Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Are The Futures Of Pagan And Reyes Linked?

Courtesy Of Michael Baron
Angel Pagan reminded Mets' fans last night why he may be headed out of town. Another misplayed ball in the outfield, combined with what has ultimately been a step backwards at the plate this season leaves his future in Queens in question. I wonder however, if his future may be tied to some extent with that of Jose Reyes.

If there are two positions on the diamond that are difficult to fill, it is shortstop and center field. Jose Reyes has added value in the fact that he is a legitimate lead off man... probably the best in baseball. Angel Pagan does not provide such a luxury, however as we've seen this season, he becomes the default lead off man when Reyes is on the shelf. With that in mind, do Pagan's chances of staying with the team increase should Reyes head elsewhere?

The Mets as a team currently rank second in the National League with 115 stolen bases. Despite his injuries, Jose Reyes leads the team with 35. Angel Pagan, playing in just two more games, ranks second on the squad with 29. Third place on the roster is currently shared by David Wright and Jason Bay, with a grand total of ten a piece.

If Jose Reyes departs via free agency this winter, the Mets will certainly experience an irreplaceable hit to the team's overall speed. Should both Reyes and Pagan end up with other teams next spring, potential lead off men, as well as stolen bases will be few and far between. It's for that exact reason that Pagan's future with the Mets may be directly tied into the retention...or departure of Jose Reyes.

Courtesy Of Michael Baron
The Jose Reyes free agency dilemma will be decided long before the Mets have to make a decision on whether to offer Pagan a contract or not. If Reyes lands elsewhere, Pagan would become the de facto lead off man and comprise the majority of the speed on the roster. If Reyes remains a Met, Pagan may be more expendable as the development of a center fielder with better instincts and poise at the plate may then become a priority.

Pagan's future remains in question as the season comes to a close. Ultimately, it may be the Met's misfortune of losing Jose Reyes, that benefits his chances of staying put. Pagan cannot replace Jose Reyes in the lead off position, but with other options limited, he remains the best option to do so. And so the question remains... And I ask you...Is Angel Pagan's future in Flushing directly related to that of Jose Reyes?

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