The Jose Reyes Offseason Has Begun

Another Mets season comes to a close

By Josh Alper
|  Thursday, Sep 29, 2011  |  Updated 8:30 AM EDT
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Another Mets season has come and gone and, like any good Mets season, it ends with a little bit of controversy.

Jose Reyes became the team's first batting champion, finishing at .337 after leaving Wednesday's finale after a bunt single in the first inning. Reyes' decision was greeted with boos at Citi Field and from the peanut gallery.

That's a bit hard to understand, seeing as how it was a meaningless game to just about everyone other than Reyes. It would have been nice to go out and clinch things by going 4-for-4, but it is pretty silly to boo the brightest spot on this year's Mets team.

With the end of the season here, it seems like a good time to run through some questions on the state of the Mets. We'll start with Reyes, obviously. 

Aren't you upset that Reyes took himself out of the game and screwed with the integrity of the batting title?

If you want to be upset about something, be upset about the fact that the Mets were playing a meaningless final game of the season for the third straight year. Or be upset about the possibilty that this was the last time Reyes will ever wear a Mets uniform.

Yeah, right, what are the Mets going to do about that?

Presumably they are going to try to sign him to a new contract. They have an exclusive window to negotiate with Reyes until the start of November, although it is hard to imagine Reyes signing before seeing what the market has in store for him. 

Can the Mets meet the market price?

That's the big question and there seemed to be good news on that front this week. The judge in the Madoff clawback suit limited the amount of money the trustee can try to get back from the Wilpons, which should leave more money for Reyes.

Really? That's awesome!

Should was the key word. There are still other financial losses and the team's still looking for investors, but there doesn't seem to be any reason to believe the Mets have no chance at signing Reyes.

Where else could he go? 

The Giants could really use a shortstop and they could really use someone who knows how to use those large wooden sticks to create runs. The Red Sox might also think the best medicine to get over the worst collapse in baseball history is a player with experience as part of the second-worst collapse in baseball history.

Enough about Reyes, who is going to leave the team?

Angel Pagan and Mike Pelfrey are both eligible for arbitration, which means both of them are going to get big raises despite turning in thoroughly mediocre work this season. It wouldn't be surprising to see either traded or to see Pagan get non-tendered in favor of a better center fielder.

Any free agents other than Reyes?

Chris Capuano is the only notable one and it would make sense to bring him back at a reasonable salary. The Mets do expect to get Johan Santana back last season, but Capuano would give them a solid option behind him in a rotation that doesn't have much certainty outside of R.A. Dickey.

What's on the shopping list?

We mentioned center field already, but the team needs a closer after watching Bobby Parnell prove a million different ways that he can't do the job. Paying big money for a closer would be stupid, though, and the team would be much better served by signing another Jason Isringhausen-type to handle the job.

Are they making Citi Field smaller?

That's the word, although we're not quite sure why this has been such a sticking point for the Mets and their fans. The stadium isn't the reason the team isn't winning, it is the lack of talent and that would mean the same outcome regardless of the size of the park.

That's as good a place to leave off as any other. The Reyes watch will be the big thing this winter, but simply bringing him back isn't going to solve every problem in Queens.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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