Commentary

Projecting Jose Reyes' health

Should a team spend nine figures on the Mets' star shortstop?

Updated: September 1, 2011, 2:21 PM ET
By Ben Lindbergh | Baseball Prospectus
Jose ReyesSarah Glenn/Getty ImagesJose Reyes wreaks havoc all over the diamond, but his ability to stay healthy is a big concern.

New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes is primed for a payday as he prepares to enter free agency on the heels of a strong season at a position where offense is scarce.

Though injuries have limited him to 101 games this season, Reyes' bat has been the best of any shortstop's on a rate basis, producing a .315 True Average (TAv) that is tops at the position and a .336 average that leads the National League.

In terms of overall value, the 28-year-old Dominican is tied for first with Troy Tulowitzki at 4.5 Wins Above Replacement Player (WARP).

Reyes will become available to the highest bidder in an offseason that features few attractive options for suitors in search of a shortstop. In the wake of recent extensions granted to J.J. Hardy and Yunel Escobar, the market will largely be restricted to past-their-prime veterans on their last legs, such as Orlando Cabrera and the recently released Miguel Tejada, as well as defensive specialists such as Cesar Izturis, John McDonald and Jack Wilson.

Beyond Reyes, only Jimmy Rollins and Rafael Furcal (whose $12 million club option is unlikely to be exercised) offer any real offensive upside, and Reyes is the lone member of that trio on the youthful side of 30.

That perfect storm of positional scarcity should have Reyes and his agent, Peter Greenberg, salivating, but how smart an investment is the lifetime Mets player, and how long should teams be looking to commit when they start approaching him with multiyear packages?


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Ben Lindbergh

Baseball Prospectus
Ben Lindbergh is the editor-in-chief of Baseball Prospectus. He has interned for multiple MLB teams and is a member of the BBWAA.