With Trevor Story raking, the Rockies released Jose Reyes in mid-June following his 52-game suspension for a domestic violence incident. Reyes signed a minor league deal with the Mets, joining the big club in July and taking over the hot corner. Three weeks later, Reyes hit the DL with a rib strain, returning in mid-August for the duration of the season. Prorated to 150 games, Reyes had a 20-homer, 20-steal season, showing he can still be a fantasy asset. But how often will he play with David Wright and Asdrubal Cabrera slated to man the left side? With Wright in front of him, the answer could be a lot. Second baseman Neil Walker is returning from back surgery, which could lead to another playing time opportunity.
Reyes will see some work in center field this spring as the Mets look to transition him into a super-utility role, The New York Post reports. "I talked to Juan [Lagares] a little bit," Reyes said Friday at Tradition Field. "He said, 'You know, you have to be ready to run there, center field, because there are a lot of gaps there.' I said, 'Well, I'm healthy, so I am looking for the challenge.' " With Curtis Granderson and Lagares still on the roster, Reyes isn't likely to see much regular season action in center field, but the Mets are exploring every possible avenue to get his bat into the lineup and into the leadoff spot. Given David Wright's ongoing back and neck issues, though, expect most of Reyes' playing time to come at third base in 2017, with occasional starts at shortstop and second base as well.
Reyes has been named to the Dominican Republic team for the WBC, The NY Daily News reports. He joins Mets teammates Jeurys Familia and Hansel Robles on the DR roster. Reyes could end up being the team's starting shortstop, as his main competition for the spot would seem to come from Jonathan Villar, but the Dominican squad also features a number of infielders who can handle multiple positions, so Reyes could get an early jump on the super-utility role he's expected to fill for the Mets in 2017.
Reyes will work out in the outfield during spring training, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. With the Mets hoping that David Wright (neck) will be healthy at the onset of the 2017 campaign, general manager Sandy Alderson expressed that he hopes to expand the 33-year-old's defensive repertoire in order to make him a more versatile asset. Specifically, it seems that the Mets are interested in having him take some reps in center field now that Yoenis Cespedes is back in the fold for a corner outfield spot along with Michael Conforto, Curtis Granderson, and Jay Bruce (with the latter two potentially being traded away prior to the offseason's conclusion). Reyes has only played shortstop and third base during his career in the major leagues, so there is definitely the potential for some growing pains as he learns the in's and out's of patrolling the outfield.
The Mets will pick up their option on Reyes' contract for the 2017 season, Adam Rubin of ESPN.com reports. The Mets will only have to pay Reyes the league minimum, and he posted a .769 OPS with the team in 2016, so the decision to bring him back was seemingly an easy one. Reyes played mainly third base in his latest go-around with the Mets, but if David Wright is able to return and fill that spot in 2017, Reyes will likely be used in a utility role, seeing action at a number of different infield positions, and possibly in the outfield as well.
Reyes may fill a super-utility role, similar to Ben Zobrist, with the Mets next season, the NY Post reports. The Mets hold a 2017 option on Reyes, which they are likely to exercise. Reyes mostly played third base this year with David Wright sidelined due to his injury. Next season, Reyes could see time at third, short, second and left field to maximize the number of games he is on the field and his usefulness to the Mets.