(Long Island, N.Y.) There was a time earlier in the season when everyone was gushing over the fact that Jose Reyes was not only having a career year, but also a healthy one. The oft-injured New York Mets’ shortstop was taking it to the next level in his walk year and was making a great argument that he should receive a long term, big money contract.
That took a slight hit when Reyes strained his left hamstring around the All-Star break, causing him to miss three weeks of action. But he picked up where he left off and looked to still be headed towards a free agent payday.
Then last week, Reyes pulled up lame and had to leave a game after re-aggravating the hamstring. A subsequent MRI revealed that there was a slight tear in the muscle, albeit in a different spot than the initial injury. At this point, any silver lining would be welcome.
Reyes did his best to soften the blow, but this has come at the wrong time for someone with an injury stigma attached to him. “The preparation I have is very good,” Reyes said to reporters. “I’m a guy that stretches a lot. I do a lot of exercises for my leg to try to get it ready. This is something that just happened, so we need to find a way to keep me on the field. I need to find a way to stay healthy.”
The Mets would like to bring Reyes back next season, but finances will certainly be the main issue. Do they open the coffers as much as they can in their present situation for a player that is as unreliable as Reyes? That’s something that Sandy Alderson has to ponder.
Making Reyes the focus of the team is a risky decision, to say the least. Even in the best of situations, he has missed chunks of time. For a player that is known for his speed, Reyes certainly has had difficulty with keeping his legs intact. They have become a chronic problem over the years throughout his entire career in Flushing.
On the other side of the argument, Reyes’ latest injury may bring his market value down enough for the Mets to afford him. If he gives them any type of a hometown discount – and he has publicly stated he would like to remain a Met – then this may actually work out to everyone’s advantage in the long run.
At the time of the injury, Reyes was hitting .336 with 16 triples, 34 steals and 80 runs scored. These are the type of numbers that should command a huge contract on the open market, but there will definitely be a ‘buyer beware – comes as is’ tag attached. No matter how much Reyes and his agent Peter Greenberg try to do damage control, this second injury is going to be a major issue for any potential suitor.
It may not cost him millions, but Reyes needs to realize that a sports car with bad wheels doesn’t sell for top dollar.