In a recent report for SI.com, Jon Heyman polled two major league executives and two agents, and predicted what Jose Reyes might sign for in a free agent contract:
Heyman says the Giants are a “perfect fit in the eyes of many”, and lists the Orioles, A’s, Nationals, Phillies, Cardinals, Reds and Brewers among possible suitors for Reyes, should the Mets not retain him beyond 2011.
My question is: What is Reyes really worth as a free agent? At the end of the day, he’s only worth what a team is willing to pay for him, and that really won’t be known until he hits the open market, if he hits the open market.
Granted, Reyes is out of control right now, and it’s safe to say a long term, nine-figured contract is a realistic goal for Reyes to reach. But these predictions seem to be solely based on this one incredible season he is having and discounting what he might be able to produce going forward. The point is its unrealistic to think this level of production can be sustained over a long period of time and it’s probably unwise to commit such a large amount of money to someone who might be playing as well as he ever will play, whether it’s the Mets or any team vying for Reyes’ services.
Then again, from a Mets perspective, does a super-star player, who has a proven track record in New York, and is loved by the fan base, hold that kind of value? Is his value on the New York Mets greater than it is elsewhere? It has to be factored in, yet it makes the whole situation that much more difficult, should Reyes command that kind of contract this winter.
Don’t get me wrong – I want for the Mets to retain Reyes beyond this season. Very badly at that. But the contract he signs must be reasonable for both parties which will ensure Sandy Alderson can build around Reyes, all while maintaining flexibility to improve the roster and the depth of the organization at any given point in time.
With last night’s rout of the Tigers, the Mets improved to 40-39 for the season.
It is the first time the Mets have been over .500 since they were 3-2 on April 6, and since dropping to 5-13 on April 20, they have gone 35-26 in their last 61 games.
Over their last 30 games, Mets starting pitchers have posted a 2.84 ERA which is the third lowest total in the majors over that span, and they’ve now allowed three runs or less in 24 of those 30 games.
Since May 22, they’ve hit .283 as a team, and lead the National League with 79 stolen bases this season.
Since the beginning of the Mets climb from their 5-13 hole, I’ve tried to figure out what has made this team so enjoyable to watch again. Some days I think it’s their starting pitching, others it’s their offense, others it’s both. But I don’t think I can sum it up so simply.
Over the last several days in particular, I think I’ve come up with what I have found to be so enjoyable about this team, and it’s the element of surprise and excitement which comes from that surprise. Everyday, whether it’s Jose Reyes dominating, or Carlos Beltran getting a big hit with runners in scoring position, or Jon Niese continuing to mature into a top-of-the-rotation pitcher, and as Jason Bay did last night with his grand slam which to me, came out of no where, I am pleasantly surprised by one or more elements of their brand of baseball, and it’s a feeling I don’t think I’ve had since 2006.
I still don’t know what all of it will translate to in the end. 40-39 is typically an indicator of inconsistency, and it should certainly not be considered a goal for either the team or the fans, especially with 82 games remaining on the schedule. But it’s weird to me that a 40-39 team can be so exciting and fun to watch, and actually make me dream of October baseball. It’s not often a 40-39 team can provide that element of surprise on a nightly basis. Maybe that means this team will not rest at 40-39, and climb to the top of the standings and shock just about everyone in professional sports. Then again, maybe it’s a burst of energy and they will once again fade – I don’t know. What I do know is they have sustained this style of baseball for the better part of six weeks, beaten very good opponents and commanded games both at home and on the road, and played consistently well with guys who I never thought could make any sort of contribution and that is a testament to Terry Collins and his staff.
This isn’t just a good week or two in the middle of a baseball season. That is, at the very least, a sign of sustained success, and as a fan, I have sorely missed that from the Mets.
Last night, Jose Reyes went 4 for 4 with a walk, three runs scored and a stolen base. He has 10 hits and eight runs scored in his last three games.
After the game, Reyes spoke to reporters about his performance and basically said:
When he gets on, especially to start the game, he feels like he ignites the offense.
