Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Updated: January 20, 12:16 PM ET
Jose Reyes only focused on 2011
By Adam Rubin
New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes said he has not given much thought to his unresolved contract status beyond 2011. Still, Reyes acknowledged Wednesday at Citi Field that he would prefer it not be an ongoing conversation during the season.
The Mets picked up an $11 million option on Reyes for the upcoming season, but the shortstop is poised to be a free agent after the year.
First-year general manager Sandy Alderson has indicated he would like to see Reyes on the field before committing to a deal for 2012 and beyond with any player. Still, the GM recently told ESPNNewYork.com he did not have a "hard and fast rule" precluding negotiations during the season.
"I don't want to talk about any contract during the season because I want to be focused on doing my thing and help this team to win a lot of ballgames," Reyes said after meeting with schoolchildren from Queens in the Mets' clubhouse. "I don't want to hear about anything like that. I just want to play baseball for now."
Reyes, 27, hit .282 with 11 homers, 54 RBIs and 30 steals in 133 games last season. He dealt with a thyroid scare last spring training that prompted him to open the season on the disabled list, and also dealt with a right oblique issue during the summer that prompted him to bat right-handed against right-handed pitchers.
"The last two years have been a little rough for me, and tough, because I wasn't able to stay healthy on the field," Reyes said. "This year is different. I feel good. I feel 100 percent."
Manager Terry Collins has committed to Reyes batting leadoff. The Mets dabbled with Reyes in the No. 3 hole last season, which did not agree with the shortstop. Reyes hit only .207 in 20 starts in the three-spot last year -- although he noted that at that point he was not yet up to speed having just returned from a prolonged period of inactivity because of the thyroid issue.
"I'm glad I'm being leadoff for now," Reyes said.
Reyes, who made his major league debut on June 10, 2003 at Texas, officially is the longest-tenured Met with Pedro Feliciano's departure as a free agent to the Yankees.
"It is hard to believe, but we have to understand this is a business," Reyes said. "You never know what's going to happen."
As for the business of baseball, Reyes indicated he is unsure what his future holds. Still, he has consistently stated he wants to remain a Met beyond 2011. He added that not much on talks has occurred yet.
"The Mets are the team who gave me the opportunity to play professional baseball and gave me the opportunity to play here in the big leagues," Reyes said. "My family is here. They're comfortable. I've got my daughter here going to school. I don't want to be somewhere else. But, at the same time, I understand this is a business and everybody never knows what's going to happen. I just want to perform on the field and see what happens after."
As for the future, Reyes added: "I don't know. We haven't talked about that yet. I just want to focus and play baseball and stay on the field and play a full season, because that didn't happen the last two years for me."
Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.