- Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes is still capable of being a “serviceable” option at the position, though he’s clearly on the downside of his career, a longtime scout told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Reyes, who’s suspended until the end of May because of a violation of the league’s domestic violence policy, could be done in Colorado. A trade might be difficult, though, considering Reyes’ contract (he’s still owed roughly $41MM, including a $4MM buyout in 2018), off-field troubles and on-field decline, according to Saunders. That could lead the Rockies to release the 33-year-old, which is a possibility, some close to the team have told Saunders.
- Rosenthal also explains why Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes’ domestic violence suspension was shorter than that of an 80-game punishment for PED use. Rosenthal says that, in the eyes of the league, a positive PED test essentially amounts to proof of guilt, but in Reyes’ case, charges against him were dropped and he has never been convicted. Without “formal proof,” MLB can only make a suspension so long.
Rockies starter Jon Gray has become a client of CAA Sports, MLBTR has learned. Gray had been with BBI Sports Group.
Gray, the third overall pick in the 2013 draft, quickly made his way through the minors and debuted in the big leagues last season. This year, he has a 4.71 ERA in his first five starts, although three of those have been in Coors Field, and he’s taken steps forward with his peripherals (11.3 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and a 50.7% ground ball rate). He also has excellent stuff, with an average fastball velocity in the mid-90s and a plus slider.
The 24-year-old Gray entered the season with well under a year of service time, so the earliest he can become eligible for arbitration is after 2018, and he can’t become eligible for free agency until after 2021. He could, however, become a candidate for an early-career extension at some point, particularly if his results improve to match his peripherals.
Major league baseball has announced that Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes has been suspended without pay through May 31st under the league’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse policy. He’ll be credited for the time he’s already missed in calculating the suspension, though he’ll forego salary that had previously been available under his paid administrative leave.
Reyes will not contest the ban. It’ll technically cost him 52 games, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweets, though Colorado will only have had 51 contests to that point (with one re-scheduled rainout). Reyes will be eligible to begin working out now and could start a rehab assignment as soon as the calendar flips to June.
The veteran infielder will end up losing just over $7.09MM of his total $22MM salary this season, as he’ll ultimately go without pay for the first 59 days of the 183-day “championship season,” as defined in the CBA. Plus, he’ll make a $100K donation to a charity for domestic abuse. That’s a more or less token amount, but presumably its inclusion in the terms of the agreed-upon suspension was motivated by some reason beyond the money involved.
All told, the severity of the punishment is surprisingly light, at least in comparison to the precedent set in this and other spheres of league discipline. He’ll ultimately lose quite a bit less time and money than had he been caught with a PED for the first time. Indeed, his suspension barely tops the 50-game bans handed out to minor leaguers for such relatively innocuous actions as testing positive for marijuana use.
Aroldis Chapman previously received a 30-game domestic violence suspension of his own, with commissioner Rob Manfred citing his use of a firearm in the course of a domestic dispute with his girlfriend. But he was never arrested or charged in the matter, and there was seemingly never any clear evidence that he had initiated any physical contact with his girlfriend.
The Reyes case seemingly contained an even more serious factual setting: his wife said at the time that he grabbed her by the throat and shoved her into a sliding glass door, and she received treatment at a hospital. He was arrested, charged, and set for trial until the charges had to be dropped when Mrs. Reyes decided not to testify against her husband.
To be fair, Reyes has been on administrative leave and in limbo for quite some time, as the incident in question occurred on Halloween night. But that delay occurred in large part because of the pending legal action and, it seems, an effort by the league, union, and Reyes’s representatives to avoid a grievance over the length of the ban.
It’s unclear what the future holds for Reyes. He has been bypassed at the major league level by Trevor Story, and it’s not apparent what role he would play for the Rockies, who still owe him the remainder of his salary for the present season and $26MM more thereafter (including a buyout on his 2018 club option).
A report earlier today suggested that there is trade interest in the soon-to-be 33-year-old, though it’s not clear whether he’d be pursued as a means of prying a prospect or draft pick from the Rockies or also because of his potential to aid another club down the stretch. If history is any indication, he’ll have another shot at the majors at some point, though Reyes already seemed in decline before this black mark went on his record.
