Ten years ago, Jose Reyes did something no other New York Mets player has: he won a batting title. His .337 batting average led all National League hitters. History was made!
Unfortunately, the team didn’t do so well. The team finished with a 77-85 record. Hovering a few games above .500 near the end of July, they still ended up as sellers with Carlos Beltran shipped out to the San Francisco Giants as the biggest move.
There was some speculation at the time that maybe the Mets would trade Reyes as well. In his final season under contract with the club, it could have made a lot of sense. They never did and he end up signing with the Miami Marlins over the winter.
What if the Mets had traded Jose Reyes at the 2011 trade deadline?
Ten years is a long time ago. Remembering names and faces from a full decade in the past isn’t always easy. I have a rule where I don’t even bother storing a person’s name or face in my brain unless I know I’ll see them again. Upon the second encounter, if I believe there would be none, it makes for a nice little challenge to see if I can piece the puzzle together.
I decided to look back at a few names mentioned in 2011 as possible chips for the Mets to land. While this is only one person’s take, I’m sure these same names were often mentioned.
Could the Mets have possibly picked up a future stud?
Los Angeles Angels – Tyler Chatwood, Jordan Walden, Peter Bourjos, Mark Trumbo, Alexi Amarasti
There are a couple of recognizable names here, but none to really drool over. Chatwood’s arm and Trumbo’s bat might have been the most favorable return in this deal. Trumbo is pretty much Lucas Duda so I’m not sure how necessary he would have been. As for Chatwood, the Mets developed much better pitchers.
Cincinnati Reds – Mike Leake, Travis Wood, Chris Heisey, Jay Bruce
I see a trend. Half the guys look like wonderful additions. The other half never developed into much as big leaguers. Leake and Bruce are the desired pieces in this trade. Both were young men at the time. Imagine a world where Bruce’s best years were in Flushing.
New York Yankees – Jesus Montero, Justin Maxwell, Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances
There’s zero chance this trade would have ever happened. But it’s mentioned so I have to cover it. Betances is the only guy who grew into a player with good major league value. He would, of course, later join the Mets on the other side of his MLB career—not the beginning.
San Francisco Giants – Madison Bumgarner, Darren Ford, Brandon Belt, Conor Gillaspie
Life is much different today for Mets fans if a few of these names ended up in New York. Imagine if Bumgarner called Citi Field home early on in his career? Belt would have been good, too. And what about Gillaspie? He’s a notorious Mets villain from his 2016 NLWC home run to help give Bumgarner the win.
Boston Red Sox – Felix Doubront, Kyle Weiland, Jose Iglesias
Probably the weakest of the names on this list, the Red Sox were in need of a shortstop like Reyes in 2011 because of a weak offensive performance from Marco Scutaro and Jed Lowrie (we know those guys). If there’s one group of names we should be happy the Mets didn’t target, it’s the one from Beantown.
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Nothing guarantees a pitcher like Bumgarner develops the same with the Mets or a bat like Bruce’s produces high home run numbers. Still, from those earlier days of baseball blogging, it’s interesting to look back and check the pulse of what people were thinking.