Dwight Gooden has remained a Mets fan ever since his playing days ended, but his gut instinct tells him that Jose Reyes will be playing for another team next season.
“I think he’s gone,” Gooden said Tuesday night at John Franco's Charity Bowling Tournament in Manhattan. “It’s a situation where if I was the GM I’d try to lock up my core players before they got in this position. And now you’re in a situation where you’ve got the agents trying to get what’s best for themselves.”
Gooden said he doesn’t know the free-agent shortstop that well, but thinks he’ll probably take the money over staying in New York, if it comes down to that.
“You can’t blame him,” Gooden said. “But if it were me I’d take $4-5 million less to remain a Met.”
Gooden, of course, played for both the 1986 World Series champion Mets and the 1996 World Series champion Yankees during his career. Darryl Strawberry recently said the ’86 Mets would beat the 125-win ’98 Yankees.
Asked who would win in a battle of ’86 vs. ’96, Gooden took the Mets.
“The ’96 team had more talent,” Gooden said. “But the ’86 team just knew what it takes to win and had guys that were willing to do whatever it takes to win.”
Asked about the shortened fences at Citi Field, Gooden wasn’t in favor of the change.
“Me personally, I’d invest in pitching and defense and build a team that fits the ballpark,” said Gooden. “Visiting teams haven’t had those same problems.”
Current Mets reliever Pedro Beato disagreed with Gooden.
“I think it’s gonna be a good move,” Beato said. “I think we’re gonna get a lot more run support as a team. We’ve pitched in small parks before, so it’s not gonna be a problem for us. If anything it’s going to benefit us because we’re used to pitching in hitters’ parks.”
The 25-year-old Beato had an up-and-down rookie season. He set a Mets rookie record by throwing 18 2/3 scoreless innings to kick off his career, but compiled a 5.96 ERA in 48 1/3 innings the rest of the way. In 60 games, Beato had a 4.30 ERA in 67 innings pitched. Opponents hit .240 off of him.
He said he wants to improve his command, stay healthy and become more consistent during the offseason heading into spring training. Beato battled an elbow injury in 2011.
He said he’s yet to have a conversation with the Mets regarding his role going forward. There was some chatter last season that Beato could be moved to the starting rotation. Beato was a starter up until 2009.
“I’m prepared for anything that comes my way,” Beato said.