The Giants lost their young budding superstar catcher Buster Posey to injuries for the rest of the season? Naturally the Mets shortstop should take his place.
I do not literally mean take Posey’s position of course. The Giants need to fill the catcher’s position but that is a short order. Eli Whiteside is a capable catcher and Bengie Molina, the man who Buster Posey made expendable, can be signed as a free agent. Both can split time behind the plate and call a good game. Maybe even Fresno’s Jackson Williams can catch a few games for the parent club.
Getting someone to squat and tell the pitchers what to throw is not an issue. His bat will be sorely missed. A team this offensively challenged can’t afford to simply remove Posey from the lineup. The combination of Molina, Whiteside and Williams can’t make up for his production.
But Jose Reyes can.
The Mets shortstop is healthy and contributing in the lineup. He leads the league in hits and triples. He has 17 steals and his OPS is in the .800s. And he is doing it in a miserable situation. If he could do that in the poisonous Mets culture, imagine how he could flourish in the positive environment of the defending World Champions!
The Mets are imploding, sinking in the standings, infighting with the management and selling off chunks of the team.
When a team is trying to find new investors (or maybe a new owner) and losing tens of millions of dollars, wouldn’t it behoove them to start cutting payroll? Especially when the team is a losing team in an empty stadium. Hell, Wilpon has already said his team stinks. Why not start dumping the bodies?
If the Mets can get two good prospects for Reyes, whose contract expires at the end of the season, then it makes sense for them. Getting two players who have already passed much of the minor league gauntlet might be a surer bet than the two draft picks the Mets would get after Reyes’ inevitable free agent departure. (Why would he want to come back to the Amazin’ Mess.)
The Giants are in a position to trade from strength. It is always risky to deal pitching, but with a rotation of Linecum, Cain, Bumgarner, Sanchez and even Vogelsong, the Giants have depth in the rotation. Wilson, Ramirez, Lopez, Romo and Mota give them the deep bullpen. If ANY team can trade a pitching prospect or two, it is the Giants.
Maybe dealing top prospect Zack Wheeler would be a stretch. And maybe lefty reliever Alex Hinshaw, who has some big league experience, might not be enticing. But first baseman prospect Brandon Belt could be intriguing for the Mets. 23 year old control artist Eric Surkamp could be spared. And slick fielding young shortstop Brandon Crawford won’t be needed. I am sure a package could be slapped together.
And it could even be easier if the Giants ever agreed to take on any more of the Mets payroll. Jason Bay is owed $35 million over the next two years. Johan Santana is owed $50 million. Send one of those contracts to China Basin and the accountants in Queens would be much obliged. Granted, the only stadium worse for Jason Bay’s talents than CitiField is AT&T Park. But imagine if Santana comes back to form? But I digress. This discussion is about Jose Reyes.
And the Giants have a spot waiting for him. Sorry, Miguel Tejada. The experiment to capture lightning in a bottle again after the post season success of Edgar Renteria and Juan Uribe simply isn’t happening for the 2011 Giants infield. The bat speed is not there. The power is not there. The range is not there. He is aging the way 37 year olds USED to age.
Replace the lumbering Tejada with the spark plug of Reyes, rejuvenated after his parole from Queens and suddenly the Giants line up is a little more electric. He has gap to gap power and can stretch doubles into triples, making San Francisco the ideal park for his offense.
And playing for a potential post season run could not hurt his free agent prospects.
Deal a little of tomorrow for a chance to repeat today, Giants. You don’t need a catcher who can hit. You need a player who can hit.
Make the call. The Mets are DYING to shed some payroll.
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