No Carlos Beltran, no David Wright, no Ike Davis, and most importantly, no Jose Reyes. That was all you needed to know to understand how difficult it was for the Mets to get through the past couple weeks, and most recently, the last couple days.
Thankfully for the Mets, however, Reyes returned from his hamstring injury last night after missing a couple weeks, and Beltran was also back in the lineup after missing the weekend due to the flu. The Mets could not have asked for much more from either of them in their return.
While the pair may not be in the same lineup for very much longer as Beltran is likely on his way out the door, they made an immediate impact as Beltran reached base five times and went 3-for-3 with two doubles and Reyes had yet ANOTHER multi-hit game in his return.
The rumors swirling around baseball right now indicate that Beltran is all but gone. Sandy Alderson probably doesn’t believe the Mets have a shot at catching the Braves, and he will gladly ship the healthy Beltran while his value is sky high and hope for a decent prospect in return. Some rumors have indicated that the Mets and Phillies are talking about swapping Beltran for top Phillies prospect Dominic Brown. This may be a long shot, but Alderson has been shopping Beltran for some time now and it wouldn’t be surprising if he gets several teams that are in the NL playoff race in a bidding war for Beltran, which would force them to give up more than they want just so that they prevent Beltran from going to a fellow contender.
With that said, it is no surprise that sources say that the Mets are definitely not trading Reyes this season and they will allow him to play out the remainder of his contract this season before he becomes a free-agent. I personally have no idea how the Mets would manage without him — the middle infield was just atrocious in his absence — botched double play opportunities, bobbled balls, miscommunications, and rookie mistakes by the shortstop Tejada hurt the Mets and in turn allowed too many unnecessary runs to score.
With Alderson already shipping Francisco Rodriguez to Milwaukee, it seems he has already started to carry out his plans for 2012 and the Beltran trade rumors easily confirm his intentions. I would expect that the Mets will continue to rebuild their minor league system and create some cheaper options for 2012 so that they are able to have a shot at affording Reyes.
Despite the high price tag that will come with Reyes this off-season, it is obvious that the Mets absolutely need to do whatever it takes to re-sign him.