Reyes issued a statement apologizing, rather vaguely, “for everything that has happened,” as Nick Groke of the Denver Post was among those to report. He went on to say that he’s “happy to put all this in the past and get back to doing what I love the most, playing baseball.” Reyes also thanked his wife, who he said “has remained by my side throughout everything.”
Regardless of how one weighs those words, Reyes will certainly have a long ways to go to show he’s learned from the incident. He’ll also be required to submit to counseling, as contemplated in the policy. Commissioner Rob Manfred said that he’s “encouraged by Mr. Reyes’ commitment to the treatment provisions of the Policy in order to ensure that such an incident does not occur in the future.”
Despite the specter of what is reported to be “at least” a 60-game suspension under the league’s domestic violence policy hanging over his head and a significant amount of money remaining on his contract, Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes still has some trade interest around the league, tweets ESPN’s Buster Olney.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported earlier this morning that Reyes’ suspension could be announced today, and several others in the media have since heard the same, which would seem to suggest that the league will indeed announce a punishment for Reyes, who was arrested and had criminal charges filed against him last October due to allegations of abuse from his wife. Reyes was slated to face a trial on Opening Day, but the charges were dropped in late March because his wife was no longer cooperating with the investigation. He’s been on paid administrative leave for the entirety of the 2016 season while MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred investigates the matter. Per Rosenthal’s report, instead of serving an additional 60 unpaid days on top of his paid leave, Reyes will be required to pay back the money that he has earned thus far in 2016 and then serve out the remainder of the length of the suspension (also without pay, of course).
It’s somewhat surprising to hear any rumblings of trade interest in Reyes. In addition to the deeply concerning allegations of abuse, he’s owed $39.945MM through the end of the 2017 season, assuming a 60-game suspension. That’s no small price for any player, let alone one with this type of off-field issues and one whose most recent on-field activity resulted in a .274/.310/.378 batting line despite splitting the season between two of the game’s best environments for offense (Toronto’s Rogers Centre and Denver’s Coors Field). Metrics like OPS+ and wRC+, which are weighted based on a player’s home park and league, felt that Reyes’ overall offensive contribution was 16 to 20 percent worse than that of a league average bat in 2015. Beyond that, he’s also received negative ratings from both Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Saved in each of the past seven seasons for his work at shortstop.
Reyes, who will turn 33 two days after Colorado plays its 60th game of the season (June 11), was productive at the plate as recently as 2014, and batted a solid .289/.342/.419 from 2012-14 between the Marlins and Blue Jays. One also has to imagine that given his off-field issues and the meteoric rise of his replacement, Trevor Story, the Rockies would be willing to eat a portion of the salary that remains on Reyes’ contract. Alternatively, the Rockies could show a willingness to take on a similarly undesirable contract from another club. Speculating further, a rebuilding club could agree to take on a significant portion of Reyes’ contract as a means of persuading the Rockies to include a meaningful prospect or two in the trade, then simply cut bait on Reyes.
It remains possible that a team (or multiple teams) would have interest in adding Reyes to its roster and hoping for a return to form at the plate. The Yankees acquired Aroldis Chapman from the Reds this offseason as he was dealing with his own domestic violence allegations, although Chapman is a cheaper, more productive player than Reyes and never had criminal charges filed against him. In spite of that, the return for Chapman was widely considered to be light. If there is indeed some degree of trade interest in Reyes, I’d expect that it’s conditional on significant financial/prospect incentive being included in the deal for the acquiring team and very little, if anything, going back to the Rockies in terms of young talent.
MAY 13: FOX’s Ken Rosenthal reports that an announcement on Reyes could come as soon as today, and he hears the same as Heyman: Reyes is expected to be suspended for at least 60 days. Interestingly, however, Rosenthal suggests that Reyes will not be suspended an additional 60 days on top of his paid administrative leave, but rather will repay the money he earned on leave and be suspended for an additional 26 games (or more, if the suspension proves lengthier than 60 days).
