Talking heads around on New York radio stations and writers for New York newspapers and websites have been beating the drum lately for the New York Yankees to ring up Sandy Alderson and convince the New York Mets general manager to trade them star shortstop Jose Reyes.
Never mind the fact the Yankees already have Derek Jeter. He is a soon-to-be 37-year-old fading former superstar nearing the end of his days at shortstop (yes, I know many would say he is long past them). Reyes, on the other hand, is a 29-year-old star in his prime who is having the best season of his nine-year career, batting .336 with an .888 OPS and 26 stolen bases.
It sounds good, in theory. Replace the greatest shortstop in Yankee history with the guy currently being called the best shortstop in New York. This is a trade that is highly unlikely to happen, however. Let me give you five reasons why.
- The Mets Won't Do This -- Alderson knows Mets' fans don't want the organization to trade its best player. If the GM ultimately decides that he has to because of the team's finances and owner Fred Wilpon's public statements that he won't give Reyes the $140 million or more he can get as a free agent Alderson will have a hard enough time selling fans on a trade to another contender looking for a shortstop. Trading the organization's best player to the cross-town Yankees would cause a public backlash the Mets can ill afford.
- The Jeter Factor -- The Yankees, I am certain, recognize that Jeter is not what he used to be. Eventually, Yankee GM Brian Cashman will sit in a room with Jeter and tell the Yankee Captain the organization needs him to play another position. I really don't believe the Yankees will do that to Jeter midseason, however. After this season or the 2012 season, maybe. In season? The Yankees have, in a way, walked on egg shells trying not to insult Jeter and a midseason position switch would be a huge insult. I don't believe the Yankees will go there.
- The Prospects -- Cashman is not quick to surrender prospects, and a trade for Reyes would come at a heavy price in terms of prospects -- especially considering that there will likely be a lot of teams making Alderson offers for Reyes.
- The Contract -- It is likely going to take a contract of at least seven years and probably north of $140 million to sign Reyes long term, in addition to the prospects it will take to get him. That would be another bad contract the Yankees would be tying themselves to, and they have been trying to get away from those the past couple of seasons. They are tied -- at high prices -- to Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia. Reyes, today, looks like a great shiny new toy for the Yankees to display on the YES Network. A contract that would take a speed player like Reyes who already has had a history of injuries and faced some questions about his attitude would really not be a wise thing for the Yankees to do.
- Free Agency -- If the Yankees really don't care about the contract, and really believe Reyes is the guy they want to replace Jeter at shortstop long term, they can go after him as a free agent in the offseason. That just costs money, not money and prospects.