Keith Law of ESPN.com published his list of top 50 free agents for this offseason and Jose Reyes ranked fourth. Prince Fielder, Albert Pujols, and Yu Darvish (Japan) came in ahead of the longtime Mets shortstop in Law’s breakdown, though he did say that “Reyes would be first on this list if he came into it with a clean medical record.”
Well, I figured Fielder and Pujols would top the list, though I was surprised Albert wasn’t #1. As for Darvish (who many believe will be made available by the Nippon Ham Fighters to MLB teams during this year’s posting process), well he’s a 25-year-old ace who has posted an ERA under 2.00 for the past five seasons in Japan.
Image by Michael G. Baron
Law clearly had concerns about Reyes’s hamstring issues moving forward, saying the shortstop “has had chronic hamstring problems that nearly derailed his career.” He also pointed out that even in his walk year, where health and performance were of the utmost importance, Reyes really only delivered on one end. Jose played in just 126 of the teams 162 games as his troublesome hamstring caused him two trips to the disabled list. The 28-year-old averaged 158 games played for four seasons (2005-2008) but has missed at least 25 games in each proceeding year (36 GP in 2009, 133 GP in 2010, 126 GP in 2011).
Other notables on Laws list include long time Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who came in right behind Reyes at #5, as well as former Mets right fielder Carlos Beltran (#9) and closer Francisco Rodriguez (#28).