Mets players think the team is "babying" Jose Reyes

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jose reyes headshot mets.jpgAn 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
Day.”

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.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.

Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.

As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.