Thinking about trading Jose Reyes

The Mets are looking pretty good right now, but John Harper wondered last week about the Mets' next move, should they fail yet again to make the playoffs this year. Reyes

    The myth the Mets have tried to sell everyone the last couple of years is that Jose Reyes is still young, that he'll stop making bonehead plays when he matures as a major leaguer. Only it's faulty logic any way you want to dissect it.
    For one thing, in baseball terms Reyes is not young at all anymore. He'll be 26 in a few weeks, he's been in the major leagues for seven seasons, and it's not as if he came to the game late. He grew up playing it in the Dominican Republic, and, organized or not, that's a scenario scouts say has produced a lot of savvy ballplayers.


    I'm not saying the Mets can't win with Reyes. When Reyes is hot with the bat and thinking straight, we've seen what a force he can be, and maybe he will make all of this talk moot by leading the Mets deep into October this season.

    But if they miss the playoffs again, on the heels of their two September collapses, major changes have to be made, and Reyes would be the most obvious place to start, in part because he would bring the most return value in a trade.

Harper's column is not one of those crazy screeds you'll sometimes find (particularly in the tabloids). I don't really agree that major changes have to be made if the Mets miss the playoffs again; there's nothing wrong with this team that a decent starting pitcher and a good right-handed hitter wouldn't cure. But I agree that Reyes has been around long enough that his mistakes -- the more recent of which, Harper enumerates -- can't be excused by youth, and I agree that if the Mets don't win, all options should be on the table ... including trading one or more of their best players.
I believe that Reyes is a great player, or will be one soon. Does that necessarily mean you don't trade him? Of course not. The trick is to get a great player in return. What you can't (or shouldn't) do is trade one great player for two good ones.