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.
The Royals honored former pitcher Yordano Ventura prior to their first Cactus League game against the Rangers on Saturday. Ventura was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic in late January.
Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre and center fielder Carlos Gomez paid their respects to the pitcher with a floral arrangement that was laid on the mound. Both teams stood along the foul lines during a pregame video tribute that highlighted Ventura’s tenure with Kansas City. Following the game, Gomez spoke to the media about his relationship with Ventura, describing their frequent conversations during the season and commending the pitcher for having “the same passion that I had early in my career” (via WFAA.com’s Levi Weaver).
A plaque dedicated to the 25-year-old was also presented to club manager Ned Yost as a more permanent commemoration of Ventura’s contributions to the sport. Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star reports that the plaque will be mounted in the club’s spring training facilities alongside tributes to members of the Royals’ 2014 and 2015 playoff teams.
The full text of the plaque is below, via MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan:
A brother and a teammate, Yordano Ventura, passed away on the morning of January 22 in his native Dominican Republic, at the age of 25. He signed with the Royals as a 17-year-old, eventually making the big league team in 2013 as a 22-year-old. On most days, he could be found laughing and joking with his baseball family in the clubhouse. However, on days when he pitched, that smile was replaced by a quiet confidence and an intense fire, which he brought to the mound for every start. He had many highlights in his abbreviated career, not the least of which was throwing eight shutout innings in Game #6 of the 2014 World Series to force a Game #7 vs. San Francisco.
Right-hander Gerrit Cole is set to take the mound for the Pirates on Opening Day, according to a team announcement on Saturday. It’s a spot that was most recently occupied by former Pirate Francisco Liriano, who made three consecutive Opening Day starts for the club before getting dealt to the Blue Jays last August.
The 26-year-old produced career-worst numbers during his fourth run with the Pirates in 2016, due in large part to bouts of inflammation in his right elbow. He finished the year with a 3.88 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 116 innings before getting shut down in September to avoid further injury to his elbow. When healthy, however, Cole has been lights-out for the Pirates. Prior to his injury-laden campaign last year, he touted a career 3.07 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 8.5 SO/9 and cumulative 10.2 fWAR from 2013 through 2015.
Cole will go toe-to-toe with the Red Sox during Boston’s home opener on Monday, April 3. Right-hander Jameson Taillon is scheduled to make the second start of the year, while fellow righty Ivan Nova will cover the Pirates’ home opener against the Braves on April 7. The Pirates’ third and fifth starters have yet to be announced.