Nobody wants Jose Reyes. He allegedly attacked his wife in a Hawaii hotel room. And while prosecutors dropped the charges (as often happens in domestic violence cases for many reasons both heartbreaking and understandable), she had visible injuries reported by witnesses and required medical care at a local hospital. He's bad news.
But some teams are desperate enough for a shortstop that even Jose Reyes is a better alternative to whatever they've been running out there for the first 30 or so games of 2016. With him apparently getting credit for "time served," he could conceivably be back in as little as a month
if the reports about a 60-80 game grounding are accurate UPDATE: Reyes was suspended for 52 games today (and will be credited with the games he's already sat out), and will have to pay back the salary he was already paid on his administrative leave, so a month is a pretty good estimate for when he'll return actually. And Buster Olney reports that those teams are already lining up for whenever Reyes's suspension concludes:
Sources: There are teams interested in dealing for Jose Reyes as he prepares to return. Will be credited with time served in his suspension.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) May 13, 2016
Look, I don't like it and you don't like it, but this is a site that's devoted to transactions and transaction analysis. So we need to look at where Jose Reyes might end up. Regardless of what happens, the Rockies will have to eat a ton of money, putting nearly everyone in play. Whatever else he is, he's been an average offensive player at a premium position over the last three year, and that has value on the field, even if he's an abuser off of it. So hold your noses, these are several potential landing spots for Reyes, from least to most likely:
"What is wrong with Troy Tulowitzki?" is a question not enough people are asking right now. Tulo's been awful since coming over from the Rockies in the deal that sent Reyes to the Rockies in the first place. I sincerely doubt that they'd want to unring that bell even if Tulowitzki is hurt, and even if they could stash Reyes at second base after Tulo came back from the injury that he's probably had this whole time.
The Phillies are unexpectedly above .500, and Freddy Galvis is undeniably bad. But the new regime in charge in Philadelphia is too smart to believe this start is going to last and don't want to bring in someone like Reyes who will clog up a position for the next few years as he declines. Ryan Howard makes a hell of an object lesson.
They've already shown that they're willing to take on troubled players with a history of domestic abuse allegations, by trading for Aroldis Chapman this offseason. Didi Gregorius is also struggling on offense and defense, and Brian Cashman may be getting increasingly desperate with each mounting loss. That said, I think he and Joe Girardi are confident enough in Gregorius, who was worth over three wins last year, that they'll let him work himself out. He's not a great player, but he's perfectly functional, and cheap, and the Yankees aren't really in the habit of acquiring other teams' mistakes anymore.
Baltimore is riding high atop the AL East, even with J.J. Hardy out with a broken foot. Manny Machado has filled in admirably at his natural position, but this has left Ryan Flaherty to play third. If Hardy is going to be out for a significant stretch, and they want to move Machado back to third, Reyes would actually fit in nicely in the short term. They'd need a pretty big subsidy to take him on, however, since both he and Hardy are signed through 2017.
Man, what is it with the AL East and bad shortstops? It's not just that; each AL East team has a pretty decent argument that they can make the playoffs if things break right, so the upgrade may be worth it. The Rays are practical, and would probably see Reyes as a better option over Brad Miller, at least on defense. They won't take him on except at the steepest of discounts.
This depends on Andrelton Simmons and how quickly he's going to come back. Recent reports have him out for at least six weeks, meaning that Reyes will probably be back before he's done healing. And after Simmons comes back, Reyes would presumably be an upgrade over Johnny Giavotella, if the Angels can convince him to move. With nobody in their farm system to upgrade the current club, or to trade for help, Reyes might be their best bet at upgrading a club that's fading fast.
Not able to find a good match, maybe the Rockies simply decide to hold him for a while. That won't be uncomfortable at all, I'm sure.
This might make some sense. The Braves are in full-on rebuild mode, and even with Erick Aybar being a total disaster (.181/.213/.216), they don't need a veteran shortstop on his way down. But they've shown an interest in acquiring other teams' mistakes before. Think about how they bought Touki Touissant by agreeing to take on Bronson Arroyo's contract. They could be doing a similar thing here, agreeing to take on Reyes if they're given a decent prospect for their largess, or even the Rockies' supplemental draft choice.
Nick Ahmad has been a mess at shortstop, and Chris Owings is patrolling center field in the absence of A.J. Pollack (and is a terrible defensive shortstop anyway). And they have an established preference for veterans over young players, meaning they'd be likeliest to trade an actual prospect to the Rockies to get an upgrade in a very winnable NL West.