Earlier today, we touched on the possible trade candidates that SI's Jon Heyman laid out in his latest column, and of course the man at the top was Mets shortstop Jose Reyes.
While Heyman noted that it's highly unlikely that the Mets will find an offer to their liking given the necessary asking price, we can still wonder who might replace the star at shortstop if such a deal comes to fruition. Here are a few possible internal options, in the order of likelihood.
- Ruben Tejada: Currently playing second base for the Metropolitans, Tejada is probably the Biden to Reyes' Obama should the latter depart. Never considered a major prospect, the 21-year-old has posted strong batting averages in the upper minors, but he offers practically zero pop. He probably fits better at second base long-term, and he's going to be affected by the luck-based whims of BABIP more than most hitters because of the hollow nature of his batting average, but he's not a bad stopgap considering his youth, relative cost and potential to possibly turn into something more than a mere stopgap.
- Jordany Valdespin: People don't get too crazy about Valdespin, but he's been opening some eyes with his performance over the past two years. After hitting well at Advanced Single-A last season, Valdespin is once again playing well as a 23-year-old in Double-A this season, and he has to be playing himself into the minds of some Mets executives. With a .279/.332/.470 line this season, he's showing impressive power with 8 homers, and he's flashed good base-running skills, too, with 17 steals in 21 attempts. He may get a shot later in this season if Reyes is no longer around, although the club may prefer to move him up to Triple-A and not take things so quickly.
- Luis Figueroa: At 37, this one is a long-shot. But Figueroa is currently playing shortstop for the Mets' Triple-A club, and he's posted a .317/.410/.390 line in 144 PA's so far for them. A good example of what's often described as a "Quad-A" player, Figueroa's been in Triple-A for years, but has shown the ability to succeed against that level of talent; he's hit over .300 in four of the past five years, including this season. More importantly, he's shown a substantially increased walk rate this season, and he's not far from the point when walk rate begins to stabilize consistently. He only has 16 career PA's in the majors, with none coming since 2007, but he could see some more if Reyes isn't in town.