A few weeks ago, the Colorado Rockies cut aging and struggling shortstop Jose Reyes, who has yet to play at the major league level this season.
Reyes has had a tough go of it since he left Queens in 2011. Beginning with his short-lived stint with the Marlins, Reyes has struggled to stay on the field, as the last time he played more than 145 games was back in 2012, his only season in Miami. On top of that, he’s fresh off of serving a 53 game suspension for a domestic violence incident, which tarnished his reputation. But when he’s been on the field, he’s still been good.
No, he’s not going to lead the league in triples, or have this electrifying presence at the top of a lineup anymore at age 33. His knees are probably as artificial as the turf he played on while struggling with injuries in Toronto. Since the season where he hit a career-high .337, he’s still maintained an average anywhere between .270 and .290, not exactly something to be disappointed in. He’s never going to have exceptional pop, but he’s still got good doubles power, and Citi Field was built for his type of swing (literally). He’s no slouch defensively – I think he still has the range and the knowledge to shift to second base, and I think he has the arm to play third base.
Obviously the issue off the field could be seen as a bigger issue than his injury woes, especially when teams are beginning to crack down on domestic violence. By all accounts, Reyes is a good teammate and a good person. I believe there’s a such thing as making a mistake, no matter how inexcusable it is. If he’s good for the clubhouse and he can help you win games, then I don’t know why you wouldn’t pull the trigger. He’s hungry, and as an athlete and public figure, he’s conscious of his image….
… that one to be exact. My point is that you would be getting a ballplayer who knows that his career could very well be over. That sounds like a motivated individual to me.
Reyes can be a versatile, switch-hitting utility player that can add depth to a team. I know that he openly wants to return to the Mets, where he would absolutely be welcomed back with open arms. But even if the Mets hypothetically didn’t want to make that move, there’s still other teams that could benefit from his services. In my mind, the Orioles, the Nationals, the Dodgers, and the Giants could use him as either a starting infielder across the infield, or as a depth option off the bench. And with the Rockies paying him almost $40 million for the rest of his contract, it would be for league minimum. Why wouldn’t you make that move?
Cover photo from Bleacher Report/AP.
Mugshot from totalprosports.com.