It’s been widely reported that the New York Mets will be cutting their payroll for the upcoming season. As a result, the team will seemingly have to fill their holes with less cash. One thing the Mets are still trying to do this offseason is bolster their infield. While rumors swirled about possibly acquiring Ian Kinsler and Jason Kipnis, among others, Kinsler was traded elsewhere and nothing else has materialized yet. Based on the money constraints, it is more likely that the Mets will sign someone cheap. And if that is the case, then the Mets may consider bringing back Jose Reyes.
Reyes has already spent eleven seasons in New York, and at age 35, is a free agent. Last year, the Mets paid Reyes only the league minimum, as they had signed him after he was released. Offensively, Reyes could be a serviceable bat. Last season, he hit .246 along with 15 home runs and 58 RBIs with a .728 OPS and 2.0 oWAR.
He also adds an interesting dynamic on the basepaths. Reyes was known as a speedster in his early years with the Mets. While his production has dipped significantly from his days of stealing 78 bases in a season back in 2007, he still is a challenge for opposing defenses. Last season he attempted to steal 30 bases, converting on 24 of those attempts.
Regardless, he does nothing to help the Mets defensively. Last season Reyes notched a team worst -2.1 dWAR. Alongside him, Dominic Smith, Wilmer Flores, and Asdrubal Cabrera went negative in the dWAR category. The Mets certainly do not need to compound their infield defense issues with a poor glove like Reyes’s.
The Mets probably would be better served spending their money elsewhere. While Reyes does provide a decent bat off the bench, his glove is too much of a liability to sign him over another player of low cost. The Post reported a few weeks ago the Mets interest in Ryan Goins. He is known to be a much stronger glove, and likely a slight upgrade over Reyes.
Reyes’s career with the Mets has been expansive and memorable. However, his purpose in New York has all but diminished, especially as the infield gets younger. He is nothing more than a cheap bench option for a team looking for a deeper infield. Even then, the Mets probably have better options.