Sources: Mets to hold onto Jose Reyes

The New York Mets now are certain they will not trade shortstop Jose Reyes before the July 31 deadline, league sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney on Wednesday.

The Mets likely would have quite a few suitors for the All-Star, but he has been playing so well in recent weeks that the team has decided to hold onto him despite his pending free agency, sources said.

Reyes leads the league in batting average (.355), hits (126) and triples (15). He also has 30 steals, despite missing 12 games with a hamstring injury.

He returned Tuesday from the disabled list and went 2-for-5 with a run scored in the Mets' 4-2 win over the Cardinals.

The 28-year-old has spent his entire nine-year career with the Mets.

The team faces a lawsuit by the trustee of victims of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. With a potentially huge judgment looming, the Mets have been in negotiations with hedge fund manager David Einhorn to buy a minority stake in the team and infuse much-needed cash into the baseball operation.

The financial uncertainty has led many to speculate that the Mets would not be able to afford Reyes, who could command a Carl Crawford-like deal (seven years, $142 million).

The team did clear some money off the books by trading closer Francisco Rodriguez to the Brewers, and outfielder Carlos Beltran is likely on the block as well.

Senior writer Buster Olney covers MLB for ESPN The Magazine.