THe news came down Thursday afternoon that New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes would miss at least the next three weeks to rest his strained left hamstring, making what seemed like a touchy decision easy for the Mets, to place Reyes on the disabled list.
Obviously, this eliminates the possibility that Reyes is traded at the July 31 trade deadline, as general manager Sandy Alderson called it "very unlikely" himself.
But what does this mean for Reyes' status as a New York Met? It's certainly the $1 million question, and everyone has their own opinion. Some believe -- like SNY's Ted Berg -- that this will spur Reyes and his agent to begin contract-extension discussions with the Mets, something Reyes has said he would hate to do during the offseason.
When healthy, as the 28-year-old has shown this season, he's an MVP-type talent. With a .354/.398/.529 line and 30 steals in 80 games, Reyes has truly put up some absurd numbers. He's been the best shortstop this season -- by far.
However, with Reyes comes a decent amount of injury risk. He has a solid line-drive stroke, but his ultimate value comes from his legs, a place he's already dealt with a myriad of injuries before. In 2004, he played in 53 games after fracturing his fibula. In 2009, Reyes played 36 games as he dealt with hamstring injuries.
The Mets are two games above .500 and Reyes' injury couldn't have come at a worse time for this season ... but it may be a blessing for Alderson and ownership if they hope to lock him up. It's also probably a good thing because, let's face it, with how hot the Mets have been, they're still 9.5 games out in the division and 7 out of the Wild Card. They've been a good story, but they aren't making the playoffs this season.
While I believe this injury won't kill his total value, or really make him a bargain sign, I do believe teams will be reluctant to give him the Carl Crawford-type contract (seven years, $142 million). Players don't generally become less injury prone as they age, after all. There's no doubt that some GM's in baseball will be hesitant to pony up the dollars Reyes desires, despite his obvious talents.
This is the injury that could make Alderson sell pieces for sure come July 31, free up some money and then make the push to sign Reyes, while also slightly dampening his market demand.
The other side of the coin says that Alderson may not be a GM who wants to take such a financial risk, in terms of Reyes' next contract. This is something I believed earlier in the season, but unless Reyes' injury turns into career-ending, I think the GM is savvy enough to realize the impact he makes when he's in the lineup.
In the end, I fully believe Alderson will listen to every offer that comes his way, and he will sell off pieces if it improves the Mets in the long-term. I also think this injury increases New York's chances of retaining the superstar shortstop, no matter how small.