The New York Mets hoped Jose Reyes could transition to a part-time role in 2018. That hasn’t happened and now they are looking for a way out.
If challenged to sum up Jose Reyes‘ 2018 season with the New York Mets in one sequence of events, people could point to Sunday night, where he committed two errors on one play. So, yea, things haven’t been going well for the longtime Met.
Through 80 plate appearances, the veteran infielder is slashing a ghastly .149/.213/.203 with one home run, three RBI, and seven runs scored. That’s led to an 18 wRC+, which was the sixth-worst mark in baseball among players with at least 80 plate appearances entering Monday night.
His roster status has seemingly been in flux for most of the season. While releasing Reyes has been discussed within the organization, they’re being sensitive to his history with the team. Naturally, a “proper sendoff” involves trying to get him to retire, according to Andy Martino of SNY.
Going this route seems ridiculous. Has Reyes done a lot for New York as a player? Of course he has, but making an attempt to force someone to retire isn’t the best way to handle this situation.
Reyes isn’t at all the player he once was, and at 35 years old, he’s aware the end is near. That doesn’t mean he’s content to just end things now, though. Let’s not forget that he’s a human being with his own wishes and desires. And since he’s a professional athlete, he’s inherently competitive.
Very few ballplayers get to end their careers in the way they’d like. Reyes also won’t be among that select group, but he should get the opportunity to pursue any other potential jobs before deciding to hang up his spikes. While his hypothetical market would be virtually nonexistent, that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be allowed to give it a try if he wants.
As a 15-year veteran, Reyes knows baseball is a business, and that the Mets need to do what’s best for the team. His performance has been dragging them down, and he’s well aware that he probably shouldn’t still be holding onto his roster spot.
Should both sides part in a respectable manner? Absolutely — despite his off-field transgressions, his on-field play is still a significant part of franchise history. Maybe this would be a different conversation if he didn’t leave via free agency following the 2011 season, but that’s not the case.
If Reyes feels the time is right to move onto the next chapter of his life, then that’s great. But if he’s not ready to retire yet — and no ballplayer will blame him there — the Mets just need to man up and designate him for assignment instead of trying to take an easier way out.
At the end of the day, hearing these reports about trying to figure out what they should do with Reyes is worse than just cutting him loose.