Wednesday was the final day of the maximum 14 the Rockies could keep Reyes on rehab assignment before activating him to the 40-man roster. Instead, they designated the four-time All-Star, who batted .303 (10-for-33) with seven runs scored, two home runs, two RBIs, seven walks, four strikeouts and three stolen bases in nine games with Albuquerque.
Designating Reyes for assignment means the Rockies technically have 10 days to trade, release or outright him to the Minors. But general manager Jeff Bridich said the move was made so the Rockies can engineer Reyes' exit. Bridich and manager Walt Weiss said they announced the decision to the team after Tuesday night's 13-10 victory over the Yankees.
"It's fair to say it was responsible to the situation and to the organization that we talk though every sort of conceivable situation," Bridich said. "We certainly had enough time to do that. At the end of the day, we determined that it was best we part ways -- best for the direction of the organization, best for what was going on in the clubhouse and best for Jose."
Reyes was arrested on Oct. 31 in Maui, Hawaii, for an alleged incident in a hotel where he and his wife, Katherine, were staying. Police dropped the charges because his wife did not cooperate with the investigation, but the policy allows Commissioner Rob Manfred to issue a suspension even if there is no action in the criminal justice system.
Reyes was due to make $22 million this year, and the suspension has cost him roughly a third of that. The Rockies also are on the hook for $22 million next season, plus a $4 million buyout on a $22 million club option for '18.
For another club to claim Reyes, it must pay him at the least the Major League minimum of $508,000, and that amount would be subtracted from what the Rockies owe.
Trade talks while Reyes rehabbed never turned serious.
"The last two weeks have kind of come and gone, a couple of teams poking around, so nothing real serious ever materialized," Bridich said. "But Jose is still a very talented player. We're hopeful. He's designated for assignment now. We've got a little bit of time to figure out exactly what that means in terms of his true exit. We'll see what happens.
"[When] the decision and the suspension came down and the road was mapped for everybody involved from that point, he did his part. He came in ready to go. He kept himself in shape. He went down, reported to Phoenix during our extended program. He was a great citizen, he went to Albuquerque and was the same way. He fit in. He plugged into the process, plugged into the system at both places. It's a credit to him. He handled himself as a pro. He held up his end of the bargain that way."
In Reyes' absence, rookie Trevor Story won the shortstop job in Spring Training and is pushing for inclusion in next month's All-Star Game. He entered Wednesday afternoon's game against the Yankees with a .265 batting average and 17 home runs -- tied for fourth most in National League history for a rookie before the All-Star break, with a little less than a month before the Midsummer Classic.
"I've always said he's got the right combination of confidence and humility," Weiss said.
Additionally, the Rockies liked left-handed-hitting veteran Daniel Descalso and switch-hitting rookie Cristhian Adames in utility roles, so there was no place for Reyes. Also, Weiss said the team as constructed is melding.
"There's a vote of confidence here from the people upstairs [ownership and management] in who we are, what we are," Weiss said. "It's been exemplary the way it's been handled, from top to bottom."
Reyes played in 47 games for the Rockies last season after being acquired from the Blue Jays with right-handers Miguel Castro, Jeff Hoffman and Jesus Tinoco in the Troy Tulowitzki trade.
Reyes was an All-Star as a member of the Mets in 2006-07 and 2010-11. He has a career batting average of .290 with 1,030 runs scored, 337 doubles, 117 triples, 118 home runs, 621 RBIs, 494 walks, 747 strikeouts and 479 stolen bases. In parts of 13 Major League seasons, he has played for the Mets (2003-11, 1,050 games), the Marlins (2012, 160 games), the Blue Jays (2013-15, 305 games) and the Rockies (2015, 47 games).