3) The NY Mets let Jose Reyes walk after winning a batting title and it was the right move
Jose Reyes would return to the Mets at the very end of his career for three more seasons. There was a gap in between. After winning the 2011 batting title, the Mets moved on and Reyes signed a monster contract with a re-branded Miami Marlins team eager to spend money.
The Marlins were a disaster despite Reyes putting up some pretty good numbers. He led the league in plate appearances with 176 while batting .287/.347/.433. Reyes would go on to steal 40 bases for the last time in his career—something he hadn’t done since 2008.
The decline we saw from Reyes was less sudden. He developed into a different player. Age caught up and he was no longer the same stolen base threat he was in his prime years. It wasn’t anything unusual. He’d have a couple of good years with the Toronto Blue Jays following a massive trade away from the Marlins but ended up with the Colorado Rockies in the middle of the 2015 season. It was while employed by them he was arrested for alleged domestic abuse. He was placed on administrative leave and designated for assignment by the Rockies before playing a game for them again in 2016.
Keeping Reyes after the 2011 season would’ve had some pros but the Mets fall into the same trap in the Alfonzo case and even with Strawberry to some degree. The teams weren’t all that good after any of these free agents left. In part related to each leaving, we can look back at the overall production and what would later happen as a positive.
Imagine Reyes on a pricy contract and underperforming on the 2015 Mets. It could have been a reason for the ball club to not acquire Yoenis Cespedes. We never get the epic Wilmer Flores home run days after his tears brought the same from us.