‘Hart of the Order’
By Sean Hartnett
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Face of the franchise, top of the order sparkplug, heartbeat of the team… all describe Jose Reyes’ value to the Mets.  It may be difficult for fans to imagine Reyes wearing any uniform other than orange, blue and black but this is an imminent reality they will face in the weeks leading up to the July 31st trading deadline.

Fans made their stance clear during the Mets’ ten-game home stand, showing their full support toward Reyes being handled a long-term extension.  Citi Field was littered with signs and banners attempting to urge ownership to keep the shortstop.

The most noticeable display occurred along “Shea Bridge” amid the series opener against the Atlanta Braves.  Organized by Darren Meenan of The7Line Blog, around 800 Mets fans lined the bridge situated beyond the right-center field wall.  Armed with colorful signs and sombreros they began chants that spread across Citi Field such as “Don’t Trade Jose.”

I admire these fans for their loyalty to the Mets’ superstar shortstop, but their efforts are destined to be in vain.  Even in the unlikely event the team offers a seven-year, $140 million contract before season’s end, it would be promptly turned down by Reyes and his agent Peter Greenberg.  Your “Average Joe or Jane” Mets fan expects that Reyes would re-sign without any hesitation. But they’re looking at things from their own point of view and not that of Reyes.

Why shouldn’t Jose test the free agent waters? Why would he commit himself to a team that is expected to slash payroll for the 2012 season while parting with Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez?  The upcoming offseason will be Reyes’ only opportunity to control where he will play for the majority of his remaining career and he’ll want to attach himself to World Series-contending club.

COUNTERPOINT: Coutinho: Reyes Will Wear Mets Uni After Deadline

Having seen Jayson Werth command a seven-year $126M deal at the age of 31, anything is possible in free agency.  Reyes is having an MVP-caliber season and the best of his nine-year major league career.  On the open market, he would likely exceed the seven-year, $142 million contract the Boston Red Sox bestowed upon Carl Crawford.  At 27, Reyes is two years younger than Crawford and as a shortstop is an even rarer talent at a need position for most teams.  Unlike Crawford, Reyes is a natural leadoff hitter and a far superior fielder.

The Mets need only to look at the history of recent trade deadline deals involving contract-year stars to understand what is best for their future.  Last year, the Seattle Mariners were able to acquire power-hitting first baseman Justin Smoak along with additional prospects from the Texas Rangers for Cliff Lee.  The Cleveland Indians made a similar deal that included Matt LaPorta when they moved CC Sabathia to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008.

I’d wager that the Mets would be able to go well beyond the talent received in either of those trades in a blockbuster swap involving Reyes.  It would be in their best interest to land multiple top prospects rather than to hold on to Reyes, lose him in free agency and be given compensatory draft picks.  I can guarantee you that a contending ballclub is willing to give up a collection of their best minor leaguers to have Reyes for the stretch run and playoffs.

With Ruben Tejada ready to shift over to shortstop, the Mets have a ready-made solution available at the major league level.  Tejada is captivating fans at Citi Field with his superb glove and is more advanced at the plate than expected — he is currently batting .304.  The Amazin’s have a solid long-term plan in place with uber-prospect Wilmer Flores waiting in the wings.  Although not yet ready for the big leagues, Flores possesses a powerful bat and is expected to progress quickly through the Mets’ farm system.

It may be hard for Mets fans to take but dealing away Reyes makes sense on many levels.  There will certainly be a backlash directed toward ownership if Jose is traded but fans won’t feel that way in a few years when Flores is the new face of the franchise.  If the players received in exchange for Reyes are complimenting Flores in a future Mets’ lineup, fans will look back at trading their superstar as the correct decision.

What would be fair value for Reyes in your estimation?  Is Tejada ready to step into his place?  Sound off below or send Sean a tweet @HartyLFC.

Comments (19)
  1. James says:

    Interesting article. They should take the best trade they are offered. If they wait they could end up with nothing but regret.

  2. ken says:

    Reyes would have to pay me to watch him. He is only hustling because it is a contract year. He is far from being superior to other shortstops, in both leagues. He is an arrogant know it all person. Maybe the Metropolitans (their REAL name) could trade him to a construction firm, after all it was the day labor of the immagrant Metropolitan players that build CitiField.

    Am I a bigot? NO, I just think there are more important issues than Reyes & Wiener.

  3. bob says:

    just another sports writer who needs to fill space

  4. JoeyRaz says:

    The Mets will always be failures as long as Wilpon owns the team. Just like the Knicks with Dolan. Players don’t want to play for them, and Reyes should have been traded two years ago when he had his other healthy 3 months under Manuel. Remember him missing 3/4 of the season? What are Mets fans really losing? Give it another month he’ll be back on his seasonal DL status.

