We got definitive word yesterday that Jose Reyes won't negotiate with the Mets until the season is over. Reyes, to be sure, wasn't going to sign a contract until he had a chance to test the market anyway. (We'll direct you again to yesterday's piece on how he's reportedly told friends he intends to get paid handsomely on his next contract.) And so the Mets may not know the exact figure Reyes is seeking. But they know it will be high. They've known this all along.
Still, Alderson's comments yesterday gave us a bit of insight into his thinking with the trade deadline some five and a half weeks away. Specifically, that the Mets won't let their short-term chances this season dictate what they do with Reyes.
Here, via the Post, is what Alderson said:
"If we're in it, it would be hard for me to see us trading Jose Reyes," Alderson said. "I don't think being out of it dictates anything. Whether we're winning or losing, I think, is a lot less relevant in Jose's case."
And also this:
"Jose's situation is not a function of whether we're winning or losing on a short-term basis in July," Alderson said. "His future with us is not gonna be dictated by how we play, good or bad over the next month. . . . I just don't want there to be any nexus between how we play in the next month and what disposition occurs with Jose. I don't want anyone to have that misconception. It's not how I view it."
So perhaps, as some have suggested, this is good news, in that it means that keeping Reyes long-term remains an option, and that the Mets don't simply view him as a trading chip they can get some value for if they're out of the race at the trade deadline. That said, if Alderson truly doesn't think he can sign Reyes — he's been good about not tipping his hand here, but it's at least possible he knows now he won't have the money to do it — then he'd be wise not to let the Mets' record at the end of July prevent his trading Reyes and getting something of value in return.
If you're wondering, by the way, why someone might have the misconception, to use Alderson's word, that the Mets' play over the next few weeks might dictate their plans, it's probably because of comments like these from Jeff Wilpon in today's Daily News.
Carlos Beltran. Francisco Rodriguez. Jose Reyes.
Those are three stars many Mets fans believe will be leaving town before the July 31 trade deadline. But Tuesday, after it was revealed that Reyes said he won't negotiate with the Mets until the offseason, chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon said the financially strapped franchise has yet to decide its direction, and that the team's performance over the next few weeks will determine upcoming personnel decisions.
"It's very difficult to predict right now what's going to happen in the next couple weeks," said Wilpon, who was at Citi Field to discuss the Mets' new partnership with Tuesday's Children, a non-profit organization that assists the 9/11 community. "That's why there's a deadline that's out there, and when that deadline approaches I'm sure (GM) Sandy (Alderson) will have a plan that he will present."
Wilpon wouldn't discuss Reyes's situation specifically, but at least the way the News framed it, he didn't seem to consider Reyes a special case — someone whose future wasn't tied to the team's record over the next few weeks. But Alderson does. As he should.
The Mets, by the way, fell to the A's last night. Dillon Gee, for the first time all season, took the loss.