Is Jose Reyes The New Roberto Alomar?

While there continues to be some confusion and nervous tweets about whether or not the reported megadeal between the Blue Jays and the Marlins is still a go, there has been no official word that it hasn’t been approved.

  • Commissioner Bud Selig told Bob Nightengale of USA Today that the trade is currently being reviewed (Twitter link). Selig said he is “not happy,” but so far doesn’t he see a reason to disallow the deal according to Jon Heyman of (on Twitter).
  • Selig has heard a lot of grumbling from other owners about the trade, writes Ken Davidoff of The New York Post. Clubs from the AL East, NL West, and NL Central are not happy with the on-field ramifications of the swap.
  • “A couple of years from now we might look back on this as a warning sign,” said an official to ESPN’s Buster Olney (Insider required). There is concern within the game that the latest collective bargaining agreement hurt small market clubs and that similar blockbuster sell-offs may become more frequent.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports notes (on Twitter) that the Marlins will receive a combined 32 years of team control over the players in the trade. The Blue Jays, however, will receive just 12 years of control.

Jose Reyes, who will turn 30 years old next season is a 6’1”, 195 pound athletic shortstop out of the Dominican Republic.  He has been one of the most exciting and hyped up players in the game since his debut with the New York Mets in the 2003 season. 

For his career he is a 291/342/440 hitter, good for a .337 wOBA and he has amassed an outstanding 37.9 WAR in only ten seasons.  His defense has slipped the past three seasons and will certainly not improve as he continues to age but UZR considers him basically a league average shortstop for his career.

He probably gets slightly overrated (especially defensively) given his presence in the bright lights of New York but a shortstop with a .337 wOBA is no slouch.  He is a four-time all-star (2006, 2007, 2010, 2011) who most closely compares to Jimmy Rollins at the same age(s) according to Baseball Reference. 

Let’s look at his past two seasons:

2011 586 .337 .384 .493 31 7 / 16 43 / 41 101 39
2012 716 .287 .347 .433 37 11 / 12 63 / 56 86 40

 Jose Reyes brings a skill set I do not recall since we had Roberto Alomar in the fold.  A dynamic, athletic middle infielder who can hit for some power, steal bases, walk more than he strikes out and affect the game with his speed.  He is a player who will hit a bunch of doubles, a good amount of triples and some the occasional homerun.

Let’s look at his rates: 

2011 7.3 7.0 .376 142 -3.1 6.2
2012 8.8 7.8 .335 109 -2.8 4.5

 Again, a player who can walk more than he strikes out?  Besides Jose Bautista have the Blue Jays ever had a player who has the ability to make contact as well as draw a walk?  In 2011 he was a 6+ win player.  Any player who can accumulate a 6+ fWAR means that he was basically one of the best overall players in baseball.  Yes he slipped a bit in 2012 but he was on a dreadful Marlins team in a brand new ballpark and the NL East contains a boatload of ace pitchers.

He has missed some pretty significant playing time over 2010 and 2011 but appeared to be fully healthy last season and was quite productive.  If we can split the difference between 2011/2012 the Blue Jays might have just added another Roberto Alomar. 

Look, we aren’t married to Jose Reyes and his 90+ remaining millions.  If he or the team struggles and this just doesn’t work out Reyes does not have a no-trade clause and he can be shipped out.  If he continues to produce at levels close to his career norms than we have one of the best shortstops in baseball. 

Bill James projects 673 PAs, 295/352/434 with 33 doubles, 10 triples, 11 homeruns, 53 BB – 56 K and 39 stolen bases in 2013.

I can’t wait to see Jose Reyes in a Toronto Blue Jays uniform.  Batting leadoff, playing shortstop, preferably every day and preferably healthy.  What are your expectations?  Will the turf at Rogers Centre be a negative in terms of health?  Could this guy be the same type of catalyst at the top of the order as Robbie Alomar?


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