An unidentified Mets player told Mike Puma of the New York Post that there is a prevailing feeling in the Mets’ clubhouse
that Jose Reyes is being “babied” because the team fears a public relations disaster if he hurts his hamstring again. The player said, in response to the team hemming and hawing about letting Reyes start the season in New York, that “It’s kind of silly. You play the game. You can get
hurt as easily playing [a minor league exhibition] as playing on Opening
I see the player’s point, but it’s not like the Mets can’t limit Reyes in a rehab setting in ways they can’t necessarily limit him in the bigs. He could stay in Florida for extended spring training during which he’d focus more on conditioning and running. He could, as Puma noted he did yesterday in his return to game action, be instructed not to do things like leg out doubles. He could avoid any chilly weather that might make it harder to get loose and stuff. There are potential advantages.
Ultimately this seems more like a communication and trust problem than a Reyes health problem. If the unnamed player is right and there is a strong feeling in the clubhouse that the Mets aren’t handling Reyes properly, it’s either because the team isn’t being straight with the players about it all or because the players simply don’t trust the team’s handling of injuries and rehab.
ESPN’s Keith Law reported on Saturday evening that a bad contract swap involving the Braves’ Hector Olivera and the Padres’ Matt Kemp was “getting close.” Olivera has been pulled off the field, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that only a last-second medical would kill the deal at this point, and that the Padres will be sending money to the Braves.
Kemp, 31, will have $64.5 million remaining on his contract through 2019 after this season, but the Dodgers will pay $3.5 million annually over those remaining three years, so the $64.5 million is really $54 million. The veteran has compiled a .262/.285/.489 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 69 RBI in 431 plate appearances for the Padres this season.
Olivera, 31, will have $28.5 million remaining on his contract through 2010 after this season. The outfielder was handed an 82-game suspension, beginning on May 26, for his involvement in a domestic dispute on April 13. He has a .501 OPS in 21 major league at-bats this season and a .278 OPS in 37 PA at Triple-A.
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres will consider designating Olivera for assignment. The trade is all about the salary dump for the Padres, as they’d rather give outfield playing time to prospects Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot.
The Athletics and Royals swapped outfielders on Saturday. The Athletics sent Billy Burns to Kansas City and the Royals sent Brett Eibner to Oakland.
Burns, 26, doesn’t provide much in the way of offense, but he runs the bases well and plays solid defense. He was hitting .234/.270/.303 with 11 doubles, four triples, and 14 stolen bases in 274 plate appearances.
Eibner, 27, was batting .231/.286/.423 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 85 plate appearances. He has spent most of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where he’s put up a .902 OPS in 219 PA. Eibner played the outfield corners in the majors, but racked up a ton of time playing center in the minors, so his versatility will be valuable to the A’s.
Burns will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2017 season while Eibner has hardly accrued any service time, which might explain part of the motivation behind the trade for the small-market Athletics.