If you don't pay much attention to baseball, but still read our blog (Hi Mom!), you might not realize that there's a shortstop that goes by the name of Jose Reyes having an MVP-caliber season for the Mets. He's batting a Gonzalez-esque .354 with 30 stolen bases, 65 runs scored, 35 RBI's with a career-high .927 OPS.
The Mets should be thrilled to have a 28-year old short stop putting up those kinds of numbers. Except, their organization is in shambles. It's sad really. Despite the fact that they would prefer to keep Reyes (who's a free agent after this season) they'll surely let him go for the right offer. Here's a decent story on why the Mets will trade him, from SI.com.
Since we have a world-class shortstop who's available and in line for a gigantic contract, the Reyes-to-Boston rumors are about to run rampant. The Globe's Nick Cafardo is onboard:
You don’t go out and obtain Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to finish second to the Yankees. You get those guys because you’ve committed to winning it all. And to not finish things off would be foolish.
From this perspective, they should load up the truck of prospects and send them to the Mets for shortstop Jose Reyes.
“I know that everyone seems to think the Red Sox are going to bring in Carlos Beltran, or that they need a pitcher, but today proved to me that their biggest need is to get Reyes and solidify that shortstop position,’’ said an American League scout who watched the Sox beat the Rays, 9-5, yesterday at Tropicana Field. “They don’t need much here. And if their pitchers all come back in due time, they probably don’t need to go there. What they need is an impact player at that very crucial position on the field. And there’s nobody better than Reyes right now.’’
To make this move, you can say goodbye to Jose Iglesias. I imagine he'd be the centerpiece of the trade, and even if not, with Reyes in place, Iglesias has no future in Boston. This saddens me. I can't recall being more excited for a young player than I am for Iglesias. I just think he's the bees knees.
And the last time I checked, sans Reyes, the Sox are still leading the Yankees (despite all the troubles with the rotation). So we can knock off the "finish second to Yankees" talk right now. Top-to-bottom, we're a better team. And more importantly, the Yankees are aging quickly. If either of us needs to make some moves, it's New York.
But the bigger issue is that, with this move, we'd essentially be selling our souls. Last week Scott wrote about how we don't need All-Stars at every single position like the Yankees demand, and it's a great point. We'll never have the payroll cap of the Pirates, but we (and others) have already proved several times that you don't need to match the Yankees spending to beat them. You just need a front office that knows when and where to spend those dollars, and groom your in-house talent. You don't just open your wallet anytime someone becomes available.
This isn't to say that, were Theo to trade for Reyes, that I wouldn't welcome him. Sure I would. Not only is he a fantastic player, but he's exciting as hell to watch. He'd take our lineup from ridiculous to ludicrous. And, at the end of the day, I don't really care how much of John Henry's personal savings account he unloads unto the Sox. If he wants to pay for another $100 million deal, who am I to tell him no?
But when your farm system turns into nothing more than a holding cell for trade chips, some of the life is sucked from the organization. It wouldn't take me long to learn to love Reyes. But I'll never have the same emotional attachment to him as I do that other Jose -- Iglesias. It's the same reason I was unsure about the KG trade, and still watch Utah Jazz games to check in on Al Jefferson.
If the Sox do make this hypothetical trade, maybe it'll get us another World Series trophy. But unlike the Celtics pre-KG, the Sox are well equiped to get that trophy without Reyes.