Ever since the Mets made their case against re-signing Reyes, in which they expressed their concern over diminished returns because his game was based on speed, every speedster is labeled a risk. The fact of the matter is that Reyes has a long history of leg injuries which is what made him such a risk of drastically declining, speedsters do decline with age but most who don't have an injury history slow at a gradual rate.
More important then whether four years is too long or not, is what the impact of not signing him may have on the roster. Remember the organization entered this off-season making jokes about their own outfield. making most fans expect significant improvements.
Asked whether the outfield was his top priority this winter, the Mets GM replied: “Outfield? What outfield? We’re probably gonna have to bring the fences in another 150 feet!” source Daily News
Now this isn't about once again holding Alderson to the fire for his jokes, that has been done enough this off-season. This is more about what message is sent to the players on the roster and what kind of season we can expect if they Mets pass on Bourn.
David Wright has called the speedy outfielder, Ike has said he'd love have him and Alderson has admitted to negotiating with him, all the while if they don't sign him the back-up plan is those guys he quipped about as what outfield.
But more important than his jokes, is the psychological impact of not bringing in a significant positional player. At the end of the season Alderson admitted that not making a trade at the deadline may have contributed to the tail spin the team went into in the second half. I'm concerned that not signing Bourn and I only say Bourn because he's the only one left, will have the same negative impact the deadline had....
“And we didn’t get an influx of talent or players from the minor league system at that time, and we didn’t get an influx from outside the system, either. As a result, when you don’t get that push, there may be something psychological. There may be just something strictly performance-based that comes into play in the second half. But it’s definitely something we have to look at.” source ESPN NY