  5. George-Sec39 says:

    Hey muts fans. Here is your opportunity to become Yankee fans! The door is open for 1 week for you to permanently switch sides. Nobody will mock or insult you because you backed a proven loser. But only 1 week. If you wait longer than 1 week from today, you will be mocked, insulted, and abused, and sent back to your hole in flushing!
    Common, you know you want to.

  6. diploMet says:

    Flores is only 19 and playing A+ ball this year (.259/ 4/ 36). It’s hard to see him playing a full season in the bigs before 2013, with 2014 more likely – assuming he progresses. I guess this fits well with the Mets vision for 2018.

  7. krista says:

    Just another “sports” writer trying to make a name for himself. Let’s just stir the overdone Reyes pot again. We’ve heard it. Everyone wants the attention of writing a Reyes trade article, to get in the news for 15 minutes. Sick of hearing about it.

  8. dabooch says:

    The Mets lineup will be similar to what you are watching today, minus Reyes, Beltran, the K Rod; D. Wright and Jason “Bye The” Bay will also be dealt soon. The Mets will win a game once in a while, think of it as being back in “62, nostalgia if you will.

  9. kathy says:

    I have been a Met fan since the beginnIng and I find it very difficult to enjoy watching and reading about the Mets with the constant speculation about Reyes and Wright. Leave the trading discussions to the team owners – not the Sunday quarterbacks with nothing else to talk and write about.

    1. Higgins says:

      well kathy, these people are sports writers, this is a sport site where people have opinions on the subjects written, what do you expect them to write & talk about, politics, World News, midget wrestling, women’s feelings?

      You don’t have to read on what’s written Kathy, you have chosen to do so & because you don’t agree on what was written & posted by people, you’re upset.

      Just grow up & get out of the site. There’s always the View or Dr. Phil.

  10. MrMet says:

    I’m guessing he somehow ends up on the free spending yankees:


    They have the money to snag him, though I am not sure what position he’d play

    1. Yankees4Ever says:

      Haven’t the Mets been free spending to last 20 yrs. You’ve been blind on the Mets payroll? The difference is the Yankees win, while the Mets do not. You make it seem the Mets payroll has been in the low $30 mil all these years like the Pirates.

      Every team makes money mistakes, some (Mets) more than others (Yankees). The Yankees put the money made right back into the team; help other teams (Pirates, Marlins, Royals, Mets) to stay afloat.

      It’s not the Yankees fault the Mets are failures. If the Mets can’t afford to sign their own players, some other team will.

      Mets fans have no problem when the Mets signed Bay, Beltran, Santana, Martinez, Glavine, K-Rod when their own teams could not afford to pay them, now you’re crying some other team may sign Reyes.

      That’s baseball, so stop you’re crying.

  11. T says:

    Fred do me a favor. pack up this franchise and your own private Ebbett’s Field and move to LA.

  12. A says:

    Yet again, the owners are telling the fans that they are the franchise and they are what is most important. They did it with Seaver they will do it with Reyes.
    One of these days this club will be owned by someone who can get something done. Hopefully I will be around to se it.

  13. Atlantic says:

    Basically you are basing your whole discussion that they should trade Reyes on Flores turning into a new face of the franchise. So what happens when they trade him and Flores turns into about how much of a overrated prospect as Francisco Martinez turned into. All I see is us trading Reyes, Flores not being what he is expected and being stuck with an average SS and 2B still being a problem; all to cut an extra 6 million or so cause thats really about how much more he will be making a year

    1. hartylfc says:

      I see this being out of the Mets’ hands. Of course any team is better with Jose Reyes but he can pretty much name is own price in free agency and one that the Mets’ can’t afford.

  14. Nik Kolidas says:

    “If the players received in exchange for Reyes are complimenting Flores in a future Mets’ lineup, fans will look back at trading their superstar as the correct decision.”

    Are you kidding me? Flores has well known as a rose who’s bloom is wilting and most baseball people understand you’re not getting anything you can use back for a non pitching rental. If anything, I’d rather have the draft picks.

    That said, If Flores becomes a mega star, it would be a shame if we didn’t have our all star shortstop anymore. There is no baseball excuse for trading Reyes. It’s only financial.

  15. Steven Alperstein says:


    1. Jetson says:

      Poor Steve, he must’ve written his post clearing his eyes of tears knowing very well this is going to happen. Mets can’t afford to pay Reyes & after next season Wright is a goner as well.

      The face of the Mets franchise will then become Davis & Pelfrey & when their turn comes around they’re gone.

      The only thing left for the Mets fans & you can always count on him, will be that stupid mascot, Mr. Met

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