Yet for all their shortstop issues, the Mets do not appear to be a match. After the 2011 season, general manager Sandy Alderson balked at re-signing Reyes to a long-term deal; he did not even make Reyes an offer, letting him walk to the Marlins for $106 million guaranteed over six seasons. Afterward, Alderson famously quipped: "If you're asking whether I should have sent him a box of chocolates, perhaps I should have done that. On the other hand, the box of chocolates wouldn't have cost $106 million, either."
Since that time, the Mets have struggled to find consistency at shortstop, proceeding mostly with Ruben Tejada and, this year, Wilmer Flores. Earlier this season, the Mets moved Flores off shortstop, and Tejada responded with a run of strong play: a .321 batting average and .757 OPS since July 3. That, combined with trade acquisitions Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe crowding the Mets' infield, has resulted in a loss of playing time for Flores, who is batting .200 with a .440 OPS since July 11.
But Reyes, 32, has also struggled at a much higher price point, posting a .708 OPS this season and a .613 mark against left-handed pitching. Injuries limited him to just 69 of Toronto's first 100 games, after averaging 118 per season from 2013-14. The Marlins traded Reyes to the Blue Jays prior to the '13 season.
The Mets and Tulowitzki have long been entangled in trade rumors without coming close to a deal. By eliminating him and Reyes as trade options, the Mets appear more likely to spend their last days before Friday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline searching for outfield help. Most notably, the Mets have been linked to Cincinnati's Jay Bruce, Milwaukee's Gerardo Parra and San Diego's Will Venable, though team officials have cautioned there is a chance the Mets do nothing at all.
The team has already made two trades in the past week, acquiring Johnson and Uribe from the Braves for two Minor Leaguers, and reliever Tyler Clippard from the A's for pitching prospect Casey Meisner.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.