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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.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”