Terry Collins told him he removed him from the game to get him a few innings off.
In his last at bat, he was looking for a pitch on the inner half of the plate to try for the cycle, but the Tigers pitched him outside, so he took the walk.
And the dream season continues. Reyes picked up his 23rd four-hit game of his career, tops on the Mets all-time list, en route to sparking another offensive explosion. It was also his 40th multi-hit game this season and, maybe even more importantly to this front office, Reyes drew his 25th walk of 2011. He has 31 all of last season.
Reyes touched on it a bit after the game, but when he gets on to start the night, it throws a wrench in the opposing team’s game plan. Immediately, it forces the opposing pitcher into the stretch, allows the Mets to see more fastballs early in the game and opens up the team’s options to play hit-and-run, sacrifice or punch a ball through a vacated hole in the defense. I’ve been really impressed with Reyes’ approach at the plate all year. It’s easy to see he’s picking up a ton of hits, getting on base and scoring runs. But I think the key has been his improved patience and his ability to work himself into good counts. I think that, in some ways even more so than the .349 batting average, is what could make a long-term deal viable to Sandy Alderson and potentially turn this year’s team into legitimate contenders.
With voting for the All-Star Game set to end at 11:59 pm on Thursday, Jose Reyes trails Troy Tulowitski by just 240,000 votes to start at shortstop for the National League, while Carlos Beltran trails by about 1.3 million votes for a starting spot in the outfield. For the latest tallies, click here.
To vote up to 25 times for both Reyes and Beltran to start in this year’s All-Star Game in Phoenix, click here.
By voting for the Mets 20 or more times and selecting the Mets as your “favorite” or “other favorite” club, you will be entered into a drawing to win two tickets to a Mets home game plus the opportunity to meet Jose Reyes before that game. For details, click here.
The Mets trounced the Detroit Tigers last night which you can read about here. They will continue their three game series against the Tigers in Comerica Park tonight at 7:10 pm, with Chris Capuano (6-7, 3.99 ERA) taking on Phil Coke (1-7, 4.32 ERA).
In case you missed it, Jason Bay hit a grand slam in the top of the fourth inning during the Mets 14-3 victory last night ending the clubs drought of 299 games without a grand slam. The drought was the longest since the Marlins went 363 games without a grand slam from 2002-2004. To learn more, check out ESPN New York.
Last night, Jose Reyes played in his 1,000th major league game, in which he was 4-for-4 with a walk, a stolen base and a home run shy of hitting for the cycle.
Jose now has 98 triples and 360 steals to his credit, and according to Elias Sports Bureau the only other player with that many triples and stolen bases in his first 1,000 games is Ty Cobb, who had 106 triples and 391 stolen bases.
Yesterday, Jon Niese underwent an exam on his rapid heartbeat at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, and the results were normal. Niese will wear a heart monitor for the next 24 hours, and is expected to make his next start. To read more about Niese, check out the Star-Ledger, the New York Post, Newsday, the Daily News, New York Times, and MLB.com.
Prior to last night’s game, Terry Collins told reporters that David Wright will begin hitting off a tee this afternoon.
Meanwhile, Johan Santana was scheduled to throw off a mound for the first time since experiencing soreness in his shoulder yesterday, but was PPD due to heavy rains.
R.A. Dickey (4-7) threw seven innings and allowed three runs on nine hits and three walks, while striking out six.
Jason Bay ended the Mets grand slam drought in the fourth inning. It was Bay’s fourth home run of the season.
Just an inning later, Carlos Beltran delivered the Mets’ second grand slam of the game. Beltran was 2 for 5 with 4 RBIs and two runs scored.
Jose Reyes came up a home run shy of the cycle. He was 4 for 4 with a walk, three runs scored and notched his 29th steal of the season.
Angel Pagan had a perfect night at the plate, going 3 for 3 with two walks, two runs scored, an RBI and a stolen base.
Josh Thole slugged his first home run of the season as part of a 2 for 5 night.
