In laying the groundwork for a potential trade of Jose Reyes, Mets GM Sandy Alderson has expressed concern about Reyes' health and on-base percentage. So far, Reyes is healthy, and, after getting on base six times Tuesday night, he now leads all full-time shortstops with a .377 OBP, ahead of Troy Tulowitzki (.373) and Jimmy Rollins (.370). (Angels' infielder Maicer Izturis (.386 OBP) made ten starts at shortstop while Erick Aybar was hurt.)
If Reyes keeps this up, the front office will have to scramble to find new reasons why the Mets will be better off without their star shortstop. Perhaps we'll start hearing things like "Some catalyst - Reyes gets on base six times against the Giants and the Mets still lose."
More likely, we'll start hearing rumors about the haul of prospects the Mets can expect to land for Reyes. But if you follow the links in today's Metsblog item "The Giants have discussed acquiring Jose Reyes," it shows how what the Mets should want for Reyes is unlikely to match up with what other teams are willing to give.
From MLB Trade Rumors' Tim Dierkes:
At the big league level, the Giants have two established starters the Mets could try to acquire. One is Jonathan Sanchez, a solid lefty with a walk problem. He's under team control through 2012; how much value would his '12 season at a salary of $8MM or so be of to the Mets? Perhaps GM Sandy Alderson could flip Sanchez for longer-term players. The Giants also have southpaw Madison Bumgarner, who is more valuable than Belt and controlled through 2016. Like Belt, Bumgarner is way too much for Reyes.
Let's forget about Sanchez, who is 28 and not too long ago was being compared to Oliver Perez as a talented but wild lefty who couldn't put it together. While Sanchez, unlike Perez, has become a viable big-league starter, he's 28, has walked 20 in 33 innings this season, and as Dierkes points out, will make $8M next season and could become a free agent after that.
Brandon Belt is a highly touted young prospect, ranked 17th overall in ESPN's Keith Law's list of MLB's top prospects at the start of the season. Madison Bumgarner pitched a shutout in the World Series last year at age 21.
I really don't want the Mets to trade Reyes, but if they could get both Belt and Bumgarner, it could at least be intriguing. But here again is Dierkes' last line from the above quote:
Like Belt, Bumgarner is way too much for Reyes.
If I were a Giants' fan, I wouldn't want them to trade Bumgarner, either. But someone like Belt would have to be a starting point.
Even if Belt did turn out to be the centerpiece of a Reyes trade, he's a first baseman, and the Mets already have a good young first baseman. Law speculates that Belt could move to left field, but Jason Bay is likely to be there for the next few years.
Oh, and by the way, if the Mets did get Belt and found a way to get him into the lineup, they would still need a shortstop.
Reyes' success so far this season only makes it more likely that trading him will hurt the team not only in the short term, but in the long term as well, because in the current baseball landscape, a young shortstop with Reyes' skills is irreplaceable.
Should the Mets trade Jose Reyes? Tell us what you think.