New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson took the first step in his attempts to keep Jose Reyes in New York last week when he approached his agent about what the superstar shortstop's financial demands would be. Amid the tenuous financial position the Mets are in, there's no doubt that this was a very positive sign.
Only problem for the Amazin's: Reyes' agent, Peter Greenberg, informed Alderson on Monday that after speaking with Reyes at his house in Long Island for two hours Monday, that Reyes does not want to discuss his contract during the regular season.
"Right now I don't want any distractions," Reyes said as quoted by ESPN's Adam Rubin. "I just want to continue to play. We're going to have plenty of time in the offseason to make this happen."
Alderson was obviously trying to take the first step in determining what Reyes would want so that he could also weigh whether it would be worth it to trade Reyes at the deadline based on financial demands that Mets' ownership would just not be able to meet. He said he has no problem with Reyes' request -- and he basically inferred that Reyes would remain a Met for the rest of this season, whether they are sellers or not.
"All I wanted to suggest was if we're playing lousy, it doesn't mean Jose is gone," Alderson said. "That's basically the point I'm trying to make. If we are playing lousy, are we a seller? Generally speaking -- maybe, probably."
Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez figure to be moved prior the July 31 trade deadline. When -- and if -- they are, Alderson doesn't feel pressured to include the Mets' most dynamic player.
While Alderson said this initial effort doesn't mean the Mets are a sure guarantee to keep Reyes in town, the 28-year-old just wants to concentrate on playing baseball and definitely would like to remain a Met long-term.
"Nothing changed," Reyes said. "I want to stay here. Like I've always said, I want to be a New York Met all my career."
As Rubin also pointed out in another story, Alderson was wary of negotiating with Reyes last offseason after a season in which he was ravaged by a variety of nagging injuries and could have come at a relative discount. Now, Alderson is behind the eight ball and Reyes will certainly be the one to dictate the amount of his next contract.