Would Jose Reyes be an Answer at Short for the Reds?

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Jose Reyes. I know, I know….it’s far-fetched and all but the Reds have a deficiency at shortstop (Steve’s mini-rant got me thinking about it) and they have been mentioned among potential suitors for the 27 year-old Met. This isn’t some kind of post of a trade rumor or anything like that, it’s just a pondering on whether or not it would even be a good move for the Reds?

First, we have to look at things from a standpoint of how much the addition of Reyes would benefit the Reds.

Okay, so with Reyes the Reds would get a top 5 shortstop (when healthy) with leadoff prowess and a ton of speed who can also provide enough pop for 15-18 homers and a slew of extra base hits. It would provide shortstop production for the Reds that hasn’t been seen since Barry Larkin roamed Riverfront and add an extra dimension to a Reds offense that already is tops in the NL. Defensively, Reyes has a career fielding percentage of .975 which is just slightly above league average at short. It wouldn’t quite be Paul Janish-level defense but then again it wouldn’t be Janish-level offense either.

This addition would solve a two-fold problem for the Reds. The shortstop production as mentioned, but also solve the batting order problem mentioned by Steve. With Reyes in the fold, we would see a rock-solid #2 hitter to solve that problem or Stubbs and his power could move to #2 and Reyes could bat leadoff which would provide otherworldly base stealing potential. Problems fixed, everybody happy?

Well I provided the benefit of a potential Reyes/Reds trade, now for the problems. The mention of trading Jose Reyes and other valuable Mets pieces has been around for a few months, since it was reported that the Mets were in financial troubles. The problem is that the rumored asking price for Reyes is said to be quite steep. Any projected package would have to include 1-2 major league-type players along with a couple high level prospects. So from a Reds perspective we would be seeing a package of something like Homer Bailey along with Chris Heisey or Jonny Gomes then two of the group of Yonder Alonso, Devin Mesoraco, Chris Valaika, Dave Sappelt, etc. And that would be a low end offer…the Mets may even ask for Jay Bruce instead of Heisey or Gomes. While this is simply a hypothetical package of my creation the true asking price will probably be similar. It also bears mentioning that Reyes is in the last year of his current deal and any trade would have to include a shiny new contract. Even above the high price to acquire, I think this is what puts the Reds out of consideration for Reyes. Given the direction taken by Walt Jocketty and the front office, I do not see any indication that a large acquisition and subsequent $100 million plus contract would be in line. It would be completely atypical from the wait-and-develop approach seen thus far.

I believe that while trading for Jose Reyes would a huge boon to the Reds offense, the subsequent sapping of talent from other areas of the organization from the price to get him would make the deal a bad move. My best hope is that the Mets get panicky near the trade deadline and lower their offer trying to just get what they can before Reyes walks. Maybe then the deal could prove economical for a team like the Reds to pursue. But unless that happens, I think I would rather take my chances with the light-hitting Janish/Renteria combo than mortgaging the future so heavily.

I am just interested in what others would think about the potential to add Jose Reyes to the Reds squad. You for it? Or against it? What say you?