watch and no doubt has Story on everyone’s early Rookie of the Year Award list (which reminds me, I should probably update mine).

Colorado fans were undoubtedly worried at the beginning of this season concerning the short stop position. What with last seasons drama-filled departure of Troy Tulowitzki to the Toronto Blue Jays, which brought over Jose Reyes as his replacement, and Reyes currently in the midst of a court case regarding a domestic violence incident that occurred earlier this year (though reports indicate the case may soon be settled).

Story has restored a little faith to the fans thus far, and is making one helluva case for coaches to keep himself playing above Reyes, if and when Reyes returns to the team this season.

The Blue Jays’ Hunt For A Successful October

The Blue Jays stand at 61-52 for the 2015 MLB season and are now only 1.5 games back of the New York Yankees. Since acquiring Troy Tulowitzki, the Blue Jays have gained 6.5 games on the Yankees and are 11-0 with the all-star shortstop in the lineup. David Price has been dominant for Toronto in two starts and is 2-0 with one run allowed in 15 innings.

The Blue Jays are also in the first Wild Card spot and are only 49 games away from doing something that they have not accomplished since 1993, which is making the postseason.

It has been a tough few years for Toronto as they gave up a lot of talent to acquire Mark Buerhle, Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, John Buck and Emilio Bonfacio from the Miami Marlins, and R.A. Dickey from the New York Mets. Since making those trades the expectations were that the Blue Jays would make the postseason but the team has failed to do so.

With this year starting to look like another failure for Toronto, General Manager Alex Anthopoulos decided enough was enough and dealt for Ben Revere, Tulowitzki and Price, giving the Blue Jays an ace at the top of their rotation, an all-star shortstop and a speedy outfielder.

The Blue Jays have now won eight straight games and nine of their last ten and are on the verge of overtaking the first place Yankees after sweeping the Bronx Bombers over the weekend. The ball club is red hot and improved what was already the best lineup in baseball with the acquisitions of Tulowitzki and Revere and with Tulo leading off for Toronto followed by Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion the lineup is formidable enough to frighten any opposing pitcher.

The real key for the Blue Jays was adding David Price, who is a free agent after the 2015 season. By adding the left-hander the Blue Jays stated that they were all in for this season and believe that they can make the World Series. The way that Toronto has played they look like a World Series caliber team and they recently won three out of four against Kansas City, the team that many people believe will return to the World Series.

Adding David Price at the top of the rotation gives Toronto veteran leadership and allows Mark Buerhle to become the number two starter for the team, a role that he more comfortably fills. To go along with Buerhle and Price are Dickey, Drew Hutchinson and Marco Estrada, who has been very good this year and is 10-6 with a 3.21 ERA on the season.

With the news that Marcus Stroman will return this season the Blue Jays now have another good pitcher to add to the mix. While Stroman might not start when he returns, the 24 year old could still be valuable in the bullpen mowing down hitters with his elite fastball.

Toronto has finally found their closer in Roberto Osuna and the 20 year old has four saves in the month of August and has pitched to a 2.13 ERA on the season out of the bullpen. Osuna is anchored by LaTroy Hawkins and Mark Lowe, two players that were also acquired at the deadline to give Toronto the best bullpen that they have had in recent memory.

For the Blue Jays this could be their last chance to make the World Series for some time. David Price is not going to re-sign with Toronto, but the Blue Jays still have him for now and they are making the right decision to go all in on the 2015 season. The Blue Jays have a legitimate candidate for the AL MVP in Josh Donaldson to go along with CY Young candidate David Price and are on the precipice of making the playoffs for the first time in 22 years.

With the way that the Blue Jays are playing they have a good shot of reaching the World Series. Toronto improved more than any other team at the trade deadline and now have a staff ace, and a good bullpen to go along with the best lineup in baseball. A Royals-Blue Jays ALCS would be a great matchup and is something that fans should look forward to this year.

TRADED: Troy Tulowitzki Heading To Toronto

Late Monday night all Tulo broke loose. Apologies to the Rockies scoring four times in the ninth inning only to lose to the Cubs Kris Bryant on his 2-run walk-off homer against John Axford.

Take it away Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal.

35 minutes later Kenny’s words had been retweeted over 6,400 times, then people started to go to bed as the times noted in his tweets are Pacific Time.

Thomas Harding of MLB.com also confirmed that 42-year-old reliever LaTroy Hawkins will head to Toronto, while right-handers Jeff Hoffman (9th pick of 2014 draft) and reliever Miguel Castro (4 SVs in 12.1 IP for Blue Jays) are two of the players going from Toronto to Colorado.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that another Blue Jays Minor Leaguer will be added to the deal.

The Blue Jays are in need of pitching and the Rockies are rebuilding so why not trade shortstop for shortstop? 22-year-old infield prospect Trevor Story is drilling Triple-A pitching while playing 2B/3B/SS so it’s hard to believe Jose Reyes will be in the Rockies long term plans, although his contract runs through 2017 with a 2018 team option. Tulo’s contract has him making bank through 2020 with a 2021 team option.

Meanwhile, the addition of Tulo could make the Blue Jays league best offense almost R.A. Dickey/Drew Hutchison-proof. Tulowitzki is slashing .300/.348/.471 this season. A far cry from his .340/.432/.603 mark last season, but he’s still both a better hitter and defender than Reyes. Yes, both shortstops are always injuries just waiting to happen.

