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Non-Tender Candidate: Jeremy Reed

Note: If a team decides to not offer a contract to an unsigned player on the 40 man roster, the player is non-tendered and becomes a free agent. Per Tim Dierkes at MLBTradeRumors, some former non-tendered players include David Ortiz, Joel Pineiro, Jayson Werth and Takashi Saito.

Jeremy Reed initially looked like an unspectacular yet promising pick-up in the J.J. Putz trade. He was once a top prospect, tearing up the minor leagues and the majors in a brief 2004 call-up. Some put him on the level of Kevin Youkilis at one point. With average defense and unrealized potential at the plate, the 27 year-old Reed projected as a decent 4th/5th outfielder. Instead, his season turned into an under-the-radar disaster.

Reed's .263 wOBA was awful, especially for a (mostly) corner outfielder. His BABIP of .312 was slightly higher than his career figure, so he probably wasn't unlucky. The 22.4% K-rate, .062 ISO and 0 home runs reinforce that Reed's offensive output was on par with the likes of Yuniesky Betancourt in 2009. A non-terrible performance as a pinch hitter (.278 BA) was not enough to compensate.

Defensively, it appears he was slightly above average. This is the lone positive (save an unfortunate appearance at 1st base against the Dodgers), as his UZR of +1.7 jibes with a Plus/Minus figure of +4. Sean Smith projected Reed as a +6 corner OF this season so I feel comfortable saying he was above average in the field.

An 0/3 stolen base performance and -3.21 EqBRR (non SB/CS baserunning) show that Reed was terrible on the basepaths this year. Worst on the Mets, according to the EqBRR stat. With a sub-50% career stolen base rate, it's a safe assumption that running the bases is not his forte. Factoring Plus/Minus and UZR to measure defense, as well as baserunning, here is Reed's adjusted Fangraphs WAR for 2009:

Bat Field Repl Pos BR RAR WAR
-9.4 2.9 5.9 -4.8 -3.2 -8.6 -.9

At -0.9 WAR, he was among the least valuable players in Major League Baseball. And that's in just 178 plate appearances, while making slightly under $1M. Even if a reserve outfielder isn't a strong all-around player, he can have use with a specialized skill. Endy Chavez's defense or Eric Hinske's power are such examples. Reed doesn't seem to have anything of the sort to offer the Mets, as harsh as it might sound.

Verdict: Non-tender and it's a no-brainer. The Mets just can't wait around for busted prospect Reed to magically put it all together. The fact that he is from San Dimas, CA isn't reason enough to retain his services.