Free agency! That spectacular process through which our favorite players threaten to leave us until people make them agree or disagree to do so or not do so. Then they do or don’t, and we are forced to live with the consequences, creating a new batch of sarcasm based on the ridiculously over or underpaying our favorite players receive.
Despite the term “offseason,” the emotional toll of baseball exists 12 months a year. Where would we be without it? I often wonder. Grad school? A sex party? The moon? The possibilities are theoretically endless.
But here we are, pouring whiskey on our cereal like Jimmy’s already gone. I guess someone will play shortstop, though, and that person could be Jose Reyes.
I had to type that last sentence very quickly, or I would have been too disgusted to finish it. Like that first shot of whiskey in the morning after your favorite shortstop in the world has left you.
Nobody’s gone yet, however, and if we can just shut out the lingering anxiety free agency brings us, we can look at this objectively and concoct a theory on who will be standing between Chase Utley and the hot corner in 2012.
Who can put aside years of antagonism for the sake of a team? Not me. Certainly. And I would doubt Jose Reyes would either, based on what I’ve seen from a series of living rooms, rec rooms, bars, and stadiums. He seems most interested in self-preservation, rather than creating an environment where everybody is in everybody else’s wedding. The final day of 2011, he bunted once and then chose to leave the game. That is not how you get to be the godfather of Chase Utley’s first child.
Plus, just think of all those horrible things you’ve said about Jose Reyes. Just awful, unforgivable, confusing things. Do you really think you could raise a fist to cheer for him instead of doing it to threaten violence? Come on. You’re not capable of that. Cheering for him, I mean. That folding chair still embedded in your kitchen wall knows how capable of violence you are. Psycho.
I refuse to believe that Ruben Amaro’s ego alone would get Jose Reyes here. I’m not saying its impossible that we acquire Reyes, or that Ruben Amaro’s inability to listen to reason in a situation that calls his ego into question wouldn’t have anything to do with it. It’s just a very silly reason for a professional GM to do anything. And if the entire roster is filled with overpaid
Also, money. There can’t be a ton of it. There just… there can’t be. Look at all that money that’s just sitting there reserved for Doc and Cliff and Ryan and all of them. I mean, you can’t look at it because it’s more money than a pauper like you would be allowed to see. But think about it. When nobody’s looking.
Its enough money that we can’t give a whole lot of it to anybody else, especially a key, MVP-caliber shortstop like Reyes. Or we shouldn’t, if there’s not a whole lot left.
But herein lies the issue–just because something would not, should not, and could not go down, does not mean that Ruben Amaro won’t walk out of his negotiation chamber, check his Blackberry, and casually announce the signing of the Mets’ shortstop, while Reyes walks out behind him, humiliated at the much lower sum that he agreed to without realizing it.
All of this would happen, however, only if Jimmy Rollins does not sign with the Phillies. Which should be the first thing Ruben does this offseason. And I’m not just saying that as another blogger/insane person from the internet. That’s a pretty universally accepted theory. Except sometimes, when the Phillies act like they think signing a closer is more important. It isn’t.
Besides, if Jimmy goes, there’s the matter of the somehow even more depleted offense. You remember the offense, don’t you? The offense that lost a deciding playoff game 1-0? Ha, ha, ha. Yaaay.
The Inquirer would like to replace Jimmy with a chorus of utility fielders over 30. That way they can complain about how old the Phillies are all season. Apparently that’s something they enjoy doing.
Look, the order of priorities goes like this:
- Re-sign Jimmy Rollins to nice extension that won’t ruin most of the future.
- Somehow sign Jose Reyes for a feasible amount of money that he won’t take. Hope he isn’t a dick all the time.
- Bring up that young SS phenom who is perfect in every facet of the game and is the answer to all of our prayers; what Christianity defines as a “miracle.”
So as you can see, its tricky no matter how we go about it. But that’s why we don’t have to do it. Ruben has to. We just have to sit at our computers and complain about whatever he winds up doing, whether it’s what we wanted or not.
The trick will be signing David Wright. Which we will definitely do.