There will only be about a million of these articles between now and the trade deadline. That's fine, even if Jose Reyes is about the most exciting player in baseball. What we will attempt to do here is find a more scientific approach to determining the return the Mets might receive if they decide to trade their fleet-of-foot shortstop.
The problem with merely surveying other rosters and minor league systems in order to identify possible trade partners and trade targets is that we have no access here. We have no idea if the Giants would trade Madison Bumgarner, or even Zack Wheeler. It's all conjecture. And everyone's been guilty of it on some level.
But, if we take a more reasoned approach, we can really narrow down what might be a reasonable package. First, we can determine how much value (and surplus value) Reyes has now. Then we can use that value to determine what sort of quality of prospect might be required to trade for a player of that value. Then we can actually find a few players that are that type of prospect in the organizations that are currently competitive and seeking an upgrade at shortstop. Then we can compare the possible return to the picks we would receive if Reyes were to walk.
Because right now, someone in the Mets organization has a pretty good idea if Reyes is returning or not. And judging from the owners' comments, the outlook is cloudy. If that die has been cast, we might as well think about the best way forward from here. Even if it's one of the more depressing things about this season.
In order to find Reyes' surplus value, we have to find his rest-of-season WAR and subtract his salary.