The Mets and free-agent SS Jose Reyes have agreed to a minor-league contract and he will be assigned to the Brooklyn Cyclones, the team announced Saturday.
Reyes will play with Brooklyn on Sunday and is expected to play third base, according to Mets GM Sandy Alderson.
Alderson discussed the signing of Reyes in a statement Saturday afternoon.
"We made the decision to offer a contract to Jose after extensive consideration and discussion with Jose, his representatives, Major League Baseball and various departments at the Mets," Alderson said the statement from the team. "We are convinced that Jose has accepted responsibility for his actions and their consequences and have confirmed he is taking steps beyond those prescribed by MLB, including ongoing counseling. Accordingly, we believe he deserves a second chance to return to our organization."
Reyes also spoke about his return to the organization and about his alleged domestic violence incident.
"As I have expressed in the past, I deeply regret the incident that occurred and remain remorseful and apologetic to my family," Reyes said, in regards to the domestic violence charge last October. "I have completed the counseling required by MLB, have been in ongoing therapy, and will continue with counseling going forward. I appreciate the Mets organization for believing in me and providing the opportunity to come back home to New York."
The Mets first signed Reyes, 33, as a 16-year-old in 1999. He made his big-league debut for them four years later. He then left the Mets in 2011 for a six-year, $106 million contract with the Marlins. In that time, he had been traded twice before being designated for assignment and released by the Rockies.
"When we lost Jose, I thought, 'Boy, this is a major piece gone,'" Terry Collins said last week. "His energy to play the game, his love to play the game, his love to play the game in New York City, it's hard to find. It's hard to find those guys. We missed him."
Reyes has not played in a big-league game since last season, when he hit just .274 with a .310 OBP, seven home runs, 53 RBI and 24 stolen bases playing for the Blue Jays and Rockies.
"He's a ball," Collins added earlier this week. "He brings energy to the team, he's got a great smile, he loves to play and he loves to play here. He comes every day and wants to be in the lineup, but even then on the days we gave him off, he still kept him ready in case we needed him."
Reyes recently finished serving a 52-game suspension for domestic violence. He was initially charged after an alleged altercation with his wife last October. However, charges against him were eventually dropped after his wife would not cooperate with police, according to multiple reports.
Jose! Jose, Jose, Jose! Jose! Jose! I can't believe he's back!
Admittedly, I've been skeptical and morally conflicted about his return, but - as a Mets fans - thinking strictly about baseball and entertainment - this is pretty awesome. I love a good comeback, homecoming and redemption story. And, I was a huge Reyes fan when he was with the Mets. So, hopefully this is the start of his second act. And, if it is, I'm glad it'll be with the Mets.
Alderson never wanted Reyes during this stage of his career, but only because he knew it would be to the tune of $20 million a season. However, for less than the league minimum, it's a no brainer. I have no idea what he's capable of doing on field. He looked bad last season. But, right now, based on his social media, he looks to be in incredible shape. And, coming home to New York, to Queens, to us, and hearing Mets fans sing his name, for the team he still loves, I believe it will clearly motivate him. I truly expect him to be a totally different player for the Mets than what we saw from him last season.
In regards to the domestic abuse charge, you can read more of my thoughts here from earlier this week. In short, despite the lack of criminal prosecution, MLB found enough evidence to suspend him for a significant number of games. He did something wrong. He knows it and we know it, and he'll have to life with the consequences of that for rest of his life... and deservedly so.
At the same time, as Kristie Ackert wrote in the Daily News this week, everyone deserves a second chance, "and it seems like the Mets would be the best fit for Reyes to have a successful second go at it."
I was a huge Reyes fan during his time with the Mets. I have no idea how he's going to perform on field, or if he can handle playing shortstop, second and third base. But, assuming he works his way up to the big leagues, it will be fun to see him fired up, happy and doing his best to help the Mets win again...