At only 27 years old, the idea of Jose Reyes leaving the only team he’s ever played for seems preposterous. That was until owner Fred Wilpon went and said, “(Jose)’s a racehorse. He thinks he’s going to get Carl Crawford money. He’s had everything wrong with him. He won’t get it.” That comment, along with the fact that Wilpon claims the Mets are “bleeding cash” and could end up $70 million in the red, make the departure of Reyes more of a reality. Reyes is in the final year of his contract, the Mets are going to have an impossible time catching the Phillies and their starting pitching currently holds the sixth worst ERA in the majors, so there is little reason for the Mets to hold on to him. In order to get something for Reyes before he leaves town, a trade would need to happen. Let’s take a look at five possible teams that would like to have Reyes on their roster by the trade deadline.
New York Yankees
While the Yankees did just pour a whole bunch of money into the position by re-signing Jeter in the off-season, Derek has been anything but impressive. Jeter is currently hitting .254, his lowest average since his rookie season. Throw in the fact that the Yankees currently have Jeter hitting first even though he’s only managed to steal three bases all year. Reyes would provide a huge boost, with an on-base percentage 60 points higher than Jeter and nearly six times as many stolen bases. Reyes would provide the speed that could help keep the Yankees in front of the hot Sox and streaking Rays. If this were to happen you would most definitely see his fantasy baseball value increase. Plus, this way Reyes wouldn’t have to worry about house shopping.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants are coming of a World Series victory and would like to prove last year’s run wasn’t a fluke. Currently, the Giants have been trying to hold down the shortstop spot with Miguel Tejada and Mike Fontenot who are batting .220 and .211 respectively. The Giants as a team only have 27 stolen bases on the year, which are only 10 more than Reyes has by himself this season. That addition of speed would be a huge boost for the Giants, particularly because they have to find creative ways to score. Granted, the Giants aren’t known for making big moves for one-year fillers, so there is some doubt that they’d pull the trigger.
Ignoring the fact that the Mets are unlikely to be willing to give up Reyes to a division rival, Reyes makes a lot of sense. The Braves have the fewest steals in the Majors this year with eight. Their current SS is Alex Gonzalez, who is an outstanding defender, but definitely leaves something to be desired when he’s at the plate. Plus, with all the injury concerns surrounding Chipper Jones, the Braves are likely to need another bat this season. Now if they can just figure a way to work out their differences…
With both the Twins and the Sox struggling, the Tigers may believe that the time is ripe to make a move. Adding Reyes would obviously give the Tigers a boost, as he would instantly double their stolen base total. It would also allow the Tigers to get Brandon Inge and his .208 batting average off the field by moving Jhonny Peralta to third where he has spent nearly half his career. While Cleveland’s hot start may have discouraged some Tigers fan, a move for Reyes could definitely give them hope as they inch their way up towards the top of the AL Central standings.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers definitely fit the bill of a Jose Reyes landing spot. He would be an instant boost to their line-up, becoming the leader in steals, double and triples, third in batting average and fourth in RBIs. Even at seven games under 500, they’re still only seven games behind the division leading Giants. Additionally, the Dodgers have the farm system that should be able to entice the Mets into making the trade. The big question is how will the MLB feel about the team they had to take over taking on the additional payroll?