The Cove
Deep coverage of the Giants

Jose Reyes a 'Perfect Fit' for Giants?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Alright, the question as to whether or not Jose Reyes is a "perfect fit" for the Giants has many layers.

    Reyes is an $11 million short stop battting .309 this season as the lead off batter for the New York Mets. What's not to like?

    Speaking strictly from a baseball perspective, Reyes is an absolutely ideal player for San Francisco. And that may be what Buster Olney meant in his blog this morning, which had the Reyes-Giants connection as the second story, behind some Roger McDowell and Osama Bin Laden chatter.

    So let's break down those layers.

    From a baseball perspective, the Giants' offense has been horrible. Flat-out, miserable, really.

    "We're awful right now," an "agitated" Bruce Bochy said, per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.

    It's totally understandable why Bochy wouldn't be thrilled with his offense: San Francisco is under .500 for the first time since 2009 (!), they're one of four teams in the bigs with less than 100 RBI, they're collectively slugging -- if you want to call it that -- .365 and are getting on base at a .295 clip, the third-worst rate in MLB thus far.

    So, yes, help is needed on offense. And Reyes would be the absolute-perfect player to acquire -- he could replace Aaron Rowand in the leadoff spot, and then he'd take over Miguel Tejada's role at shortstop, immediately improving the team's overall defense by a significant quantity.

    (For the duration of Pablo Sandoval's injury, Tejada will likely be manning third anyway.)

    So, what's it gonna cost? Olney writes that the team "would have go give up a really, really good young player" and points out that the Mets "presumably would ask for a top-of-the-line young pitcher."

    There are other problems, of course. Reyes is a free agent after this year, so unless the Giants have assurances they can re-sign him (at a pretty penny, no doubt), he'd be a rental. And he's not cheap now, either, costing $11 million on the season, part of which would be picked up by the Giants depending on when/if they acquired the Mets' shortstop.

    Don't forget -- New York's financial situation makes Frank McCourt look like Bill Gates, so they're interested in anything that's cost prohibitive at this point.

    Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors notes a couple interesting possibilities for the Giants should they try and pursue Reyes: Jonathan Sanchez, Brandon Belt, Zack Wheeler and Madison Bumgarner.

    That's not saying that any of those players are on the block; it's just that in order to deal Reyes, depending on how much heat the Mets are feeling from other teams in terms of offers, the Giants will likely need to move one of those players in order to get the shortstop in return.

    My quick ranking of those guys, in the order the Mets would want them, would go like this: MadBum, Belt, Wheeler, Sanchez. (And perhaps New York prefers Wheeler over Belt, but the latter at least has established himself to some degree ... either way, they're ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, by Baseball America.)

    I wouldn't give up Bumgarner for Reyes, period. And probably not Belt, either, since trading offense kind of defeats the purpose here. Wheeler might be a stretch too (but don't sleep on the fact that Reyes is still somehow only 27).

    Sanchez is definitely doable ... although it might not work from the Mets end to only take the lefty back. If that's the case, the Giants would have to build a little more onto the deal in order to pick up Reyes.

    Basically, it comes down to a "win now" or "prep for the future" style of management. Typically speaking, the Giants don't come off as a team who's desperate to win right now. And, um, they did just win, so there's not as much pressure to pull of a big, in-season coup as their might be if the team hadn't picked up a World Series title in 2010.

    But the offense was supposed to be better this year than last; it hasn't been, and it won't be for another 4-to-6 weeks as Panda goes under the knife and Belt continues to get his groove back in Triple-A.

    Perhaps the Giants are willing to see if Belt can come back up to the bigs and spark the offense -- a la Buster Posey in 2010 -- before making a monster of a deal. But at some point, it seems that if the team wants to legitimately improve the offense, Brian Sabean is going to have to make a move on the trade market.

    He doesn't have to make a big splash, but he could. And if he wants to, the perfect fit is out there.