The Mets have now scored 36 runs in the past three games: the most of any three game stretch since August of 2005.
The Mets have now won five of their last six games.
Terry Collins Post-Game Comments:
He thinks the offense is being very disciplined and working themselves into hitters’ counts to get good pitches to handle.
He’s thrilled for Bay, saying that there is no better team guy than Jason.
He thinks Bay’s grand slam was the biggest hit of the game and could get the left fielder going for good.
He thinks Thole is starting to see the ball much better and the competition for the catcher’s spot is starting to heat up.
He believes the team can sustain this level of performance.
Quick Post-Game Reaction:
Thankfully, the great grand slam saga is over. It almost seemed as if Bay was in slight disbelief as he stood at the plate and willed the ball inside the left field foul pole. As has been recited ad nauseam, it was the Mets first grand slam since August 1, 2009 and it should take a ton of pressure off the club in future RBI situations.
Until tonight, the Mets had put up flashy offensive numbers on this road trip without the benefit of the home run ball. That all changed with what will be the most forgotten homer of the night: Thole’s solo shot in fourth. Not only was I glad to see Josh get on the board, but all seven of the Mets run in that inning came with two outs: a very encouraging sign.
As I scanned my Twitter feed during the game tonight, I noticed a few fans comparing this team to the 2000 squad. And while they’re certainly a long way from a pennant, I can see the similarities, especially in two managers who got the maximum effort and performance out of their rosters.
A win tomorrow could clinch a winning road trip through two first place American League team’s home parks. With the Justin Verlander looming on Thursday afternoon and the weekend Subway Series on its way, tomorrow night’s tilt would be a fantastic game to get.
Chris Capuano (6-7, 3.99 ERA) will start the middle game of the series for the Mets tomorrow night. He’ll be opposed by Phil Coke (1-7, 4.32 ERA) for the Tigers. Game time is set for 7:05 PM.
Tonight in Detroit, the Mets open a three game series with the Tigers at Comerica Park. Game time is 7:05 PM.
Here is tonight’s starting lineup for the Mets:
1. Jose Reyes – SS
2. Willie Harris – DH
3. Carlos Beltran – RF
4. Daniel Murphy – 3B
5. Angel Pagan – CF
6. Jason Bay – LF
7. Lucas Duda – 1B
8. Justin Turner – 2B
9. Josh Thole – C
Here is tonight’s starting lineup for the Tigers:
1. Austin Jackson – CF
2. Brennan Boesch – LF
3. Magglio Ordonez – RF
4. Miguel Cabrera – 1B
5. Victor Martinez – DH
6. Jhonny Peralta – SS
7. Alex Avila – C
8. Brandon Inge – 3B
9. Ryan Raburn – 2B
R.A. Dickey (3-7, 3.76 ERA) will start for the Mets. Dickey has been outstanding overall in his last five starts, going at least 7 2/3 innings in four of them and pitching to a 2.52 ERA, although he’s just 1-2 over that span. He allowed a run in eight innings in his last start against the Tigers. Dickey’s made 13 appearances and six starts in his career against Detroit, and he’s 3-2 with a 4.02 ERA in 56 innings against them.
Rick Porcello (6-5, 4.50 ERA) will start for the Tigers. It’s been an up and down season for Porcello so far in 2011, as he’s allowed 115 baserunners in only 89 innings of work, and has allowed 11 earned runs in his last 7 2/3 innings, which spans two starts. Porcello is making his first career appearance against the Mets tonight.
According to ESPN Dallas, Rangers owner and former Met Nolan Ryan said the Rangers are not interested in acquiring either Carlos Beltran or Francisco Rodriguez.
“I don’t see that’s an upgrade” to the Rangers’ bullpen, Ryan said. “And Beltran, you worry about his knee. And you’re taking on an awful lot of salary.”
Beltran and Rodriguez will earn approximately $15 million combined through the remainder of the season, and if Rodriguez finishes 55 games this season, his 2012 option for $17.5 million will automatically vest. Rodriguez is currently on pace to finish 60 games this season.