Alex Rodriguez says Jose Reyes is “world’s greatest player”

20 Comments got the juicy quote from Alex Rodriguez today, asking him how he feels about Jose Reyes and the Mets.

“They have the world’s greatest player playing shortstop over there, and the most exciting,” Rodriguez said. “I turn on the TV every time I get a chance to watch him.”

And Reyes’ response:

“I appreciate that from him. But that’s something that, it’s not going to go to my head,” he said. “But I appreciate that, that he said that. He’s a good friend of mine too, Alex. So it’s good, man. He’s one of the best players in the game. So I appreciate it.”

Of course, A-Rod’s comment could be portrayed as a dig at Derek Jeter.  That’s what happened two years ago, when, at the World Baseball Classic, A-Rod said of Reyes: “I wish he was leading off on our team or playing on our team, that’s fun to watch.”

Rodriguez later had to apologize because of the play the comment got in New York.  This one, though, should hardly be taken as a shot at Jeter, because it’s just laughable to even put Jeter and Reyes in the same league given the performance of both this year.  In 2009, Jeter vs. Reyes was a legitimate argument and A-Rod’s commented was fuel for the fire.

In 2011, A-Rod isn’t comparing Reyes to anyone on the Yankees, because there’s simply no one else like him in New York.

Blue Jays sign Danny Espinosa to minors deal

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Free agent middle infielder Danny Espinosa signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, the team announced Saturday. The deal includes an invite to spring training, where Espinosa is scheduled for his first split-squad game against the Orioles this afternoon.

Espinosa, 30, was inked to another minor-league deal with the Yankees in January. The veteran infielder was competing for an infield job until the team picked up second baseman Neil Walker on a one-year, $4 million deal last Monday. Prior to his release, he slashed .160/.276/.320 with one home run through his first 12 games with the Yankees this spring. He didn’t fare much better in the majors last year, either, batting a cumulative .173/.245/.278 with six home runs and a .523 OPS in 295 PA for the Mariners and Rays.

Blue Jays starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is still dealing with a bone spur in his heel and has officially been ruled out for Opening Day, which could clear a path for Espinosa to claim a starting role in Toronto. Of course, he won’t be the only candidate under consideration — Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz are still in the mix as well, though no final decision appears to be made just yet.