Posted on June 24, 2016 by Bryan Zarpentine
When Jose Reyes was first designated for assignment by the Colorado Rockies, officials from the New York Mets were quick to say that the team had no interest in bringing their former shortstop back to Queens. But over time, things have started to change. The Mets first admitted to at least considering Reyes as a possibility, at least the same way they would consider any other player who is available on the free agent market, which Reyes should be officially on Saturday. But now there are reports that the Mets have legitimate interest in signing Reyes, and a reunion has become a distinct possibility.
The Rockies requested waivers for shortstop so that they can release him, and assuming no team tries to work out a trade with Colorado, Reyes is set to be a free agent on Saturday. With the Rockies on the hook for more than $40 million owed to Reyes between now and the end of the 2017 season, it’s unlikely that any team will trade for him. However, once he’s a free agent, a team would only have to pay him the major league minimum, which is less than $300,000 at this point in the season.
The Mets are reportedly still weighing the pros and cons of signing Reyes, as his domestic violence arrest last fall and his subsequent suspension this season mean that he comes with heavy baggage. There’s also the issue of his declining skill set and sub-par performance over the last few seasons with both the Rockies and Toronto Blue Jays.
On the other hand, Reyes is still very much beloved by Mets’ fans, many of whom have always longed for a reunion. Ironically, Reyes would be asked to play third base with the Mets, filling the shoes of his old friend David Wright, with whom he shared the left side of the infield in New York for many years. Reyes has said that he’d be willing to play third base, a position he’s never played as a professional, in order to return to the Mets, a team he says is his first choice.
Reports indicate that the Mets would have Reyes spend two weeks in the minors to help him grow accustomed to third base, and perhaps spend time at second base as well. He would also have to confront his domestic violence incident head on from a public relations standpoint, addressing the situation publicly and working with charities to raise money for victims of abuse. Reyes would likely go along with both for the chance to return to the Mets.
What will eventually happen to Reyes no one can say for sure at this point. The Mets are not completely sold on the idea of signing him, but are at least seriously considering it, which is a lot more than could have been said about their interest level a week ago. Meanwhile, Reyes is desperate for another chance in the big leagues and a chance to put his arrest and subsequent suspension behind him, especially if it’s with the Mets. We won’t find out anything for sure until at least Saturday, but at this point, a reunion between Reyes and the Mets shouldn’t be counted out.