If the reports that the Miami Marlins have extended a 6 year, $90 million dollar contract offer to Jose Reyes are true, I think it is time for Mets fans to make their peace with the fact that Reyes will not be returning next season. While the loss of the organization's most popular player certainly deals a blow to the hopes of any Met fan hoping their team could remain in contention next season, it may have little, if any, impact in the long run.
If there is one thing Sandy Alderson seems dead set on doing, whether it by choice or due to a lack of funds from ownership, it is rebuilding the New York Mets from within. This trend became apparent when the Mets dealt Carlos Beltran to San Francisco, all but ending any hope of the Wild Card last summer. That trend intensified when the Mets aggressively targeted and signed players through the amateur draft. Alderson, will find himself with two additional picks next summer from whichever team Reyes eventually lands, thus allowing him to continue replenishing the farm system.
The reason the retention of Reyes doesn't really matter is because it was going to be nothing more than a stopgap over the next few years. The 2012 and 2013 New York Mets are going to struggle with, or without, Jose Reyes. The Mets are not one player (or five) away from contending for a World Series and due to their seeming inability to spend like they did in the early 2000s, likely won't reach such heights until their prospects not only arrive, but mature. It seems that the Mets have plenty of pitching in the pipe, but with even the best of luck those pitching prospects won't have matured before the 2015 or 2016 seasons. At that point, Reyes will be on the downside of this new contract and will no longer be the impact player you see today.
With all of that said, I would have preferred the Mets resign Jose, but not at the cost of another bloated contract that will have the power to impact their contention when that time finally arrives. If the Mets match and/or improve upon the offer the Marlins have made, Jose Reyes will be the problem long before he is ever able to become the solution to the Mets woes.
The Mets should be nearing the bottom as Sandy Alderson looks to turn this franchise around. Unfortunately, due to ownership's current financial circumstances, the front office must shift its focus from contending now, to working towards having the right pieces in place so that this can all come together sooner than later. In this instance, sooner might be the 2015 season. It will be for that reason that additional prospects and/or major league ready talent will be sought next season if the team decides to trade David Wright or Johan Santana. This is a process and not a fun one, but while the loss of Jose Reyes may sting now, if he is not brought back under the right circumstances, it has the power to sting a whole lot more later.
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