NEW YORK — Ready or not, Jose Reyes is set to join the New York Mets.
Reyes will be added to the roster for Tuesday’s game against the Miami Marlins after playing 11 minor league games, the Mets announced late Monday.
After being released by the Colorado Rockies and signing with the Mets on June 25, Reyes hit .176 (6-for-34) while tuning up with short-season Brooklyn and Double-A Binghamton. He exclusively played third base, which is the position he is poised to primarily assume, displacing Wilmer Flores.
Although Reyes, 33, was warmly received while playing in the Mets’ minor league system, his return to New York, his original major league team, is not without its detractors.
He was arrested Oct. 31 after a physical altercation with his wife at the Four Seasons Resort Maui in Wailea, Hawaii. He allegedly grabbed his wife, Katherine, by the throat and pushed her into a sliding-glass door in their hotel room. Reyes’ wife declined to cooperate with prosecutors, and a judge in Hawaii formally dropped a domestic abuse charge in April.
Major League Baseball suspended Reyes without pay through May 31 for violating its domestic abuse policy. He forfeited $6.25 million in salary as a result of the suspension.
The Rockies designated Reyes for assignment and then released him shortly after the suspension was served.
“I feel like what he did was awful, terrible,” said Mets captain David Wright, a longtime teammate of Reyes. “There’s just no other way around it. With that being said, in my eyes, he’s done what he could do to earn a second chance. If he’s going to be given a second chance, I think this is a good place for it. I think he’s comfortable here. This is home for him. I can’t say it enough: What he did is something that is horrible and should never be done. So I hope that he’s learned his lesson. In everything he said, it seems like he’s acknowledged the great mistake that it was and that he’s not going to let it happen again, and I hope that’s correct.”
The Mets originally signed Reyes in 1999 as a 16-year-old out of the Dominican Republic, and he was a member of the organization for a dozen years. He last appeared in a game for the Mets on Sept. 28, 2011. He bunted for a base hit in his first at-bat to secure the National League batting title, then departed the season finale. He went on to sign a six-year, $106 million contract as a free agent with the Marlins that December.
Ex-Met Edgardo Alfonzo, a coach in the Mets’ organization, tutored Reyes — a natural shortstop — at third base during this stint in the minors.
Manager Terry Collins has indicated he will place Reyes atop the batting order and relocate Curtis Granderson to the No. 2 slot.
“He’s going to bring us a ton of energy,” Wright said. “And I think that’s something we can really use is his dynamic on the field — his speed, his charisma, his ability.”
Reyes so badly wanted to return to the Mets, he agreed to a team option in his contract for next season. The Mets will have to pay Reyes only the MLB minimum salary through the end of the 2017 season provided they pick up the option. The Rockies will be responsible for roughly $38 million.
Even after departing as a free agent back in 2011, Reyes maintained his offseason home in Manhasset on Long Island.