Coutinho: Both Wright And Reyes Should Be Part Of Mets’ Long-Term Solution

By Rich Coutinho
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There’s so much wrong with the Mets right now. There are financial question marks circulating amid a new minority owner, a multitude of injuries and the team’s record, currently below the .500 mark.

This has led to wild speculation about both Jose Reyes and David Wright — with most contending one of the two must go in order to properly rebuild the team.

Well, I am here to tell you that’s crazy talk if the Mets plan on winning anything in the near future. Both are young stars and have the numbers to back it up. They represent talent much in the mold of Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Nolan Ryan and Darryl Strawberry. I bring those names up why? Because those were all homegrown players, absolutely adored by the fan base.

And when they each left, the Mets organization took years to recover.

The simple point here is: When Wright and Reyes have been healthy, patrolling the left side of the infield together, the team has never had a losing season. That’s right. In the healthy 2005-08 years, these two players — connected at the hip since their early days in the Mets organization — enjoyed both personal and team success. In 2009 and 2010, when injuries struck, they rarely played together and the team’s winning percentage went south.

Mets fans have always had a place in their heart for homegrown talent, dating back to the early days when Buddy Harrelson and Cleon Jones joined the team in the mid 60’s. They were followed by pitching prospects Seaver, Koosman, Matlack, Ryan and Tug McGraw. When the team traded Seaver, Ryan, Koosman, and McGraw in the 70’s the organization entered the dark days and did not re-awaken until Strawberry, Gooden, Dykstra and Mookie Wilson arrived on the scene.

It is obvious that players like Keith Hernandez and Gary Carter put that team over the top, but without the homegrown base those Mets would have never given New Yorkers a championship in 1986.

Even though the 2000 team was Mike Piazza’s squad, it would be hard to think they would’ve won without the contribution of Edgardo Alfonzo (who was an RBI machine on that pennant winning team). For the current generation of Mets fans, Reyes and Wright are their guys. To a lesser extent, Ike Davis belongs in that conversation as well.

To the fans, Wright and Reyes are to the left side of the Mets’ infield what Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are to the right side of the Phillies’. I think the media just doesn’t get this. We only hear from Mets fans who criticize Wright and Reyes on talk radio — but these two are still very popular players, admired and loved by most Mets fans.

They both need to be part of the solution. And in the case of Reyes, the Mets need to show him the money. He’s not more valuable or less valuable than Wright, but his contract is up first. The financial woes of the team have been well documented (and in some cases, overstated). As I said before, the influx of capital from a new minority owner could ease economic pressure throughout the organization, including the possible allocation of a small percentage of that “new money” to keep payroll at current levels.

The media won’t tell you that. It doesn’t fit with their mission of telling Mets fans their team will be bad forever.

On that issue, all I will say is this: Just a short time ago, the media told us the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Boston Bruins were doomed franchises for very different reasons. When the Seattle Supersonics moved to Oklahoma City, they experienced a brutal year in which they got off to a 5-29 start. People said you can’t have the NBA in a small market. Just a few short years later they were in the sport’s final four — and likely have as much promise for a bright future as any team in league.

The Bruins blew a 3-games-to-none lead to the Flyers in the Stanley Cup playoffs just 13 months ago and we were told they had to back up the truck. Well, it is a good thing they didn’t listen to the naysayers because they will be playing in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals tonight.

The point is: A lot can change in a hurry, especially in sports. You can’t push the panic button. The Mets must resist the temptation to trade Reyes or Wright. They’re still young enough to be the bridge to future success. They also represent (along with Johan Santana) the only pieces of star power the team has. That should not be ignored.

To the credit of the Mets, no internal discussions of any substance to trade Wright have taken place. And from what I understand, the new management team has been wowed by Reyes’ numbers and very much want to keep him. But understand that they want to strike the best deal for the Mets, so their enthusiasm has to be somewhat tempered for that reason alone.

So, the news of breaking up Wright and Reyes has been grossly exaggerated by the New York media. In the words of former Mets closer Billy Wagner, “Yeah, that’s a shocker.”

OK Mets fans, do you agree with Coutinho? Comment away below…

  • Vincent

    Turner, Murphy out of position.
    Loathing Late Lead Loss!

  • Bill G

    There is absolutely NO WAY the Mets should or need to trade either Wright or Reyes. The first SMART move the Mets did was get rid of Minya…he was a TERRIBLE GM who gave out ridiculous contracts to Perez and Castillo which is the REAL reason the mets are in such a disaray financially…along with the whole Madoff viasco. Be smart Alderson and Wilpons….KEEP DAVID AND JOSE….build around them and Ike Davis and get some PITCHING suitable for Citifiled. And while your at it, how about making Citifiled a better place for OUR hitters to hit in….ok, ’nuff said!

    • b. zeichner

      If the Mets trade Reyes, I don’t know if I can continue to be a fan although I have been from their beginning. That would be the Biggest mistake they could make, he is a major part of the team, perhaps the best part. Please DO NOT trade Reyes!

  • Vincent

    Mets Schizophrenic Offence Would Have Cybil Jealous.

  • Vicki

    I agreee with that article and with Metslifer. If they use the Frank Cashen plan, they will be competitive relatively quickly. I also agree with Ube13, that Citifield will be a ghost town. With Einhorn’s money, they should be able to keep Reyes and Wriight.

  • ryan stuart

    YES!!! Can you please send this to sandy and all the executives…Please keep jose and wright…we NEED to.

  • Desilu 2

    NO!!!! NO !!!! We David & Jose ai think the owners have to go

  • A

    As a longtime fan I don’t think the problems with the team are Wright or Reyes. When supported with other players they did well even till the last season at Shea. The collapses can not be laid at their feet when the issue was with pitching. Watching Seaver, Strawberry, Mookie and Nails go was painful to watch, I don’t want to see it again.

    • C as in Choke

      The collapses can not be laid at their feet when the issue was with pitching. You must’ve falling asleep in ’07 & ’08, Reyes hit only .174 in September of ’07 and only .240 in September of ’08, yeah, he was part of the reason the Mets choked because Reyes & Wright both choked down the stretch both years.

      Love the word you used, collapses, when the right word is CHOKED, because that’s what the Mets did both years, historical CHOKES. Losing both years in the end to the Nats, Marlins and then a bad Braves team. CHOKED. CHOKED, CHOKED

  • Ube13

    Yes, yes, yes – for the love of everything YES! Wright and Reyes should be Mets until they retire and are part of the solution. You think Citi Field is empty now? That place will be a ghost town if either of those guys are allowed to leave.

  • Metslifer

    This guy should be the Mets writer. He echo’s what the real fan wants. Ive been thru Seaver, and Strawberry and the empty feeling as well as the awful teams that follow. All franchises want their own talent to succeed, imagine if Jeter or pujols had been traded. Wright and reyes are whats good with the mets. Thats 2 out of 25 bodies. Alderson must rebuild from within like frank cashen did. Drafting wisely and adding to the finishing touch at the end. Wright and Reyes have at least 5 good years left which in todays game is more than enough time to be successful. I hope Einhorn, if he is a real Mets fan, holds wilpon and alderson accountable for both players and rebuild around them as well as Davis.

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