By Mike Steffanos
Joel Sherman had a column in Monday's New York Post citing two unnamed sources that Sandy Alderson is now "leaning strongly toward authorizing a substantial offer after the season to try to retain [Jose] Reyes".
We started the season with most of the local writers, including Sherman, predicting that Reyes would be gone before the trade deadline. Sherman summarizes the prevailing attitude among pundits at that time:
Sandy Alderson was pigeonholed early in his administration as a risk-averse executive who would strongly reject the idea of a mega-contract for any player, but specifically an injury-prone one such as Jose Reyes, who did not have the Mets' general manager's favorite asset: elite on-base percentage.
Alderson warned not to stereotype him, and that decisions would be based on information absorbed during the season.
We should have listened.
I have no idea what Alderson's thoughts were towards Reyes heading into the year, but I always thought they were likely to be more nuanced than the media was willing to acknowledge.
Of course, even if the Mets do make a big effort to keep Reyes there is no guarantee they will be successful. When you let a star player in his prime make it all the way to free agency there's always the chance for some team to come along that is willing to over pay wildly to get him. As smaller market teams are able to keep more of their best players the yearly free agent crop contains fewer real difference makers. The ones who are available can really cash in.
Still, I believe the Mets have a reasonable chance of keeping Reyes. I know there are Mets fans out there who believe that the Mets need to sell off all of their assets and start over. While I agree that the Mets have to dramatically change the way they do business, I just don't buy into anything that radical. A large market team like the Mets should be able to reorganize their priorities without becoming completely unwatchable in the meantime. I'll be back later this afternoon with the second installment of this series where I will offer some thoughts on what a reasonable plan going forward might be.