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Report: Mets debating adding Jose Reyes, considering potential P.R. fallout

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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Mets are “debating internally” whether or not to sign shortstop Jose Reyes. In particular, the Mets are considering a potential public relations fallout, as Reyes served a 52-game suspension for allegedly hitting his wife during the offseason.

The Rockies designated Reyes for assignment last week and he’s expected to pass through waivers unclaimed, which would make him a free agent. In that case, the Mets — or any other interested team — would only be on the hook for the prorated major league minimum salary. The Rockies owe him $22 million for this season, $22 million in 2017, and $4 million to buy him out of the final year of his deal, which is a $22 million club option.

Reyes hit an aggregate .274/.310/.378 with seven home runs and 53 RBI between the Blue Jays and Rockies last season. The Jays sent him to Colorado ahead of the trade deadline last year along with Miguel Castro and minor leaguers Jeff Hoffman and Jesus Tinoco in exchange for shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and reliever LaTroy Hawkins.

While baseball has certainly made progress in dealing with domestic abusers, they could be doing more, as could individual teams. The Mets could make a strong statement by refusing to consider signing Reyes based on what he allegedly did over the offseason. Players have been blackballed for much less, like Barry Bonds after putting up a 1.045 OPS in 2007. Bonds was willing to play for the major league minimum salary and yet no team dared to sign him, strangely. If Bonds — an alleged abuser himself — can be eschewed from the game, so too can alleged domestic abusers. Reyes is not owed an opportunity to play in the majors, or the minors for that matter.

At the very least, teams that continue to pay alleged abusers — or Major League Baseball as a whole — could require players to make a concerted outreach. That could include, as an example, speaking to young men to help, as Jesse Spector of Sporting News put it, “stop perpetuating the cycle of violence.”

That these alleged abusers continue to easily find work sends the message that teams and the sport as a whole values players’ abilities to hit homers, make flashy plays, or rack up strikeouts more than the safety of the players’ partners, children, and other people in their lives. It sends an unwelcoming message to fans who have been victims. Baseball can and should be doing better.

MLB and MLBPA announce first set of COVID-19 test results

MLB COVID-19 test results
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On Friday evening, Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced the first set of results for COVID-19 testing as part of the mandatory intake screening process under MLB’s COVID-19 Health Monitoring & Testing Plan. Per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Athletics are not part of this data because their testing has not yet been completed.

There were 38 positive tests, accounting for 1.2% of the 3,185 samples collected and tested. 31 of the 38 individuals who tested positive are players. 19 different teams had one or more individuals test positive.

Sports Illustrated’s Emma Baccellieri notes that the positive test rate in the U.S. nationally is 8.3 percent. The NBA’s positive test rate was 7.1 percent. MLB’s positive test rate is well below average. This doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong with MLB’s testing or that it’s an atypical round of testing. Rather, MLB’s testing population may more closely represent the U.S. population as a whole. Currently, because testing is still somewhat limited, those who have taken tests have tended to be those exhibiting symptoms or those who have been around others who have tested positive. If every single person in the U.S. took a test, the positive test rate would likely come in at a much lower number.

Several players who tested positive have given their consent for their identities to be made known. Those are: Delino DeShields (link), Brett Martin (link), Edward Colina, Nick Gordon, and Willians Astudillo (link). Additionally, Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodríguez has not shown up to Red Sox camp yet because he has been around someone who tested positive, per The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey.