What would the New York Mets and the rest of Major League Baseball look like if Jose Reyes stayed in Flushing after winning the 2011 National League batting title?
There weren’t many New York Mets players in the 21st Century as exciting to watch as Jose Reyes. His deadly speed made him a uniquely gifted player. In three consecutive seasons, he led the league with 60+ stolen bases. In many ways, he was one of the last great base thieves in MLB history.
Reyes was more than just a guy who could run. In 2011, his .337 batting average led the National League. It was the first and only time a player in a Mets uniform has won a batting crown.
Unfortunately, Reyes’ attempt at winning consecutive batting titles led him to Miami. He signed with the Marlins after the 2011 season as the Mets embarked on the first half of a miserable decade.
On another timeline, Reyes stayed in New York and played out the next few seasons with the Mets. How would this have changed the team? Let’s rewrite some Mets history.
Assuming Reyes would sign the same six-year deal he got from the Marlins, we can get a clearer picture of what things would look like with the Mets.
The massive deal included a total of $102 million plus a $22 million option for a seventh season. There was a buy-out for the seventh year at $4 million which was eventually paid by the Colorado Rockies.
Reyes’ days with the Mets were not over following the 2011 season as he did return in 2016 after his release from Colorado. Prior to a short stint in Denver, Reyes played two and a half seasons for the Toronto Blue Jays. This all came after one year with the Marlins who quickly realized their spending-spree ahead of the 2012 season was not a wise idea.
All four teams—the Mets, Marlins, Blue Jays, and Rockies—would have looked vastly different this decade if Reyes never left New York.