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Mets will give Jose Reyes outfield playing time during Spring Training

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Jul 5, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman Jose Reyes (7) takes ground balls at third base before a game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 5, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman Jose Reyes (7) takes ground balls at third base before a game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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“Leading off for the Mets, center fielder, Jose Reyes?”

The Mets really want Jose Reyes’ bat and speed in the lineup when the 2017 season starts. The 33-year-old Dominican infielder had a pretty solid comeback last season when he was reunited with his old club back in June. Reyes played 60 games for New York and posted a line of .267/.326/.443 with eight home runs and 24 runs batted in.

The problem with trying to get Reyes into the Mets lineup as it’s structured right now is that there’s just no place for him in the infield. With the Mets hopeful and expecting David Wright to be in the Opening Day lineup, and with the career year that Asdrubal Cabrera gave the Amazin’s in 2016, Reyes’ two most comfortable positions are taken.

The Mets are looking at plugging in the speedster Reyes in another area, however. According to Sandy Alderson, the Mets will be giving a look at Jose in the outfield, specifically in center field.

Now, if you’re thinking that’s pretty crazy, don’t worry. You’re not the only one that thinks it, but at the same time, the Mets have already worked him out in the outfield anyway, so the crazy line has already passed. Last July, the Mets indeed worked Reyes out in center field. The front office never really elaborated on how well he did out there, but since the need never popped up, Reyes’ official in-game outfield days are still zero.

That could change this season, though. With the Mets actively and loudly shopping around two of their three main outfield starters, the need for someone else to fill in at center field could be very real.

Last year, the team had Michael Conforto play center, and he did a job. Is he consistent enough to play 162 games at that position? I’m not sure, but to be honest, I’d still take him over an inexperienced Reyes.

Next: Mets’ David Wright to start baseball activities this month

In all seriousness, the Amazin’s should be trying out as many different lineup combinations as they can think of going into 2017. By that time, it’s possible this outfield problem will have gone away completely and we’ll all just be laughing at how silly this idea was. Or maybe we’ll be penciling in CF Jose Reyes as the leadoff man on Opening Day.

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