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Sandy Alderson (roundaboutly) on Jose Reyes: Character counts in evaluation

NEW YORK -- New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is not permitted to discuss Jose Reyes, since he remains property of the Colorado Rockies during the designated-for-assignment process and is not yet a free agent.

Still, Alderson did address Reyes in roundabout fashion Tuesday when he was asked whether character is weighed in signing a free agent.

“We always evaluate talent and character,” Alderson replied. “There’s a balance. With respect to issues of character, those are things we take a look at. Those are things we don’t ignore and are always taken into account when we make a player-acquisition decision.”

Reyes was a popular and bubbly figure during his playing days with the Mets. However, he was arrested on Oct. 31 in Hawaii for an alleged domestic-violence incident with his wife. Charges later were dropped when his wife declined to cooperate with authorities.

Reyes should become a free agent no later than Saturday. He was designated for assignment by the Rockies last Wednesday.

Mets officials originally described the likelihood of a reunion with Reyes as virtually zero, but softened their stance after the Atlanta Braves swept the Mets at Citi Field.

They also are considering Cuban defector Yulieski Gourriel.

Reyes, however, would cost only a prorated portion of the MLB minimum assuming he becomes a free agent. Gourriel would require a multiyear investment at significant cost.

Reyes was signed by the Mets as a 16-year-old in 1999. He debuted in the majors in 2003. Reyes departed as a free agent after the 2011 season when the Marlins offered a six-year, $106 million contract.

"When we lost Jose, I thought, 'Boy, this is a major piece gone,'" manager Terry Collins said last week. "His energy to play the game, his love to play the game, his love to play the game in New York City, it's hard to find. It's hard to find those guys. We missed him. I don't know what's going to happen down the road. Certainly, I always root for him."