Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Saltzman Says...Jose Reyes a Giant?

It is certainly a intriguing idea.  The idea of a top of the lineup difference maker who can play shortstop for the next 5-7 years for the Giants.  At 29, Jose Reyes certainly has some outstanding years left in his body.  However, if we look at Rafael Furcal, there is certainly some red flags to signing Reyes beyond 2011.

Both play a similar brand of baseball, which is hard nose, all out and never let your body get in the way of a triple baseball.  These two lighting fast Dominican-born shortstops have a lot in common.  They are both career .286 hitters who have some pop.  Furcal had 78 home runs by age 29, and Reyes has 75.  Furcal had 251 stolen bases and Reyes already has 342, both have been caught less than 90 times in their career, so it is more than speed.  These guys scare opposing pitchers.  When Furcal signed with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers back in 2006, I knew they had signed a difference maker.

Now, since Furcal's 29th birthday, durability has been a series issue.  Years of averaging 150 games a year took its toll on his body and since he turned 29, Furcal has only played in 150 games in one season (2009).  In no other season in his 30's, has he even played 100.  When healthy, Furcal is one of the most dangerous leadoff hitters in the game...when healthy.

Reyes only played in 36 games in 2009, so durability must be looked at when evaluating the Mets shortstop.  If he can stay on the field, he is one of the games best, and clearly the top free agent option on the market this coming off-season.

If the Giants were to pull off a Reyes trade this season for a package that included Zach Wheeler or Jonathan Sanchez and other minor leaguers, they could look to offer Reyes less money over less years than he might make on the open market.  With all the chaos surrounding New York the last few seasons, it might be a nice change of pace to be in a locker room with fun loving players like Pablo Sandoval, Miguel Tejada, Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell.

Reyes might be safe for now, but trade talks should heat up this summer

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