In his first player move as Mets General Manager, Sandy Alderson picked up Jose Reyes’ $11 million option for 2011 on Wednesday. In a statement, Alderson said he would be open to discussing a long-term deal with the shortstop:
“Jose Reyes is one of the most dynamic players in the game and there never was any doubt about picking up his option. A long-term deal is not out of the question. It is something we can certainly discuss at a future date.”
Reyes agent Chris Leible said, “We’re certainly willing to listen.”
A new contract would certainly cost the Mets more than the reasonable five-year, $34.25 million contract (including the option that was just picked up) he signed midway through the 2006 season. At the time, Reyes said he was looking to secure his and his family’s financial future. He probably could have waited and signed for more. This time around, he’ll likely ask for the big bucks similar to the contract to which David Wright agreed just a few weeks after Reyes signed up: six years, $55 million with a $16 million option. I always wondered if Reyes was annoyed at that.
Many Mets fans are calling for the team to trade Reyes. I don’t agree. After a slow start this season (remember, Reyes missed most of 2009 and all of spring training), Reyes looked like his old self for most of the year, except of course when he was struggling with injuries. If he’s at full strength in 2011 (a big if, I know), Reyes will once again be the team’s sparkplug. And besides, where are you going to find someone better than Reyes to play short?
With all of the problems on this team, Alderson is just better off keeping Reyes where he is, and worry about getting rid of Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez, and obtaining a number two starter, a second baseman, another outfielder and some bullpen help. Reyes is the least of his problems.