Jose Reyes is set to join the New York Mets on Tuesday, whether the city was really excited to see his return or not. Reyes is being added to the active roster for the Mets on Tuesday morning, having completed a bit of a warm-up that consisted of 11 minor league games. The team announced the move late Monday night, and it’s expected Reyes will be in the lineup on Tuesday night.
Jose Reyes did not come out like gangbusters in his 11 games in the minor leagues. The infielder, who is best known as a shortstop, played third base exclusively during this warm up session and he had just six hits in 34 at-bats. This means Reyes hit just 0.176 over that stretch. It’s likely that’s not going to make Mets fans who were already nervous about Reyes joining the team feel any better.
Despite those struggles at the plate for AA Birmingham, the team is expected to give Reyes the starting third base slot when he joins the Mets today. Wilmer Flores, who has been manning the hot corner since David Wright went down with another injury, is expected to return to a bench role now that Reyes has been called up.
ESPN reports Jose Reyes was met with a mostly warm welcome when he was playing for Birmingham. The reception for Reyes might change now that he’s set to join the Mets. Even before Reyes was officially a member of his old team, there were fans who were circulating petitions asking the franchise to stay away from him.
The pushback against signing Reyes comes from a domestic abuse charge after an arrest last October 31. Reyes and his wife were reportedly engaged in a physical altercation at the Four Seasons Resort Maui in Wailea, Hawaii. The player is alleged to have grabbed his wife by the throat and pushed her into a sliding glass door in their hotel room.
After the initial call to police, Reyes’ wife, Katherine, refused to cooperate with police, and a judge in Hawaii formally dropped the charges in April. Despite the charges being dropped, Major League Baseball felt there was enough evidence to suspend Jose Reyes through May 31.
The suspension cost Reyes more than $6 million and eventually a job. The Colorado Rockies released Jose Reyes shortly after his suspension was up, and the New York Mets signed him not long after. Even now, some teammates seemed somewhat torn about the signing of the player.
“I feel like what he did was awful, terrible… There’s just no other way around it. With that being said, in my eyes, he’s done what he could do to earn a second chance. If he’s going to be given a second chance, I think this is a good place for it. I think he’s comfortable here. This is home for him,” David Wright said shortly after the news was announced Reyes was to join the Mets.
CBS Sports reports that because Reyes was released by the Rockies, the team only has to pay a pro-rated portion of the league minimum. The Rockies are on the hook for whatever money he was still owed for his original contract.
The low contract means the Mets could have found themselves a very cheap option for a leadoff hitter. Mets manager Terry Collins has already said he intends to move Curtis Granderson out of the leadoff spot so he can put Reyes there.
New York’s offense, outside of a recent series against the Chicago Cubs and a great comeback against the Miami Marlins on Monday, has struggled to score runs. With Jose Reyes set to join the Mets, New York hopes the player can put his past behind him and lead them back to the World Series.
[Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images]