July 20, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Miami Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes (7) reacts in the dugout after hitting a solo homerun to begin the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Could the Mets Re-Acquire Jose Reyes?

According to MLB.com beat writer Joe Frisario, there’s a good chance the Miami Marlins could become sellers if their lackluster–and extremely disappointing–season continues. Despite going “all-in” during the off-season, the Marlins, who’s payroll is at an all-time high of $101.6 million, are currently four games below .500, and 10 games out of first place. With their pre-season win-now ideology in stark opposition to their current disposition, it’s possible that big-salaried players like Hanley Ramirez, Mark Buehrle, Heath Bell, and even Jose Reyes could become available. In the event Reyes is dangled to other teams, is there a chance the New York Mets could be knocking on Larry Beinfest’s office door?

As you may or may not recall, Reyes spent his first twelve seasons (both Minor and Major) with the Mets, from 1999 to 2011. Upon become a free agent, despite wanting to stay with the Mets, the team simply did not have the money (for a variety of reasons) to re-sign their homegrown stud. While most fans were unable to imagine a Mets squad without Reyes helming shortstop, so far, the team hasn’t really missed him.

In Reyes’ absence, Ruben Tejada has stepped in, and become a respected asset on both sides of the ball. In 210 PA’s this season, the 22 year-old has posted a fruitful .319/.368/.393 line. Tejada has also been a pleasure defensively, gloving a 3.3 UZR/150 in 403 innings at shortstop. His combined talents have resulted in a 1.4 fWAR so far, which has been worth around $6.4 million.

On the flip side, Reyes has struggled with his new team. In 414 PA’s, the 29 year-old has swatted a mere .264/.334/.378 line with 20 SB. Although defensive metrics have never been kind to Reyes, his -5.1 UZR/150 is tied for nineteenth in the Major Leagues.  Essentially, Reyes has more or less been a bust in 2012.

Regardless, you’ll find few fans who wouldn’t want to add Jose Reyes to the equation. After being the Mets go-to leadoff hitter for years, the Mets have tried six different players in the first slot in 2012. Having Reyes back at the top would certainly lend some stability to the lineup card.

But who would the Mets surrender in return for the shortstop? Reyes is owed another $96 million over the next five years (including a $4 million buyout in 2018). That’s a lot of money and years–especially for someone the Mets passed on (and seemingly the rest of baseball passed on too). Given his pricey contract and less-than-stellar 2012 (so far), it’s unlikely the Marlins could successfully demand the likes of Matt Harvey or Zack Wheeler, but perhaps some combination of Ruben Tejada, Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Jeurys Familia, and/or Domingo Tapia could intrigue the potentially dollar-shedding Marlins.

There is no doubt, a “Jose Reyes back to the Mets” trade would be one of the strangest in the history of baseball, but that’s little reason to rule it out completely.

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  • SteveBrooklyn777

    I’ve got a better idea. Keep Tejada, and use the money you’d spend to pay Reyes to lock up Wright. Trading Duda, Kirk, and others would be fine for a true RFer who doesn’t K too often, a C, and some bullpen help.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hector-Cortes/100000351183370 Hector Cortes

      Yea I agree no way the Mets waste money or prospects to bring Reyes back as he’s showing exactly why the Mets were smart not to sign him for the ridiculous amount of money he got. The money would be better spent resigning Wright and on pitching and more pitching.

    • http://risingapple.com Moebarguy

      How about if we had money to trade for Reyes AND re-sign Wright? Supposedly the Mets are going to be “buyers.”

  • http://thebrooklyntrolleyblogger.blogspot.com/ MikeLecolant.BTB

    I’m a forward moving creature. So with regards to Reyes, we’ve been there and done that. It’s Tejada’s position now. I agree 100% that the Marlins; Jeff Loria in particular; wouldn’t think twice about blowing that up. But we have a new plan in place, and that’s where my mind is fixed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.hesse.9 Ben Hesse

    “So far, the team hasn’t really missed him.” You said it yourself. Why go after him, if we don’t miss him. Tejada, while no Jose Reyes, is an extremely serviceable option, even before looking at dollar figures. When you factor that in, Tejada may be more bang for your buck than Jose. We need bullpen help, because we have young pitchers that are almost ready to take the next step, and a surprisingly productive young lineup. No need to give up assets when we have an above average shortstop.

    • http://risingapple.com Moebarguy

      Because Reyes is better than what he’s producing–so it would be buying low from a team that can’t afford to wait. Not saying the Mets should acquire him, but it would be an interesting conversation.

    • http://risingapple.com Moebarguy

      Because Reyes is better than what he’s producing–so it would be buying low from a team that can’t afford to wait. Not saying the Mets should acquire him, but it would be an interesting conversation.

    • Devils950003

      C’mon, this is so not happening. Reyes is a good but not great baseball player who has always carried himself (mistakenly) as a great player. For every electrifying highlight, there was also a boneheaded/lackadasical/what the hell is he thinking moment? He’s never really been as good as his abilities would lead one to believe. The Mets were right to move on from him. He is showing conclusively that he really doesn’t make the difference that some observers are still convinced that he does…he is not a bad player, but he is the classic definition of “overrated”.

  • LastingsMilledgeHigh5

    shortstop is the least of the mets concerns. If they Mets made a conscience effort to not give Reyes the years and the money, why would they take that bloated contract and give up prospects? Its asinine, Tejada is a young player who is only getting better

    • http://risingapple.com Moebarguy

      They didn’t even make an offer because they didn’t have the money to. If the do now–as the Mets have said–perhaps they can take on his contract (or a good chunk of it).