“If you ain’t first, you’re last.” — Ricky Bobby

Most importantly, Tulowitzki jumps from a last place team into a pennant race . The Blue Jays aren’t in first, at least not yet, but they do hold a 72-run lead over the second highest scoring team in the majors which is the New York Yankees. The Yankees lead the AL East standings, but the Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles are just 3-games behind.

The trade deadline is Friday. More exciting news will no doubt develop. Here’s some of what we’ve learned.

Last Thursday, Scott Kazmir was dealt from the Athletics to the Astros.

This past Sunday, Johnny Cueto was dealt from the Reds to the Royals to give them a much needed starting pitching upgrade.

After the Mets felt the need to trade for Braves infielders Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe and on Monday also grabbed closer Tyler Clippard from the Athletics.

Monday afternoon the Los Angeles Angels re-Joyced over their new left field situation when Car Fox Bill Stoneman traded in Josh Rutledge for some cash and a used automobile in the name of Shane Victorino. The Car Fax history report confirms the 2015 Red Sox model (.622 OPS) isn’t anywhere near as reliable as an actual Crown Vic or the 2013 Red Sox (.801 OPS) or 2011 Phillies edition (.847 OPS) of the Flyin’ Hawaiian. Victorino can still run and cover some ground on defense so it’s worth it to the Halos to see if he can help them maintain a 2-game lead on the Houstron Astros in the AL West. Matt Joyce (concussion) and Daniel Robertson (who?) were the most recent options in left.

Cole Hamels no hit the Cubs in his previous start and will probably still get dealt by the Phillies before the deadline, however the movement of Troy Tulowitzki to Canada after 10-years in Colorado is breathtaking and adds another layer of intrigue to the AL East division race.

Final note…

Monday evening the Yankees Alex Rodriguez became the 6th player to homer on his 40th birthday. He has six career birthday homers and four long balls since last Saturday. He’ll need to keep producing because the Yankees neighbors to the north figure to continue slugging.

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Should Jose Reyes be remembered as a Mets Legend?

(Danny Wild-MLB.com)

As the Toronto Blue Jays roll into town, Mets fans get to see one of their former beloveds; Jose Reyes. Jose was adored by the Mets faithful; night in and night out chants of “Jose, Jose Jose Jose!” used to echo around old Shea Stadium, as Jose Reyes, David Wright, and a core of veterans made 2006-2008 some of the most exciting and prosperous times in Mets history (although a World Series still evaded those highly talented teams).

However, Reyes’ and Wright’s contracts were expiring around the same time, and the Mets had to make a choice. They could only give the big, mega, franchise player bucks to one of them; and the Mets chose David Wright. Following the 2011 season, a season in which Mets fans begged the front office to keep Jose Reyes in town, and a season where we saw him win the Mets one and (to date) only batting title, Jose left for greener pastures, to the NL East Rival Marlins, signing a 6 year-$106M contract . It hurt. Mets fans were bitter, and heartbroken over losing their beloved Jose Reyes, and felt stabbed in the back by his decision. While Jose has never reached the level of success he had in New York, he has never hit over .300 since leaving, is he still considered a New York Mets legend? Let’s look into the numbers and find out.

As compared to Mets shortstops, Reyes completely shatters the competition. He is second to games played to Bud Harrelson, but the rest of his stats show how special of a player he was in Queens. His 735 runs scored are first, with Harrelson coming in at second with 490. His 1,300 hits are first, over Bud Harrelson again, who had 1029. His 222 doubles are first, with (you guessed it) Bud Harrelson at 123. He has 99 triples to Harrelson’s 45. He hit 81 home runs for the Mets, with Kevin Elster (who was a rookie in 1986, and was the starting shortstop from 88-92) hitting 34 to come in second. His 423 RBI’s are almost 200 more than Rey Ordonez’s 260, and his 370 stolen bases completely shatter Bud Harrelson’s 115. He was also a wizard with the glove, with his highest error total being 18 in 2005, and his lowest being 12 in 2007.

As a shortstop, there is no competition; while Bud Harrelson was a great player, Jose Reyes is the best shortstop the Mets have ever seen. Honestly, there is not one stat that is even close to his; he completely shattered the Mets shortstop records. He was also an important piece to a some of the most successful (despite narrowly missing the playoffs in 2007 and 2008) teams in Mets history; he had an oWAR of 4.9 and a dWAR of 1.6 with a 116 wRC+  (click the link for a detailed description of the stat) in ’06, an oWAR of 4.0 and a dWAR of 1.8 with a 101 wRC+ in ’07, and an oWAR of 5.0 and a dWAR of 0.5 with a 118 wRC+ in ’08, in a stretch where the team went a combined 274-212. The Mets were good, and Jose Reyes was a huge part of it.

The Mets have never really recovered from losing Reyes to free agency. They never got that leadoff hitter and defensive star Reyes was, and they never really had another shortstop. Ruben Tejada is a bench player at best, and Wilmer Flores is simply not a shortstop. While fans can throw around the word “loyalty” and show how David Wright took a discount to stay here, fans should remember that Jose Reyes did a lot of things well in his time in Queens, and he is certainly a Mets legend. Now that the sting of him leaving has dulled it is time for Mets fans to understand that, and have one more Jose chant, for old times sake.

Note: All stats are received from baseball-reference.com , fangraphs.com  and newyork.mets.mlb.com