Rosenthal also adds that the delay in determining a punishment for Reyes has not been due to any differences between the commissioner’s office and the MLBPA, but rather due to difficulty in obtaining the necessary information to make a final ruling.
MAY 8: Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes could be facing at least a 60-game suspension under the league’s domestic violence policy, with some sources estimating that Reyes could be sidelined for closer to 80 games, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports.
A suspension has seemed inevitable ever since the alleged incident between Reyes and his wife took place in Hawaii last November. Criminal charges against Reyes were dropped in March since Reyes’ wife wasn’t willing to participate in the case (nor has she been willing to participate in MLB’s investigation of the incident) and the shortstop has been on paid administrative leave while the matter has been examined by the league and the player’s union.
The policy gives Commissioner Rob Manfred the ability to discipline players in such alleged domestic violence situations even if no criminal charges are filed. Aroldis Chapman, for instance, is nearing the end of his own 30-game suspension for an offseason incident, though as Heyman notes, Reyes’ incident has been considered to be a more serious matter due to the severity of the alleged violence.
Reyes was owed $22MM by the Rockies this season, so a suspension in the range of 60 to 80 games would cost him roughly $7.33MM-$9.77MM (as a reminder, players are paid over the 180-day MLB calendar, not strictly the 162-game season). Beyond this season, Reyes is also owed $22MM in 2017 and a $4MM buyout of a $22MM club option for 2018. There has been speculation that once Reyes’ suspension is up, the Rockies will simply release the shortstop and eat the rest of the money owed to him in order to cut ties as quickly as possible.
- Nick Groke of the Denver Post spoke to Rockies farm director Zach Wilson, who said that the club doesn’t have a timeline for the promotion of some of its most promising young arms. As Groke writes, the club has, in the past, rushed pitchers such as Eddie Butler to the Majors out of necessity, but there’s no plan to repeat that mistake with the likes of right-hander Jeff Hoffman, left-hander Kyle Freeland and others. Groke provides a rundown of seven of the organization’s top minor league arms, with quotes from Wilson on many of them.
Major League Baseball is likely to punish Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes during the upcoming week for a violation of its domestic violence policy, reports Nick Groke of the Denver Post. Reyes’ status with the league has been in limbo for several months as a result of his arrest on domestic violence charges in November. Criminal charges were dropped in March because Reyes’ wife – the alleged victim – was unwilling to cooperate in the case, but punishment from the league has been expected all along. The situation has dragged in part because the league doesn’t have a presence in Hawaii, where the alleged incident took place, according to Groke. Reyes has been on paid administrative leave since February and has collected upward of $3MM from the Rockies to not play. The club will recoup some of the money owed to Reyes when the league punishes him, but it’s unknown whether the 32-year-old will play for the Rockies (or anyone else) again. Reyes was primed to collect $48MM, including a $4MM buyout in 2018, over the final three seasons of his contract before his off-field issues arose. Thanks to Trevor Story’s early season breakout, the Rockies haven’t missed Reyes at all on the field.
The Rockies have already burned through much of their rotation depth, Nick Groke and Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post write. Injuries, poor performance, and roster pressures have conspired to leave the club scrambling for arms despite seemingly entering the year with plenty of volume (to go with plenty of questions, of course). It remains to be seen whether former top prospect Eddie Butler will get a crack at a starting gig, as he’s slated for pen duty initially, but he’ll be one of several arms that the Rockies will need to contribute if the club is to stay in contention.
- Opposing pitchers have exhibited a new approach to breakout Rockies shortstop Trevor Story, Fangraphs’ Jeff Sullivan writes. After initially testing him on the inner half, with memorable results, hurlers are now attacking him away. While he’ll obviously have a chance to respond in the cat-and-mouse game, Story’s production has fallen off significantly. He still owns a rather productive .247/.306/.649 overall slash, but his 36.5% strikeout rate and recent lack of pull-side power opportunities certainly rate as concerns looking forward.