As we’ve discussed before, one of the more intriguing stories of the 2011 season will be the future of New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes. Reyes will be a free agent after this season and with the Mets in dire financial straits and far from contending for a championship, they are almost certain to sell off their shortstop. But where will he end up? An answer may be emerging.
The San Francisco Giants are currently in serious trouble. The defending World Series champions are barely scraping by with a 14-15 record, and they are 27th in the league in runs scored and 23rd in stolen bases. On top of that, third baseman Pablo Sandoval is out for seven weeks after hand surgery, Miguel Tejada is struggling and has been moved from shortstop to third, and utility guy Mike Fontenot is playing short. It makes sense then that the Giants have talked internally about acquiring Reyes.
Reyes is off to a great start this year, batting .325 with 19 runs scored and 11 stolen bases. Despite that fact, the Mets are in last place in the NL East, 7.5 games behind the Philadelphia Phillies. The 27-year-old shortstop could be the team’s most attractive trade chip, especially considering that the Mets will almost certainly not be able to retain him this offseason when he hits free agency.
Reyes looked destined to become one of baseball’s biggest stars back in 2008, when he hit .297 with 16 home runs, 68 RBI, 37 doubles, 19 triples and 56 stolen bases. But injuries forced him to miss all but 36 games in 2009, and 2010 proved to be disappointing as well (.282, 11 home runs, 54 RBI, 30 stolen bases). That said, Reyes is only 27, plays a solid shortstop and provides a power/speed/average combination that’s hard to find.
A trade to the Giants would make sense for both organizations, provided San Francisco is willing (and able) to put together a package that satisfies the Mets.