With Wright Expected Back At Third Base, Alderson Wants To Get The Most Out Of Reyes' Versatility

OXON HILL, Md. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Jose Reyes could be switching positions once again.

A four-time All-Star shortstop, Reyes was moved to third base when he returned last summer to the New York Mets, who needed a fill-in for injured captain David Wright. Reyes figures to see action in the outfield during spring training next year.

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“We didn’t want to do it last year because we didn’t want to have him working in multiple new positions, and I think that was something that he appreciated,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Monday at the winter meetings.

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Reyes was released by Colorado in late June after serving a domestic violence suspension, and he signed a few days later with the Mets, his original big league team. The 33-year-old hit .267 with eight homers, 24 RBIs and nine stolen bases.

With Wright due to return from neck surgery, the Mets want to increase Reyes’ versatility.

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“I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t try that,” Alderson said. “And I think it’s something, by the way, that we’re going to try to do throughout the organization, is put guys in different roles so that once they get to the big league level they’re at least familiar with if not proficient in playing more than one position.”

Recovering from surgery June 16 to repair a herniated disk in his neck, Wright is to resume baseball activities this month. He has been in California, working with a therapist associated with Dr. Robert Watkins, who operated.

While Alderson expects Wright to be his starting third baseman, playing time will be monitored and the Mets have to be stocked with backups. Wright has appeared in just 75 regular-season games during the past two years because of spinal stenosis, neck surgery and a hamstring injury.

“We have to be careful not to be too thin at that position going into the spring,’ Alderson said.

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