NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Jose Reyes isn’t worth all the money he wants. Carlos Beltran is no longer a top-tier player. David Wright isn’t a superstar.
Those aren’t merely the opinions of some disgruntled Mets fan. Those thoughts come straight from the owner of the team, Fred Wilpon.
In a statement, the club said: “We are handling the matter internally.”
Jeff Wilpon reached out to Reyes, Beltran and Wright on Monday, according to WFAN’s Jon Heyman. Wilpon declined to comment or characterize the conversations.
The Mets open a set against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley field on Tuesday. Manager Terry Collins doesn’t think Wilpon’s comments will have a negative impact on his team.
“These guys are professionals and I don’t think a lot of that stuff fazes them,” he said. “The media around here can be very critical at times and I think these guys are aware of it, and you’ve got to go play. They can’t worry about anything else.”
Wilpon’s sharp words for the All-Stars and his teetering team appear in a newly released profile by Jeffrey Toobin in “The New Yorker.” He made the comments during the Mets’ 4-3 loss to Houston on April 20.
“Lousy clubs, that’s what happens,” Wilpon remarked after the Mets missed an early chance to score, then gave up some runs. “We’re snake-bitten, baby.”
Beltran is finishing up a $119 million, seven-year contract the outfielder signed with the Mets after his monster 2004 postseason for Houston, when he hit eight homers and scored 21 runs in 12 playoff games.
“We had some schmuck in New York who paid him based on that one series,” Wilpon said, referring to himself. “He’s 65 to 70 percent of what he was.”
Reyes can become a free agent at the end of the season. There’s been speculation the shortstop wants a contract similar to the $142 million, seven-year deal that Carl Crawford signed in the offseason.
“He’s a racehorse,” Wilpon said of the often-injured speedster.
“He thinks he’s going to get Carl Crawford money,” he said. “He’s had everything wrong with him. He won’t get it.”
As for Wright, Wilpon said the third baseman is “a really good kid. A very good player.”
“Not a superstar,” Wilpon said.
In a statement released by his agent, Wright said: “Fred is a good man and is obviously going through some difficult times. There is nothing more productive that I can say at this time.”
Much of the magazine story focuses on Wilpon and his Mets getting caught in Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.
Madoff told “The New Yorker” that Wilpon “must feel that I betrayed him, as do most of my friends who were involved.”
“I don’t think Fred could be a nicer guy than he is,” Madoff said. “He obviously loves baseball and loves the team.”
Can Fred Wilpon save face? Fire away in the comments below…
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