A Daydream About Jose Reyes
As I watched Ryan Theriot boot ground balls last night like a Keystone Cop in Cardinal red, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to snag Jose Reyes from the imploding scrap heap known as the New York Mets.
The Mets are melting down financially, and players will become available soon. Reyes is likely near the top of the list of available players, given that he becomes a potentially-expensive free agent this offseason. The dynamic 28-year-old shortstop is currently batting .346, slugging .525, and has stolen 22 bases. He has also committed 8 errors at short for a fielding percentage of .971. He would be a tremendous upgrade for the Cardinals.
Think about it this way: Theriot has been pretty good offensively this year (hitting around .300, a few stolen bases, and 23 RBI), and he STILL scores a ZERO WAR (wins above the average replacement) because of his spectacularly bad defense! Meanwhile, Reyes is not the greatest fielding shortstop alive, but he’s accumulated a 2.8 WAR already because he is such an offensive catalyst.
Imagine that kind of engine at the top of the Cardinals’ lineup, and have a bib handy when you do. I’d bat him leadoff so that he could run like the wind in front of the second hitter (hopefully Rasmus or Craig) and set up run-producing opportunities for a healthy Pujols-Holliday-Berkman wrecking crew. It would be devastating.
And the dream continues: Reyes falls in love with an adoring Cardinal Nation, and signs for less than his market value to stay. Well, now … we KNOW that’s a dream. But it’s MY dream, and I can make it whatever I choose! It’s pretty clear that Reyes wants more money than he’s making now (almost $7 million a year), and he has certainly earned it (although durability would be an issue in any contract with him). This definitely puts the Cards out of the running for an extension on Reyes, since they have their own contract monster to tame in Pujols.
But that doesn’t preclude the Cardinals from nabbing Reyes in a trade for some prospects. The guy would be a rental, but the kind of difference-making rental that could easily put the Cards into the World Series. And that is the clear and obvious mandate from the front office – win the World Series at any costs – and Reyes (and a bullpen arm) would make that dream a reality.