The Mets are stuck at a crossroad, one trail revealing additional years of mediocrity with the other a game of chance into the unknown. Through the last decade of struggles in Flushing, two teenagers have grown and fought in the blue and orange battalion to become the most admired warriors in the not as famous part of New York. They are young and in their primes. They keep the clubhouse intact and alive. They are perennial all-stars...and they must be let go.
Every year, I hear our fans demanding the same thing. They want change. Well, clarify for me. Do you want a change in personnel or a change in philosophy? The Mets transitioned from shipping rookies out at the first glimpse of potential in the Steve Phillips era to actually developing them in the Minaya era. Given the circumstances, I believe we should continue in that direction and make the farm system our priority.
Last year I would have opted for a re-tool instead of a rebuild. But last year, Santana and top prospect Jenry Mejia were not recovering from surgery, Mike Pelfrey was reliable, Brad Holt had potential and there was hope that Jason Bay can turn things around. Now, we have no ace, no potential top of the rotation starters and no major help coming any time soon from the farm system.
But this is not the reason I believe we must let go of our stars. The reason is because Reyes is overperforming and we have fallen in love with his play. If Reyes finishes the year hitting .275 and stealing 40 bases, this decision would have been much harder. But as he races around the bases as the most exciting player in the league, his price rises to other teams willing to trade for him, and so does the Mets risk in re-signing him.
Let's evaluate a good case scenario vs a bad case scenario should the Mets re-sign him to a modest 6 year/105 million dollar deal ($17.5 million per year). In an optimistic scenario, Reyes will average 150 games a year, bat .275-.300 and swipe 40-50 bases a year playing good defense. In a pessimistic scenario, Reyes will average 120 games a year, bat .275 and steal 30 bases a year playing mediocre defense. While, these are not the best and worst case scenarios, I would like Mets fans to evaluate this and answer the question, can we really afford the chance of a $105 million bad case scenario?
For those that play poker, this would be a tough but decisive call that the pot odds do not justify such a push. Trade Reyes, get a few pieces to work with and invest in amateur ball.
This leaves David Wright as the last hero standing. I say trade him too, when his value is higher. There is no point in trading him if his value is low but if he should ever show flashes of hitting .300/25/100 again and the Mets still have no sign of life in the farm system at that point, then he too, must be moved for the betterment of the future. On the contrary, if Wright's struggles continue to say middle or late 2012 and Santana is back in business, Davis/Niese/Martinez/Tejada continue to/are establishing themselves and the then A+/AA players are making noise, then hell to the effing yea, lock #5 up for the rest of his career.
As a man with no (little emotion), I refuse to fall in love with Reyes and his last month of hitting and running. The Mets were here before these two and will continue to be here after. They are not our first and last loves, so move the duff on!
If I come across two roads diverged in the woods then I will gladly take the one less traveled by.
TLDR; Trade Reyes, trade Wright because Robert Frost would do it.