The Blue Jays formally introduced Jose Reyes to fans and media on Friday in Toronto. General manager Alex Anthopoulos was very excited to add Reyes who he called a catalyst and one of the most dynamic players he ever saw:
“I don’t know that we’re going to see another shortstop like this in Toronto for a long time,” the GM said Toronto’s Rogers Centre Friday afternoon. “I don’t know that we could ever think we’re going to draft someone like this or sign someone like this out of Latin America. This is one of the great players to play the game.”
“He’s probably one of my favorite players in the league to watch. He’s the type of guy you want to watch play. He’s electric. High energy, smile on his face, just so many things. This is a rare guy to find. Leadoff, shortstop, energy, makeup — check off every single box.”
Reyes, 29, said he found out he was traded while receiving dozens of texts while vacationing in Dubai with his family, but quickly realized he was in a better situation to win which is what he wants more than anything.
“It’s a better opportunity with the Blue Jays.’ It’s all about winning, the team that we’re going to put on the field is going to be good, so I can’t wait. Everybody knows the way I play. The one thing I’m going to do is try to get on base and score a lot of runs. That’s what I’ve been doing my whole career, and hopefully I can keep doing that here. We have a very good lineup and we’re going to be dangerous.”
The former Mets shortstop has five years and $96 million remaining on his contract. Reyes has a career .291 average with a .342 on-base percentage and 410 stolen bases in 10 big-league seasons including a National League batting title in 2011 (.337 average) and a Silver Slugger Award in 2006.
Last year, the switch-hitting shortstop played in 160 games and batted .287/.347/ .433 with 37 doubles, 13 triples, 11 home runs and 40 stolen bases. In 716 plate appearances he struck out just 56 times while drawing 63 walks.
“If I’m feeling good, nobody’s going to take my bat out of that lineup,” Reyes said. “It’s going to be a special season for the Blue Jays.”