McDonald: Mets Signing Reyes More Of A PR Risk Than A Baseball One

It’s not going to get easier for the New York Mets.

Not only did this past lost weekend humiliate the club and have officials scrambling for changes, the Mets wasted a golden opportunity to make back ground on the Nationals, a team they play for six games over the next few weeks.

After taking two against the Royals to close out this homestand, the Mets will try to exact some revenge on Atlanta at Turner Field before going to Washington for three, then coming home to play the Cubs, Marlins and Nationals before the All-Star Break.

With that type of schedule before them, the Mets will need a break.

No wonder why the Mets want to bring in reinforcements faster than you can say “Panic City.”

“Of course we’re concerned,” Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said to reporters at an event in Harlem.” Nobody is happy with the way we’re playing. I meet with Sandy, Terry, [assistant GM] John Ricco all the time. They’re working on things to try to get us where we need to go and start playing a little bit better. … We started off fine. It’s been the last week. But what you don’t want is the week to run into two weeks that runs into a month and hurts you very badly. I think we’re addressing it. I know Sandy and the guys are working hard on what the next step should be.”

Working hard includes thinking outside the box and also leaving no stone unturned, which is why  multiple outlets are reporting – and NYSD’s Rich Mancuso confirmed – that the Mets may be having a change of heart with bringing back Jose Reyes.

Last week, when the former Met All-Star was designated for assignment, it was widely reported through anonymous sources that they had virtually no interest in Reyes.

But a Braves sweep and a Nationals lead that’s approaching double digits can change a lot of things.

Now on paper, Reyes looks like a low risk, high reward proposition. Terry Collins loves him and last week gushed over his former shortstop.

“When we lost Jose, I thought, ‘Boy, this is a major piece gone,'” Collins said. “His energy to play the game, his love to play the game, his love to play the game in New York City, it’s hard to find. It’s hard to find those guys. We missed him. I don’t know what’s going to happen down the road. Certainly, I always root for him.”

With the Rockies paying his salary, the Mets will pay Reyes the league minimum and if they sign him, he would probably replace Ty Kelly on the roster.

And certainly even a diminished Reyes is better than Kelly and Reyes easily becomes the fastest player on the club even at his advanced age of 33.

So what’s the problem? Sign him right?

Well, the organization is apparently worries about any public relations backlash in signing the infielder. A PR conscious club, like the Mets, is very hesitant to be criticized for a signing like this. They don’t want to look like they are condoning Reyes’s alleged actions, where he was accused of grabbing his wife by the throat and pushing her into a glass door.

However, those charges were dropped after his wife refused to cooperate with police, so all Reyes received is a 60-day suspension from MLB.

If the Mets sign Reyes, they will have their critics, but probably no more than the Yankees did when they acquired Aroldis Chapman, who also was suspended this season for domestic violence.

And remember, the Mets have kept Wally Backman gainfully employed for the past seven seasons. He also was arrested for a domestic issue years ago and his post-playing career was marred because of it.

Now, even though Reyes evaded prosecution and did his time according to the Commissioner, no one is condoning his actions last fall and no one endorses violence against women.

Maybe if the Mets decide to bring Reyes back, he would make a sizable donation to charities that help victims of domestic violence. He’s getting $38 million over the next few seasons from the Rockies, so he can afford to make that kind of statement.

Reyes is not going to be the end-all be-all answer, but the trade market is still about a month away from being in full swing and the Mets need a bat or two now.

And since the Mets will be only paying the minimum, they can easily cut bait with Reyes if he doesn’t produce or have any kind of off the field incident.

Even a diminished Reyes is better than some of the players on the roster, and there aren’t many other options currently out there that can play immediately in Flushing, so you can see why the Mets are looking at their former All-Star.




About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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