By Rich Coutinho
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That $17.5 million option was like a noose hanging around the neck of Sandy Alderson because it had such a big impact on the decisions for this organization going forward. As a Mets fan, you should be happy today because this trade makes it far more likely Jose Reyes will be playing in Flushing in 2012.
The prevailing notion in some circles had been the decision would come down to David Wright or Jose Reyes but as I said at the time, that was foolish talk. I think Alderson has always believed David Wright is part of the solution. And if he did not think it back in February, he firmly believes now that Jose Reyes is as well. But budgets are budgets and that $17.5 million was always a huge obstacle that he had to overcome.
Most of the experts think Carlos Beltran might be next in line but I say — not so fast. K-Rod was strictly a deal that would get the Mets out of that insane option clause and from what I hear, they will simply have to get good prospects back to deal Beltran who is in very high demand right now. In fact, with the Red Sox tipping their toe in the Beltran waters, will always get the attention of Brian Cashman. And lets not forget — the San Francisco Giants have made it real clear where they stand. In a nutshell, that means Alderson will be very patient here and let this evolve right up to the trading deadline.
But back to Reyes — this also helps in another way and it involves the Brewers. This deal with K-Rod indicates that they are going for it this year and gives me the sense they think Prince Fielder will be in too high a stratosphere to rope him in to stay in Milwaukee. That also means a potential suitor for Reyes might prefer the power hitting Fielder which could limit the chances of Jose going to another team — like the Giants for instance. Jose Reyes has always been clear about one thing-he loves it here and wants to stay here which the Mets must recognize might not be an easy sell for most free agent everyday players considering the hitting dimensions of Citi Field.
K-Rod was never in the Met plans of 2012 UNLESS that option kicked in. And with the contracts of Castillo, Ollie Perez, Beltran, and K-Rod coming off the books coupled with the fact the Mets are already paying Jose Reyes $12 million this year, it stands to reason the Mets and Reyes will get this done. I believed that in spring training, I believed that on Opening Day, I believed that two days ago, and the trade of K-Rod only makes me believe it that much more.
The Mets will clearly miss K-Rod in the second half but I do think it is a great chance to see what guys like Bobby Parnell can do in that closer’s role. He certainly has the stuff and it remains to be seen if he has the consistency and heart to be this team’s closer. So many times this year, Terry Collins has handed the job to an unheralded and inexperienced player in the most trying of circumstances and guys like Dillon Gee, Justin Turner, and Daniel Murphy have responded. This is the most important 2 month period of Parnell’s career — he has a world of talent but has never been able to point his career in a positive direction. He gets that chance starting Friday.
Whether he succeeds or fails, Mets fans moved a step closer towards getting their wish of retaining Jose Reyes. Given the choice of K-Rod or Reyes in 2012, which way would you have gone? I think we all know the answer to that question.
What do you think? Will Reyes stay with the Mets? Leave a comment below.