Just days after the (slim) possibility of Carlos Beltran returning to Flushing was floated, Capital New York’s Howard Megdal uses this item from Rogers SportsNet to begin discussion of SS Jose “Rent, Don’t Buy” Reyes once again donning a Mets uniform after being salary-dumped for the second consecutive season. Jose II : The Reckoning, could, in Megdal’s words, “serve as a fig leaf for the Wilpons, pretending that ownership has returned to a better, more solvent day straight out of the high-flying Bernie Madoff-financed years.”
If Jeff Wilpon’s words about being ready to invest meant anything, it’s hard to think of a better way than putting little more than money into dramatically improving the team’s shortstop situation while simultaneously reuniting the team with one of its most popular players, ever. There are fans, and I am among them, who would probably put up with an offseason that did little else to improve the club, simply for the chance to watch Jose Reyes every day again.
But: since Wilpon’s words haven’t meant anything for nearly five years, there’s still another way to potentially do this, and that’s be dealing starting pitching to the Jays for Reyes. A deal involving, for instance, Jon Niese, Rafael Montero and another prospect could be enticing enough to the Blue Jays to cover most of Jose Reyes’ salary.
There’s huge risk in doing this, with pitching inherently fragile. Still, the payoff, one of the best shortstops in baseball for, say, $5 million per season, is big.
The Mets, by staying put, aren’t likely to be contending next year. This deal alone probably wouldn’t change that, but the most exciting position player the Mets have ever had would be leading off and wearing number seven every day.