Can Jose Reyes Be the Spark the Mets Offense Desperately Needs?
For once in his life, Jose Reyes finds himself in a unique position. The underdog.
Reyes is back in New York, kind of. You won’t find him in Queens anytime soon. Instead the disgraced former, now current Met, will begin his redemption tour in Brooklyn, on a minor-league rehab assignment.
Barring injury, it will most likely be a brief stay in the minors. The Mets need a spark and Reyes has a unique opportunity to provide it.
But what kind of spark will it be?
Cheap is the first word that comes to mind. Which is music to the ears of Fred Wilpon.
The Rockies are on the hook for the remaining $40 million on Reyes’ contract while the Mets will only be responsible for the major-league minimum, $507,500.
So on paper it seems like a low-risk play by Sandy Alderson. Bringing in a guy who could potentially fill a gaping hole at the leadoff position, play multiple infield positions (maybe outfield too), and provide a sense of nostalgia for fans that are clamoring for a better product.
But this reunion isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Alderson has already addressed how the Mets could take a public relations hit for bringing on a player with a history of domestic violence.
“I think we fully understand that there will be differences of opinion about this” Alderson said to reporters after news of the signing was made public. “Some people feel strongly and differently. I think we accept that. We respect that. And all I can say is that both Jose and the organization will be held to a standard going forward that recognizes the seriousness of domestic abuse and a commitment to stand against it.”
Reyes received a 52-game suspension after being arrested on October 31st for allegedly choking his wife, Katherine Ramirez, and shoving her into a sliding-glass door during a dispute. However, the charges were dropped due to a lack of cooperation by Ramirez.
Meanwhile on Sunday an emotional Reyes made his debut with the Mets short-season Single-A affiliate, the Brooklyn Cyclones. A debut that saw Jose go 0-for-3 in front of a packed house at MCU Park chanting his name. Reyes also made three plays at third base.
“I’m a human being. I made that one mistake.” Reyes told reporters after Sunday’s debut in Brooklyn. “It was a terrible mistake. I’m so sorry for that mistake. I’ve apologized to everyone. I’ve never been in trouble before. I need a second chance.”
Jose also admitted to reporters Sunday that he needs to be a better husband and better person, which goes without saying, but he also needs to be a better baseball player.
Since signing a mega-deal free-agent deal with the Marlins in 2011, Reyes has become somewhat of a journeyman and has been traded twice in the last four seasons.
But the talent is clearly still there. He stole 24 bases in 116 games last season between the Rockies and Blue Jays. A statistic the Mets desperately need help in. Heading into play on Monday, the Amazins are dead last in the National League with just 15 stolen bases this season. Yikes.
If Jose has any magic left in those 33-year old legs, the Mets could use it, in a hurry.