Following a subpar 2017 season, Jose Reyes existed in free agency limbo for a few months until the Mets gave him a one-year deal for $2 million back in January. While a bad season was to be expected out of this version of Reyes, what the Mets got in 2018 was nothing short of a catastrophe.
Over 110 games and 251 plate appearances, Reyes hit .189/.260/.320 with four home runs, 16 RBIs, and five stolen bases. According to wRC+, Reyes was 38% worse than the average hitter in 2018, which is extremely not good. In 2018, 313 players came to the plate at least 250 times, and out of that group, Reyes’s 62 wRC+ ranked 302nd—with hitters like Chris Davis and Sandy Leon behind him. Put all those numbers together and you got yourself -.8 bWAR over the course of a season.
Unfortunately for the fans, Reyes wasn’t only bad on the offensive side of the game, he was also awful on the mound for one day. On July 31, he took the mound against the Nationals for his pitching debut. In his only inning pitched, Reyes gave up six runs on five hits, two walks, and a hit batsmen. This very lackluster performance gave Reyes a 54.00 ERA, a 10 ERA+, and -.2 bWAR. On the bright side, his 38.16 FIP indicates that he got a bit unlucky and should have only given up 4.24 runs in his inning. So, if the Mets decide to bring him back for next year’s bullpen, they can expect some improvement.
While the season as a whole may have been bad, Reyes did manage to have a few good games. The most impressive of which coming a day after his excursion on the mound. Having only one home run on the season coming into August 1st, Reyes proceeded to hit two against the Washington Nationals in D.C. which provided some fun facts and jokes due to his relief appearance the night before.
Over the past couple of seasons, many have pointed to Reyes’ mentorship and veteran presence as a reason for keeping him around despite his 2016 domestic violence suspension and declining performance. While he may have done a good job keeping any complaints under wraps in the past, Reyes had a few unbecoming moments this season. In June, he complained to the media about his lack of playing time and an increase in playing time soon followed, mostly at the expense of younger and better players. There was also the time that he responded to a tweet about Jeff McNeil’s impressive amount of hits in a short time by saying that he had “over 2000”, attempting to diminish the rookie’s feat rather than congratulating him on the accomplishment or just staying quiet.
The 2018 season also saw the probable end of Jose Reyes’ major league career. Knowing that the Mets weren’t likely to bring him back, Reyes savored each of the last few games as if they would be the last of his career. As longtime teammate David Wright’s career wound down, so did Reyes’. During Wright’s last game, Reyes embraced his friend for one last time as he left the field and applauded along with the capacity crowd in attendance. Knowing that the end was near for Reyes too, the fans did their “Jose, Jose, Jose” chants and cheered with every plate appearance like it was the fall of 2006. The next day, in a much less energetic Citi Field, Jose Reyes grounded out and left the diamond to a smattering of cheers before giving one last tip of the cap to the fans and watching the remainder of his last game from the bench.