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Reyes tells Mets he won’t negotiate during season

Wed., June 22, 2011, midnight

National League hitting leader Jose Reyes told the Mets he won’t negotiate a new contract during the season. (Associated Press)
National League hitting leader Jose Reyes told the Mets he won’t negotiate a new contract during the season. (Associated Press)

Jose Reyes is keeping his options open, which could make it hard for the New York Mets to afford him.

The star shortstop told the team he’s not interested in negotiating a new contract during the season, perhaps increasing the chances that the cash-strapped club will put him on the trading block.

The 28-year-old Reyes can become a free agent after the World Series and could be one of the biggest prizes on the open market next winter. He said he wants to remain with the Mets, but doesn’t want any off-the-field distractions.

“It’s not about the money, it’s about me (being) comfortable,” Reyes said Tuesday. “Nothing’s changed. I want to stay here. Like I always say, I want to be a New York Met all my career. But right now I just want to play baseball.”

Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said he reached out last week to Reyes’ agent, Peter Greenberg, and asked about the possibility of negotiating a new deal during the season.

Reyes, the N.L. batting leader, met with his representatives at home Monday and they informed the Mets they would rather wait until after the season to talk about a contract.

McKeon attempts to jolt Ramirez

Chatting with Hanley Ramirez during batting practice, Jack McKeon wrapped an arm around the struggling shortstop, whacked his arm and jabbed him several times in the stomach.

Maybe a hands-on approach by the new Florida Marlins interim manager will jump-start Ramirez. Maybe a move to the cleanup spot will, too.

Ramirez, battling a season-long slump, batted fourth for the first time in his career against the Los Angeles Angels. The lineup was the second drawn up by McKeon since he took over Monday.

Clearing the bases

Chicago White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy is coming off the disabled list for the second time this season and is scheduled to start today’s series final against the Cubs. … Commissioner Bud Selig hasn’t acted in good faith by rejecting a proposed television deal involving the Los Angeles Dodgers and appeared determined to run Frank McCourt out of the sport, an attorney representing the embattled owner said. … The St. Louis Cardinals recalled first baseman-outfielder Mark Hamilton from Triple-A Memphis to take the roster spot of injured star Albert Pujols. … New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter threw for the first time, including long toss, since going on the 15-day disabled list last week because of a strained right calf.

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