Well folks, it happened, it finally happened. Jose Reyes is back with the Mets and I personally cannot be happier. I know that there are some concerns and questions amongst fans. BUT, fear not my friends, I’m here to lay all your worries to rest as I remind you why Jose coming back to the Mets is not just a good thing, it’s a great thing.
Let’s take a look at Jose Reyes’ last season performance. Jose struggled quite a lot during the first half of the season and people (myself included) were questioning if father time had finally caught up to him. But in the second half of the season, Jose was one of the most prominent hitters on the team. It wasn’t his best season by any stretch of the imagination, but for a guy who has been playing baseball professionally since 2003, it was nice to see. 25 doubles, 7 triples, 15 home runs, 58 RBIs, 24 stolen bases and a .246 Batting Average.
The biggest concern I’ve heard amongst fans is why haven’t the Mets gone out to find someone else instead of a 35-year-old player whose best years are behind him. And the answer is simple, Jose is not being signed as an everyday player. Amed Rosario will likely be the starting Shortstop, Asdrubal Cabrera playing 3rd or 2nd base, and Adrian Gonzalez on 1st, and then you have Wilmer Flores and TJ Rivera who can play 2nd base if needed. But, the Mets are still pursuing a 3rd or 2nd baseman. Mike Puma of the New York Post recently tweeted that the Mets are continue dialogue with the Pirates about Josh Harrison. He goes on to say that the Mets still believe a free agent addition is more likely, but that may not happen until the bigger names are off the board. Jose is being brought in as a utility player and a mentor to the young Amed Rosario. Not only that, but with a David Wright return looking more and more unlikely, the presence of a long tenured player like Jose Reyes in the clubhouse is a great thing to have. Of course there are other veterans like Cabrera, but Reyes has played for the Mets for 11 of his 15 seasons in the MLB and not only loves playing for New York, but he knows HOW to play for New York. There’s no denying the impact the media, the fans and just the overwhelming nature of the big apple can have on a player (look at Bruce when he first debuted for New York.) Having Reyes there to help younger guys like Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith, and any other free agents who are coming to New York for the first time deal with the media, the fans and all the commotion is priceless in my opinion.
The Mets also experimented with putting Jose in the outfield. He had 4 appearances in the outfield last season but the ball avoided him completely and so we’ve never got to see what he can really do out there. I think come spring training, when the Mets (hopefully) have their starting infielders set, they can put Jose in the outfield and see what he can do for them. If he can perform well enough, it just makes him even more versatile and easier to put in the lineup. On top of that, I think giving Jose a few chances at First base during spring training would be a good idea as well. I’d actually prefer him getting chances at First base than in the outfield. Of course the Mets have Adrian Gonzalez and Jay Bruce (as well as Rivera or Flores if needed) to play First base. But I think it’d be good to have another person capable of playing the position since Gonzalez is returning from a season that was ended prematurely because of back injuries. It’s always good to have a back-up and I think Jose needs to be that back-up. If given the chance to learn the position, you’d have a guy who could play every infield position for you and that’s a beautiful luxury.
One of my first posts on the site was about Jose Reyes and why the Mets should re-sign him, and if you’ve read that then I’m sure you’re well aware I am a big Jose supporter and this post just further proves that. But with all bias aside, I truly believe Jose has enough left to offer the Mets for his return to be something we (the fans) should be excited for. He knows the fundies, he knows how to handle himself and he’s a team player. Those are all the things that should be looked for in a player when signing them. Love him, hate him, or indifferent about him, there is no denying Jose is a veteran and he still has something left to offer and his experience and versatility is something the Mets can really use to their advantage this season.
As always, let me know what you think by leaving a comment below, emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or sending me a tweet @keiths_mustache ! I’m always looking for new topics to write about so if you have any suggestions please feel free to share them with me.