If you’ve been paying attention to the Mets news cycle, you’ve already picked up on the signals the team has been sending out. First we traded for Jay Bruce, and now all we’ve been hearing is how he’s “insurance” for “if” Yoenis Cespedes opts-out of his current “deal”. As if to say Cespedes might not opt-out and cash in on an almost certain 125-150 million dollar payday. And the Daily News even reported yesterday that the Mets now expect their 2017 outfield to be Michael Conforto in center, Curtis Granderson in left, and Jay Bruce in right. Yo is a goner folks.
When we traded Dilson Herrera for Bruce, we started hearing about second base options for 2017. Sandy Alderson made no mention of Neil Walker in the possible 2017 plan. You know Neil? He’s just been one of the most productive second baseman in the league this year, especially after his recent run of success at the end of July into August. Right after the Bruce trade, I wrote about the case to re-sign Walker and how the Mets probably won’t do that. Instead, we’ve heard Gavin Cecchini and Wilmer Flores thrown out as options and of course the headliner…Jose Reyes!
So first we hear Reyes and his league minimum contract thrown out as an option at second base for next season. Now we are seeing David Wright visiting with the team and supposedly making great progress on his neck injury rehab. He says he plans to play in 2017. You know what all this means? Wright/Reyes 2017 is an absolute lock! Lock it up! Guaranteed. They will be penciled into the Opening Day 2017 lineup by the Mets in the offseason and will probably play under 30 games combined.
If a Wright/Reyes 2017 ticket is genuinely in the cards for the Mets, then we need to flood the Citi Field parking lot with protestors now. If that’s really the plan, then we might as well flush our chances next season down the toilet and close our supposed championship window that started last season. We’ve pinned our hopes on Jose and David so many times before this. How many times did we wait for Jose to rehab his injuries in hopes of making a late summer run with him back in the lineup (including right now as I type)? Then as soon as Reyes departed after 2011, Wright filled the injury void. Wright’s been on the DL for most of the season between 2013-2016. We can’t afford to spend another year penciling these guys into our fantasy world lineups and expecting big production.
This post isn’t a commentary on our chances this season. Obviously Wright and Reyes are hurt, and despite that this team is still in the race. But their absence during crunch time this season is about as telling as it gets. This is now the second year in a row where we’ve depleted our minor league resources trying to fill the void on offense left by the absence of our captain and third baseman. We traded for Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson (twice), Yoenis Cespedes, and Jay Bruce all in the hopes of filling the Wright hole on offense. We just keep trading away prospects. Trading and trading.
Well now the Mets farm system is nearly depleted, and our best player (Cespedes) is probably leaving. But our young stars are still under team control. We still have the pitching. This offseason is the make or break moment for Sandy. If we plan to actually take advantage of this 2-4 year window, then we cannot rely on Wright and Reyes for another second. I’m not saying release them. Jose Reyes at the league minimum on the bench sounds fine to me. David was productive when he played this year. His contract is a sunk cost. David and the Mets need to accept that he is a bench contributor at best in 2017, and they need to find a starting caliber player to man third base on Opening Day. That is the only acceptable path going forward.
The other option would be to let Jose Reyes and David Wright go to either the Yankees or Cardinals. Carlos Beltran was ravaged by injuries at almost the same age (32/33) as Reyes and Wright. Then Beltran went to the Cardinals/Yankees and went on to have 5 more incredibly productive seasons. Perhaps the Lord’s chosen teams would help heal Wright and Reyes and restore them to greatness. One thing is certain. They are not recovering as long as they don blue and orange with the Mets. So it’s time to move on. It’s time to vote no on Wright/Reyes 2017! Let’s make the Mets great again, not injured.