Tuesday, February 15, 2011
No Jose Reyes talks this spring
By Adam Rubin
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said "it's unlikely" contract extension talks with shortstop Jose Reyes would take place during spring training.
Alderson added that he did not expect the $1 billion lawsuit against Mets ownership would affect his ability to sign Reyes to an extension if the GM wanted to pursue it. Reyes will earn $11 million this season and is eligible for free agency next winter.
"Now, I'm confident I can do anything with any one individual player," Alderson said. "Anything we do is going to be viewed through the prism of what's going on in New York. There's no question about that. All I can do is try to make the best baseball judgments. And at this point I'm not facing any limitations. At this point I don't expect to."
By "what's going on in New York," Alderson was specifically alluding to trustee Irving Picard's lawsuit against Mets owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz seeking to recover money to disburse to victims of convicted swindler Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme. Mets ownership has denied any advance knowledge of wrongdoing by Madoff.
"What do you think I'm referring to -- the snow?" Alderson said.
Alderson also disputed any suggestion Reyes is not his type of player. The GM comes from the sabermetric philosophy that does not place a high value on stolen bases.
"I had a lot of different players on a lot of different teams, many of whom had very different profiles. That probably alludes to his reliance on speed and my sense that maybe speed is not as critical," Alderson said. "But he brings so many different things to the table, as I've said earlier, that you can't just focus on the speed element. The speed element is a plus. There's no question about that, and well-appreciated by me, by the way."
Alderson said he wants to review Reyes in-season before making any decision whether to sign him to an extension, although he doesn't necessarily need the full season.
"I'm the kind of person that likes to get a feel for people and how they tick and be around them a little bit," Alderson said. "So this isn't just about scouting evaluations. This is getting comfortable with Jose and other people who are in camp as someone who hasn't been around."
Does Alderson worry he would lose exclusivity and expose the Mets to an outside bid for Reyes' services from a team willing to offer a deal similar to the one Jayson Werth signed with the Washington Nationals (seven years, $126 million)?
"The answer is no," Alderson said. "I understand given any approach to things there are positive and negative consequences. We happen to think that approaching it as we are on a net basis is the right way to go."
Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.