Originally written on MetsZilla  |  Last updated 11/3/11

In his column this morning (click here to read in full) Mike Puma of the New York Post wrote that  “One major league executive yesterday put the Nationals and Brewers atop the list of favorites to land Reyes, who is expected to command less than the $142 million over seven years that Carl Crawford received from Boston last winter.”  The reasoning behind the early prognostication is simple….but maybe a little too simple if you ask me:

The Nationals have proven they aren’t afraid to overspend, after blowing away the competition last winter with a seven-year deal worth $126 million for Jayson Werth.

Reyes could be viewed as the missing piece that turns the Nationals into an instant contender, with Stephen Strasburg back from Tommy John surgery and the team in position to perhaps add another starting pitcher.

Reyes’ chances of landing with the Brewers are tied directly to Fielder. The Brewers aren’t in strong position to re-sign their franchise first baseman, who is represented by Scott Boras and expected to shoot for $200 million in his next deal.

Reyes could be had for significantly less in Milwaukee and fill a void created at shortstop, when the team earlier this week declined Yuniesky Betancourt’s option for next season. The team’s best player, Ryan Braun, has lobbied openly for the Brewers to sign Reyes.”

Photo by Michael G. Baron

I dunno, this seems like a reach to me.  Just because the Nationals have spent money hand over fist doesn’t mean they’re going to do it every chance they get.  Also, Ian Desmond showed a marked improvement over the second half of last year, batting .289 with 5 HR after the All-Star break.  As for Milwaukee, telling your fan base you don’t have the money to sign Fielder and then ponying up to sign Reyes doesn’t come across as a likely scenario, at least not at face value.  The reverse also holds true for the Mets; I can’t envision Alderson and company letting Jose leave New York and making a serious bid at Prince, though some have suggested that might be a possibility.

Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com polled various beat writers around the league to get their opinion as to where Reyes might land.  The comments from  Tom Haudricourt, who covers the Brewers for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, and Adam Kilgore of the Washington-Post, don’t necessarily jive with those of the major league executive with whom Puma spoke.  Regarding the possibility of the Brewers bringing in Reyes, Haudricourt said:

Photo by Michael G. Baron

If they lose Prince Fielder, they will need to make up some of that offense somewhere. And, having declined their option on Yuniesky Betancourt, the Brewers must make a decision at shortstop. Having said that, I doubt if they’d want to pay what Reyes is seeking, and his recent injury history would be a concern, also. So, I don’t expect them to make a serious play for Reyes.”

As for the Nats, Kilgore explained:

The Nationals need to add a legitimate top-of-the-order threat to their lineup, but Reyes seems an unlikely fit. Team officials, particularly Manager Davey Johnson, remain high on 26-year-old shortstop Ian Desmond, who’s entering his third season and cost-controlled for the near future. You can’t count the Nationals out of anything after the Jayson Werth shocker last winter, but the Nationals prefer to fill their leadoff need by adding a center fielder, not a shortstop like Reyes.”

To me this round of rumor roulette goes to Haudricourt and Kilgore, but the fact of the matter is that there really doesn’t seem to be a favorite in the Reyes sweepstakes just yet.  To me, that’s probably the most frustrating thing, because it would be nice if the Mets were widely viewed as just that.  A wise man once said you can wish in one hand and crap in the other, and see which one gets filled first.  Not sure I’m ready to solve that puzzle just yet but I’ll go ahead and start wishing.

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