Last night at the Knicks-Nets pre-season game at Nassau Coliseum, Marlins SS Jose Reyes told ESPN New York that he hopes the Mets re-sign David Wright.
“They should sign David (long term),” he said. “He’s been the face of the franchise for a long time. If they let him go, that’s gonna be difficult to see the New York Mets without David Wright. I can’t imagine that. You never know in this game what’s gonna happen, but I wish all the best to David. He’s a good friend of mine.”
Reyes played in 160 games for the Marlins last season, while hitting .287 with a .347 OBP, 11 HR, 57 RBI, 37 doubles and 40 stolen bases.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
In the report, the two authors say, “Reyes wanted to stay a Met, too, but the cash-strapped franchise elected to move in another direction, so he signed a six-year, $106 million contract with the Marlins.” These words are true, but I don’t know I agree with their meaning…
In the event Reyes goes on to be amazing over the next decade, people will rightfully judge Sandy Alderson’s actions. But, it should be noted that it may have been a decision about talent, just as much as it was about finances. Yes, whether to be more flexible or simply to pinch pennies, the Mets have been working to kill off long-term contracts the last few seasons, which has lowered payroll. But, the question is: Did Alderson refuse to match Miami’s $100 million contract because he didn’t have the money? Or, because he just didn’t think Reyes was worth it, even if he had the money? Frankly, I’ve heard Alderson talk on a few occasions about his disinterest in giving what he calls ‘second-generation contracts,’ which would be what Reyes was seeking and what Wright will be seeking. In his view, these contracts rarely end up being worth it to the team, since they often pay for what a player did not what he’s about to do. Is that smart? I don’t know, but it seems to be a principle he brought with him to the Mets, not something created out of recent budget restrictions.
That said, keep in mind, no other team offered Jose a six-year deal either. Listening to disgruntled fans, and some reporters, you would think there was consensus around baseball that Jose was worth that level contract, and for some bizarre reason (wink, wink, a lack money) the Mets were the only team who disagreed. But, that wasn’t the case. It’s been reported over and over again, and I’ve heard this from insiders as well, that the only team to offer that much money was the Marlins. So, did these other teams all hold back because they too were ‘broke,’ or did they hold off because only the Marlins were crazy enough to spend that much money in one winter? The point is, while I think it’s totally fair to judge Alderson on how he handled Reyes, it’s also worth considering Alderson’s view of Jose’s talent and not just whether he was or wasn’t allowed to spend money on him. For instance, if Sandy simply didn’t want Reyes back, regardless of dollars, because maybe he didn’t trust his talent over the long term, that’s a different criticism than simply ripping him and Ownership for being “cheap.” Maybe it’s both, who knows? Maybe one is a convenient excuse for the other? But, for the purposes of being fair and complete, all sides should be considered, not just the one about dollars.
Lastly, in regards to Wright, so far the Mets have made public statements to indicate they intend to handle his situation differently than they handled Reyes. At the same time, new deal or not, Wright is technically under contract for another season anyway. To truly compare Reyes and Wright, it would have to be on the eve of Wright hitting free agency, which it’s not. That said, talk is cheap… I’m less concerned with what the team or GM says about Wright, and more concerned with what they actually do with him (whether it’s sign him now, next year, or trade him now or next summer).