On June 10, 2003, Jose Reyes made his major league debut for the New York Mets slotting ninth in the batting order in an interleague game against the Texas Rangers. A two-hit performance along with two runs scored led to an impressive rookie season for the twenty year old shortstop. Reyes immediately became the “fan favorite”, and when David Wright burst onto the scene the following season, critics thought of them as a dynamic duo for years to come. But roughly seven years later with three consecutive season-ending collapses endured (2007-2009), the Mets are under new management. Sandy Alderson has a very different path for the organization than that of Omar Minaya. Will this new regime finally lead to the much anticipated divorce of David Wright and Jose Reyes?

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Catalyst, comedian, injury-prone. These are the three terms that I think best describe Jose Reyes. Unfortunately, that last quality is the most pertinent, since it will ultimately decide his fate with the New York Mets.

Many Mets fans would be devastated with the loss of Jose Reyes. As I have stated, he is often thought of as the catalyst for the team, getting on base and setting the stage for run production. He puts pressure on pitchers on the basepaths and typically gets the job done in the field. Not to mention, he has provided somewhat of a comedic energy to the team over the years. But the fact is there is a strong possibility he will no longer be with the team after the 2011 season. Why exactly is there such uncertainty for his future?

The answer is simple: Sandy Alderson is in charge.

After only three months in office, Alderson’s approach is fairly obvious. He is extremely focused in making the right investment. He has also stated on a few occasions that anyone on the team can be made available through trade (in the right deal) or in free agency. In my opinion, the soon-to-be free agent, Jose Reyes is most at risk for this option. His proneness to injury is not a very attractive asset to a market that will probably price him at too high a cost for Alderson’s liking. To convince you, let me run through a few scenarios that could occur.

Scenario 1: Reyes Exceeds Expectations

It is quite possible that Jose Reyes performs on par with his career statistics. When healthy, he has proven that he is one of the better shortstops in the league. If Reyes produces an impressive line (say, .290 50 R 25 SB) by the All-Star Break, his value will be the highest it’s been in years. Therefore, Alderson would see it necessary to search for suitors, and deal him if given a proper package in return. If he is retained throughout the season, the Mets face an $11 million option for 2011, which may be a much too risky investment for Alderson. They might take the $500,000 buyout and send him into free agency.

Scenario 2: Reyes Underperforms

Given either an injury-plagued season or just a bad year in general, Reyes’ value would be too low to move in an ideal trade. Alderson would not find it feasible to pick up his option for the following season, buy out his contract, and see if they could sign him to a more affordable one. The other GMs around the league will drive Alderson and the Mets out of the market. But who knows? Maybe Reyes has some dignity.

Scenario 3: Reyes Meets Expectations

He has a mediocre season, but doesn’t overly impress anyone. There may be demand for him via trade, and like in Scenario 1, it will depend on the value of the return. Again, the $11 million option for 2011 is a factor, and Alderson may not see it as a reasonable price.

Despite all of this, Reyes’ future with the Mets depends on many other factors. The most important issue is the amount of money Alderson will have off the books to spend in the offseason. Also, if there are no other reliable options at the shortstop position, he may feel obligated to retain him. However, the mere uncertainty regarding Reyes’ health could scare him away from the team for good.

What do you guys think? Will Jose Reyes be a Met after the 2011 season?  How would you feel if he did leave Queens?