Mets reunion with Jose Reyes makes sense
By Rich Sparago
Reyes should become a free agent on Saturday, and the Mets are interested
It’s all Mets Twitter is talking about. Jose Reyes was designated for assignment on June 17, has been placed on waivers and will be a free agent on Saturday. The Mets are rumored to have strong interest in bringing Reyes back to Queens. Should they?
Yes, they should. It’s that simple.
Reyes is reported to have committed a despicable act last October, when he is alleged to have been involved in a domestic violence incident with his wife. Reyes deserved to pay a steep price for those actions and did. He was suspended by MLB through May 31, a total of 52 games.
He seems to be repentant, posting pictures of a seemingly happy family. It should not stop there. Reyes, whether he is signed by the Mets or any other team, should be required to give copious amounts of his time to educate families on the horrible nature of domestic violence, and the damage it can do to all.
He must use his celebrity to bring about change. Sadly, he is qualified to speak on the topic of domestic violence.
If people think the Mets should not bring Reyes to Flushing solely because of his transgression, I respect that. As the father of a daughter, I cannot fathom her someday being the victim of an act such as the one Reyes was accused of committing. However, I do believe in second chances, especially when the perpetrator has expressed contrition.
By way of analogy, the NFL has had issues with domestic violence. They have had their players and coaches issue public service announcements on the topic. Some accused players are back in the league (Adrian Peterson).
To those who do not want to grant Reyes a second chance, I’d ask if they now refuse to watch NFL games — because the NFL has been all about second chances.
Then there’s the more trivial side of the debate — the matter of whether or not Reyes can help the Mets on the field. Let’s take a look at some of the points being bandied about.
Reyes’ skills have diminished
Of course they have. But let’s take a look at context. In his worst season, 2015, Reyes slashed .259/.291/.368. He also stole 24 bases. Before his trade to Colorado, he slashed .285/.322/.385.
Let’s compare that line to Wilmer Flores in 2016, which is .228/.294/.360 (along with an abhorrent lack of speed). How about Eric Campbell when he was in the majors? His line was .159/.270/.222. Ty Kelly? I won’t even go there. There’s a reason why he made his major league debut at age 27.
Reyes put up a line of .287/.328/.398 along with 30 stolen bases in 2014. Scouts have been saying the skills are still there, and it’s hard to say Reyes will not be an upgrade over some of the crop of infielders the Mets are currently using.
Asdrubal Cabrera is playing shortstop
He certainly is, and he should stay there. Neil Walker should stay at second base. Reyes can step in at third base. Yes, he has never played there. But with his athleticism, strong throwing arm, and experience on the left side of the infield, it’s reasonable to think Reyes can do the job.
Besides, have you seen Flores play third? If the Mets make a move at the deadline, Reyes can become a utility infielder, spelling both Cabrera and Walker while keeping them fresh for a potential stretch run.
Reyes will be a distraction
He could be, especially at first. However, if, as I said above, he uses his celebrity to further the cause against domestic violence, he can turn the situation into a positive for the community.
One thing is for sure. Reyes will be motivated to play for the team that drafted him, and can bring energy to Citi Field. Those who are against the possible reunion may feel differently the first time he legs out a triple and scores on an out- -a Reyes run.
This is going backwards, a publicity stunt
Sorry, no it isn’t. This is about recognizing a need for offense (especially speed), and taking a very low risk (the Mets would owe him about $270,00 for 2016) to address that need.
Reyes can help the Mets immediately. They may not have the option to wait until July 31 to import some offense, and adding Reyes does not mitigate the opportunity to bring in a bat. If that potential acquisition is a third baseman, Reyes becomes an infield super-sub.
The fact that Reyes is a former Met should not factor into the analysis. The bottom line is that he is available and better than several of the infielders who are or have been on the roster.
Next: T.J. Rivera is emerging as a third base option
The Mets have a chance to bring in a player who can help them. That player is available because of a serious offense, and that needs to be addressed. It can be. It has been in other sports. The Mets should not walk away from any opportunity to improve the team.
Having a reunion with Jose Reyes is such an opportunity.