We still have nearly two months left in the regular season, but one of the more interesting questions for the Hot Stove will be just how much Jose Reyes will make in free agency given that he has already had two stints on the disabled list this season with a strained left hamstring.
Perception could quickly change if Reyes is able to repeat his month of June in September, of course, but one Mets player told David Lennon of New York Newsday on Monday that “he’s probably losing $100,000 a day on the DL.”
Assuming Reyes spends a similar amount of time on the disabled list as his initial hamstring issue, that means he would stand to lose a little over $3 million total. And that may be kind. While we were having debates a couple of months ago about whether Reyes was worth Carl Crawford money (seven years, $142 million), there’s now a good chance that he will lose a guaranteed year.
Meanwhile, Reyes’ lead agent, Peter Greenberg, is already doing his best to deflect the speedy shortstop’s reputation as an injury-prone player.
“He’s not Cal Ripken,” Greenberg said, “but I think he’s been a lot healthier than a lot of people give him credit for. When he’s out of the lineup, obviously the team misses him, so it gets blown out of proportion because he is so important to the team. I think if you look over the course of time and compare him to a lot of players, he’s as healthy or healthier than a lot of players in the league.”
Reyes dealt with leg problems in the early part of his career, but he played at least 153 games from 2005 to 2008. However, he has appeared in just 267 games since the start of the 2009. Despite that, he is tied for sixth among MLB shortstops since 2009 in FanGraphs War (fWAR). You can bet that many teams will do a careful evaluation of whether Reyes’ production when he is on the field will be worth projected absences due to injury, especially as he makes his way into his 30s.
Terrible, terrible news: Christian Moreno of ESPN reports that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura has been killed in an automobile accident in the Dominican Republic. His death has been confirmed by police. He was only 25 years-old. There are as of yet no details about the accident.
Ventura was a four-year veteran, having debuted in 2013 but truly bursting onto the scene for the Royals in 2014. That year he went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA in 183 innings, ascending to the national stage along with the entire Royals team with some key performances in that year’s ALDS and World Series. The following year Ventura won 13 games for the World Champion Royals and again appeared in the playoffs and World Series.
Ventura was often in the middle of controversy — he found himself in several controversies arising out of his habit of hitting and brushing back hitters — but he was an undeniably electric young talent who was poised to anchor the Royals rotation for years to come. His loss, like that of Jose Fernandez just this past September, is incalculable to both his team, his fans and to Major League Baseball as a whole.
Our thoughts go out to his family, his friends, his teammates and his fans.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.