Found November 01, 2011 on Fox Sports:
The New York Mets called a news conference Monday to announce how reasonable Citi Field's outfield dimensions will be in 2012 (finally), which probably made David Wright and Jason Bay happy. But it wasn't the news Mets fans were hoping to hear as Jose Reyes heads for the door as a free agent. Instead of unveiling a plan to keep their popular shortstop in Flushing for years to come, ownership is already in surrender mode. The Wilpon family has decided against launching a pre-emptive strike. That means there'll be no furious, behind-the-scenes negotiating, similar to what the New York Yankees conducted to keep CC Sabathia from opting out of his contract. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson says Reyes will be set free and will be given the chance to determine his worth before the Mets make an offer. In other words: Goodbye, Jose. It's impossible for the Mets to separate themselves from an all-too-obvious truth: They simply don't have the funds to head Reyes off at the pass. Compounding the cash shortfall, the Mets can't appeal to Reyes' loyalty, having burned that bridge when Fred Wilpon made disparaging remarks about the shortstop in The New Yorker magazine earlier this year. And five seasons removed from their last postseason appearance, the Mets can't even play to Reyes' vanity as a big-game asset -- they're years away from contending again in the National League East. So what are the odds Reyes ends up returning to the Mets? It's seemingly so hopeless, executives decided on a diversionary tactic. The elaborate press gathering Monday was designed to draw attention to the outfield reconfiguration so Wright and Bay, who presumably are sticking around, will be able to hit more home runs. The Mets decided to shorten the 16-foot wall in left-center to a more sensible eight feet. By constructing the wall at an angle, it will be four feet closer to the plate in left field and 12 feet closer in left-center. An even greater face-lift will take place in right-center, which will shed as much as 17 feet from its current 415. According to the team's calculations, the Mets would've hit 81 more home runs since 2009 had Citi Field been built to the new dimensions; opponents would've hit 70. The cost of the renovation comes to $40 million and will be financed by the savings in construction of the three-year-old ballpark, which came in under budget. The $40 million might have been directed toward a courtship of Reyes this winter, although the Wilpons needed to make an immediate decision on the renovation, which will take six to eight weeks to complete. Besides, with the exception of this one-time cost, the era of lavish Mets spending is over, even for one of their own. Alderson is hinting payroll could come in less than $100 million for the first time since 2004. Considering they already have $67 million tied up in player salaries for 2012 (including $55 million to Wright, Bay and pitcher Johan Santana), the obvious question is how the Mets possibly could foot the bill for Reyes, too. The pity is that the Mets once were capable of anything and everything five years ago. Arguably the National League's best team in 2006, just one pitch away from winning the pennant, they dared to tread on the Yankees' domain as New York's royalty. Even as late as 2008, the Mets were setting attendance records, topping 4 million at the gate. Since then, however, the crash has been fast and furious: The Mets have gone through three managers and two GMs, none of whom have been capable of reversing a streak of three consecutive sub-.500 seasons. And almost 40 percent of the fans who paid to see the Mets in '08 have moved on. The current Dark Age is why Reyes matters so much, according to one talent evaluator, who said, "He's the only difference-maker in the whole organization." "(The Mets) have some good young pitching coming up, and it's going to happen all at once, like it did in the '80s with (Dwight) Gooden and (Ron) Darling and (Sid) Fernandez," the evaluator said. "But they have no one else who can play. There's definitely no one who's going to replace Reyes. That's why they have to sign him." The Wilpons' best hope is to take advantage of a depressed market for Reyes. The fact he was on the disabled list twice this past summer could, in theory, dampen other teams' enthusiasm, although a competitive bid from the Wilpons would require low-ball offers from everyone else. That would include the Phillies -- who might need Reyes to counter Jimmy Rollins' possible defection to the Giants -- and the Marlins, who might take Hanley Ramirez up on his offer to move to second or third base to create a spot for Reyes. The Nationals are the other wild card, given two important factors: They're flush with cash (and, as evidenced by the winning lottery ticket they handed Jayson Werth last winter, unconcerned about overspending). And second, the Nats are ready to introduce a new generation of young stars, including Bryce Harper and the refurbished Stephen Strasburg. If Reyes wants to be part of the surge, the Nationals would be highly attractive to him. If he wants to play alongside a buddy (and fellow countryman), the Marlins (and Ramirez) could be his choice. And if it's proven success that Reyes covets, how could he ignore the Phillies? The Mets are praying none of these bidders overindulge Reyes, however, which would allow him to look at his history in New York in a meaningful way. The Mets are, after all, the only team Reyes ever has known. He likes New York, has a good relationship with the fans and remembers what it's like to be successful in the game's biggest market. Here's one other variable that only Reyes can quantify: Does he want the responsibility that comes with awarding himself to the highest bidder? Is Reyes looking for that pressure? Or is there something to be said for the built-in comfort of sticking with the Mets -- knowing that, win or lose, he's never going to be booed in New York? Tough question, although the Mets must know that gambling on Reyes' self-doubt is a long shot. Free agency's engine is fueled not by crossed fingers but by dollars, which is why Mets officials already are preparing for life after Reyes. It won't be pretty.

