- Associated Press
Wednesday, February 16, 2011

PORT ST. LUCIE, FLA. (AP) - Mets shortstop Jose Reyes prefers to wait until after this season to talk about a new contract.

Reyes will make $11 million this season and can become a free agent after the World Series.

“Right now, it’s not in my head because there’s still one more year,” Reyes said. “I don’t want to think about my contract because I just want to play baseball. I know I need to improve some things and I need to get through the season without problems.”

After missing time because of injuries the past two seasons, Reyes is just glad not to be worrying about his health. He participated in his first workout of spring training Wednesday, a day after arriving.

“I’m feeling good,” Reyes said. “This is the first time in a couple years I’m 100 percent ready to go, not worried about anything, so I’m really excited right now and I can’t wait to start playing the game.”

In eight seasons with the Mets, Reyes has a .286 batting average to go along with a .434 on-base percentage and 331 stolen bases.

Closer Francisco Rodriguez also was glad to be getting started. Wednesday marked his first time in a Mets uniform since the club placed him on the disqualified list following an incident in which he struck his girlfriend’s father at Citi Field last August, tearing a ligament in the thumb of his pitching hand

Rodriguez pleaded guilty to attempted assault in December, a deal that spared him jail time. As part of the agreement, he must undergo 52 weeks of anger management

Rodriguez missed seven weeks of last season because of the injury, losing just more than $3.14 million in salary. In his first public comments since the plea, he expressed regret.

“It’s a very unfortunate situation I put myself in,” said Rodriguez, who indicated he has learned to separate his aggressive attitude on the mound from the way he behaves off the field. “Obviously, I regret (it) a thousand percent, but I’ve got to move on. I’ve got to learn from those mistakes. It made me grow up more as a human being. I’m very sorry for the way I put my teammates, the Mets organization, the fans, in that spot.”

Rodriguez said his thumb has healed and he is healthy. He appeared in one Venezuelan winter league game.

“I haven’t experienced any discomfort since the surgery,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve been throwing bullpen sessions. Of course, it’s not the same to be out there with the rush, the adrenaline at the field, but I’m fine. I’m healthy. That’s the main thing.”

NOTES: Mets manager Terry Collins conducted his first news conference of spring training and said the biggest personnel questions marks are at second base, in the back end of the rotation and in the bullpen. … Chris Young, Chris Capuano, Dillon Gee, Oliver Perez, D.J. Carrasco and Jenrry Mejia are among those he said he will consider for the rotation, and players such as Bobby Parnell and Tim Byrdak are locks for the bullpen. … Daniel Murphy and Luis Castillo are strong candidates for second base, despite Murphy’s lack of experience there and questions whether Castillo can be effective. … Collins also said when Carlos Beltran walks in the first day, he is the center fielder, but the club will consider moving him to right field.

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