As the Mets continue their sleepwalk through 2011, their recent Sunday night marathon win notwithstanding, the prevalent thought among those “in-the-know” is that Jose Reyes will be swapped away before the July 31st trade deadline. If Sandy Alderson heads down that errant path it may prove to be one of the worst personnel decisions ever made by the franchise since they decided to part ways with Tom “Terrific” Seaver back in 1977. There are several reasons why trading Jose Reyes is akin to severing off your leg to lose some weight for your upcoming senior prom. The most important reason of all is that he is virtually irreplaceable. Outside of Troy Tulowitzki and Hanley Ramirez (who has been struggling of late) there are no viable options anywhere to replace a marquee superstar shortstop the likes of Jose Reyes. At 27 years of age, there is no reason to think that Jose’s skills will be diminishing anytime soon and so even if the Mets tried to use the “youth movement” justification as a reason for moving him it is an argument that falls way short since even after 3 years of a rebuilding process, Jose will just be starting his 30’s and provided he goes by the way of the latest collapsing icon shortstop, Derek Jeter he will still be serviceable for at least another 7 years. The Mets are a completely different team without Reyes, his ability to literally spark up the lineup is without equal. Yes, he’s had issues with injuries in the past but the Mets have received more than their fair share of Jose time as he’s logged an average of 622 at bats per season since he became a full time player back in 2005 counting the time period in between when he was injured. Reyes is a proven speedster who can beat you with his legs, his glove as well as his underrated power. In short, there is no valid baseball reason to get rid of Jose Reyes.
They say out of 10 questions the answer to 9 of them is usually money, (anyone else watch Vanilla Sky?) and in this case that could be the only argument for wanting to trade Reyes. Word on the street is that he’s going to ask for the moon, the stars and the space junk that surrounds it. If this is the case so be it. Do the Mets have financial issues? Absolutely. Are the Mets still deeply entangled in the Madoff mess that threatens the very existence of Fred Wilpon’s financial being? Sure, we all know that. But we also know that in New York you need superstars. You need superstars because in the Bronx they buy them up and bring them in by the herd. If you are the Mets you cannot become irrelevant and trade away your young homegrown stud shortstop in exchange for a few could-be prospects and some to-be-named-laters. That is not going to fly in New York, that is not going to put fans in the expensive Citi-field seats and that is not going to generate revenue for Wilpon and his soon to be named partner(s). If the answer to the reason why you have to trade Jose Reyes is that you don’t have enough money then the answer to why you won’t have enough money is that you don’t have Jose Reyes. This is New York, you build with your superstars, you don’t run them out of town like you were the Kansas City Royals to pray and hit the lotto with the draft and budding prospects. You build with a 27 year old electric superstar, you don’t create a black hole on your team by trading him away, no matter what it costs you. If you are an MLB franchise owner in the biggest market in the world and you cannot find a way to keep Jose Reyes wearing your team’s uniform, you sir need to sell and sell fast because once you get rid of Jose and bring in a Marco Scutaro or a Jason Bartlett you have changed your franchise forever and not for the better. Money was the reason why the Mets let go of Tom Seaver back in ’77; they should learn from their own history and not foolishly repeat it with Jose.