Jose Reyes ranks fourth on Keith Law’s list of top 50 free agents

Keith Law of 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...

Reyes’ Agent Says First Choice Is To Stay With Mets

Charles Hollon of Gotham Baseball spoke with Chris Leible, the agent for Jose Reyes who offered up some words of hope regarding his client’s preference to stay with the Mets. “I think Jose is one of those rare players that feeds off the energy of the fans, he loves the fans here in New York and I believe that feeling is mutual.” Leible said. “Jose also has a keen sense of...

Lennon: Teams Lining Up For Reyes

According to David Lennon of Newsday, teams are lining up for Jose Reyes, which could make it a tough market for Reyes. However, Lennon says the Mets should also not elminate themselves from contention until the team believes they are “priced out.” Matthew Cerrone: I know it seems bleak right now, and I know it’s natural for reporters and talk show hosts to hate on the...

Gooden, Cone, and Leiter all believe Jose Reyes may move on

Well a near full rotation of former Mets pitchers have now weighed in on the Jose Reyes‘s pending free agency.  According to Dan Martin of the New York Post,  David Cone recently said that he believes other teams may present the All-Star shortstop with a better opportunity: Photo by Michael G. Baron There are better fits, places that give him a better chance to win, probably...

Life without Reyes is a reality I’m not ready for

If you asked me during the season if I felt Reyes was coming back, I would have confidently stated, yes! However, now, I’m not so sure.  I mean, Reyes is an extremely gifted player — injuries aside — and if a guy like Jayson Werth can get a 7-year deal and Carl Crawford can net $140 million then why wouldn’t Jose? I can go on forever about how talented a player he is, what...

Bats: Hometown Discount for Reyes, Mets? Unlikely

Jose Reyes is unlikely to give the Mets a hometown discount in free agency, former Mets general managers say.

Hometown Discount for Reyes, Mets? Unlikely

Jose Reyes is unlikely to give the Mets a hometown discount in free agency, former Mets general managers say.

Mets miss out on exclusive window to ink Reyes

Teams can now begin bidding on Jose Reyes, the New York Mets free agent All-Star shortstop.

Mets plan to lowball Reyes 

SPEAKING PUBLICLY for the first time about Jose Reyes since the shortstop became a free agent on Sunday, general manager Sandy Alderson reiterated what the Daily News reported on Friday: The Mets will not begin with an offer designed to overwhelm the shortstop, and the team does not expect a a resolution for several months.

Cone: Mets may lose Reyes

Unlike CC Sabathia, Jose Reyes will test the free-agent market when other teams can start bidding, and that likely doesn’t bode well for the Mets.“There are better fits, places that give him a better chance to win, probably,” David Cone said of the shortstop, who can be contacted...

Mets will take time before making Reyes offer

The Mets do not plan to make an offer to free-agent shortstop Jose Reyes anytime soon, general manager Sandy Alderson said Monday, nor do they expect Reyes to sign before December.

Reyes ready to go free

Seven Mets were listed by the Players' Association as free agents Sunday, but all winter intrigue in Flushing will involve one name: Jose Reyes.

Mets Had Worst Middle Infield Defense In Majors In 2011

I picked this up on ESPN New York this morning. By one measure, baseball statistician Bill James has determined the Mets had the worst middle-infield combination in baseball last season, at least when Jose Reyes was paired with Justin Turner. Here’s what James and colleagues wrote … In The Bill James Handbook 2012, Bill James and Baseball Info Solutions track Defensive...

Mets Weekend Review: In Case You Missed It

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