Amaro: Reyes not a priority for Phillies

November, 30, 2011
AM ET's Jayson Stark got to the bottom of the Jose Reyes sighting in Philly, including comment from Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, who unequivocally suggested Reyes is not a priority.

Writes Stark:

Fact: Everybody’s favorite marquee free-agent shortstop, Jose Reyes, was spotted in Philadelphia on Tuesday, eating at the popular Olde City restaurant, the Continental.

Fact: The Phillies are currently looking for a shortstop, since their longtime incumbent, Jimmy Rollins, is a free agent.

And now the fiction: So clearly, the Phillies were wining, dining and dangling many dollar bills at Reyes in an attempt to make him their next shortstop, right?

Uh, wrong, according to numerous sources. Here’s just a sampling of the reaction from assorted Phillies officials to rampant rumors Tuesday linking the Phillies to Reyes:

“That is such bull.” . . . “Absolutely nuts.” . . . “I haven’t heard that guy’s name mentioned in our offices in two months.” . . . “People can make what they want of it, but this is not a guy for us.”

Get the picture?

When tracked down Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. on Wednesday morning and ran this scenario by him, he replied: “I never talk about free agents, but you can quote me on this. If he was in the Continental in Philly, I have no knowledge of it. I don't even know if he was there. But if he was, I have no knowledge of it.”

Amaro reiterated that his team’s preference is to re-sign Rollins. But if Rollins goes elsewhere, they’re strongly considering giving their minor-league player of the year, 22-year-old shortstop prospect Freddy Galvis, an opportunity either to win the job or share it with a veteran such as Wilson Valdez.

What they’re not considering, according to multiple sources, is doing a $100-million deal -- or anything close to it -- to any free agent. And that includes Jose Reyes, no matter where he was spotted eating lunch Tuesday.

So what WAS Reyes doing there? Philadelphia Daily News gossip columnist Dan Gross tweeted Tuesday night that he was simply visiting his daughter.
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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