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Mets’ future bleak without Jose Reyes

Dec 4, 2011, 9:28 PM EDT

Jose Reyes, David Wright AP

Not only are the Mets losing their best player, but it looks like they’re losing him to the one team they beat in the NL East standings last season.

Jose Reyes appears to be leaving for Florida without the Mets having even made an official offer. Reports indicated that they might be willing to spend about $80 million for five years, but that was never going to get it done, not for the No. 3 free agent on the market. Reyes may struggle to stay healthy, but he’s an above average defender at a premium position and he just won the NL batting crown.

Without Reyes, the Mets are looking at Ruben Tejada at shortstop. He’s a nice fallback after posting a .360 OBP at the tender age of 21 in 328 at-bats for the Mets last season. Still, he’s never going to be a Reyes. Superstars in their prime are so tough to come by, and the Mets are letting one go without a fight. They may have another in David Wright, but Wright has hardly played like one these last two years.

Absent Reyes, the Mets lineup currently looks something like this:

SS Tejada
2B Daniel Murphy
3B Wright
1B Ike Davis
LF Jason Bay
RF Lucas Duda
CF Angel Pagan
C Josh Thole

And that’s if they don’t non-tender Pagan to save an extra $5 million.

The rotation may be more of a strength if Johan Santana can string together 190 innings. R.A. Dickey, Jon Niese and Mike Pelfrey would make for a solid two, three and four. The bullpen, on the other hand, is in serious need of a couple of power arms, and the budget might not have room for more than the likes of Matt Capps.

It all points to the Mets falling into last place next year. The minor league system is in better shape than it’s been in years, but the turnaround isn’t likely to come quick.

  1. Ari Collins - Dec 4, 2011 at 9:34 PM

    I think next couple years are bleak, but they were going to be bleak anyway. No reason for them to sink $30MM+ over the next two years. The draft picks will help them more when they’re ready to contend again.

    • JBerardi - Dec 5, 2011 at 8:29 AM

      Right. If you’re going to be a bad team, you might as well be a REALLY bad team and get the high draft picks. Especially since you can’t just throw money around in the draft anymore (thanks, Bud!).

  2. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Dec 4, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    Pick up Frank Francisco to close (for a fraction of Bell/Papelbon money) hope for rebounds from Wright/Bay/Davis and save their money for next year’s FA class. Maybe a guy like Willingham or someone else who will only require one or two years. If they had the money to offer Reyes $80MM they can spend a little of it doing that much. Philly should be a retirement home in a year or two and the Nats will be the team with the target on their backs. The Mets could contend by 2014 of they are smart now.

  3. sdelmonte - Dec 5, 2011 at 4:37 AM

    That doesn’t look like a bad lineup to me. The only guy in that bunch who seems to be a total dud is Bay. Yes, it’s a young lineup but it’s got a lot of potential.

    No, I am not glad Reyes is staying in the division, or that the Mets never really tried to match the offer. But I think the Marlins are taking a risk – especially with an unhappy Hanley alongside – and that the angry naysayers screaming how terrible this is are wrong. The Mets will rebuild. They will get younger while the Phils get older. Give it time.

    • paperlions - Dec 5, 2011 at 8:06 AM

      That doesn’t look like a bad lineup to me either….if I am an opposing pitcher.

  4. 4d3fect - Dec 5, 2011 at 7:55 AM

    Mets future bleak


  5. mrznyc - Dec 5, 2011 at 8:13 AM

    The Mets future will remain bleak until the Wilpons are gone

  6. deathmonkey41 - Dec 5, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    I thought it was pretty bleak before Reyes left.

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