It's official: Jose Reyes will not be back with the Rockies. The team announced Wednesday afternoon that Reyes has been designated for assignment, ending his time with the organization.
Shortstop Jose Reyes has been designated for assignment. pic.twitter.com/n12fW33aRh— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) June 15, 2016
The Rockies now have 10 days to trade, release, or waive Reyes. If Reyes goes through waivers unclaimed -- which he will, because no team will want to assume his contract -- he can elect free agency, which he almost certainly would.
Reyes finished serving his 51-game suspension under the league's domestic violence policy on June 1. He has been playing in minor league tune-up games since, but the Rockies couldn't keep him down forever, hence Wednesday's move.
Last month I suggested the Rockies might designate Reyes for assignment to buy themselves a little more time to work out at trade. They basically had three options with Reyes now that Trevor Story has taken over at shortstop:
- Turn him into a utility player.
- Trade him.
- Release him.
No. 1 is officially off the table now. Nos. 2 and 3 are still possible. Reyes is owed roughly $13 million for the remainder of this season plus another $22 million next season, and that's a sunk cost. The Rockies are going to end up paying him that money anyway, even if they release him or he elects free agency after clearing waivers.
Colorado now has 10 days to find a trade partner and hope they can get something in return, possibly a prospect or some salary relief. They don't have much leverage here, obviously. The White Sox could be a possible fit if they want to give top prospect Tim Anderson some more time in the minors, though that is just my speculation. Anderson was called up last week.
Reyes, now 33, went to the Rockies in last summer's Troy Tulowitzki trade with the Blue Jays. He hit only .274/.310/.378 (82 OPS+) last season and his production has been slipping for years. The domestic violence incident could very well make Reyes persona non grata around the league.