The Colorado Rockies have designated José Reyes for assignment, according to a team announcement. The move took place immediately after the team reinstated him from the Restricted List.
By designating Reyes for assignment, the Rockies now have a 10-day window in which they can either trade Reyes to another willing club, place him on waivers, or release him.
“There are a lot of things over the last week to two weeks that have kind of come and gone,” Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said. “Couple teams poking around, nothing really serious ever truly materialized."
If Reyes is traded, the Rockies will likely still have to pay a significant portion of the roughly $40 million left on his contract. Two factors contribute to this possibility. First, the Rockies simply might not want Reyes on the team given his domestic abuse suspension. Second, viewed through the lens of the team's roster, the Rockies already have a starting shortstop. The return on any trade will be minimal.
The Rockies, however, likely won’t need the full 10-day window to determine whether they can work out a trade. If they are unable to trade Reyes, the team will probably place him on waivers. If a team claims Reyes, that team must pay him the pro-rated league minimum for the rest of the season. The Rockies would be responsible for paying the remainder of his contract.
“At the end of the day, finances were not the trump card,” Bridich said.
If the Rockies are unable to trade Reyes and no one claims him on waivers, the club will release him. Technically, Colorado can also attempt to outright Reyes to the minors if he clears waivers, but he has more than enough major league service time to refuse a minor league assignment.
“I think it was responsible to the situation and the organization that we talked through every sort of conceivable situation; we’ve certainly had enough time,” Bridich said.
Each of these scenarios result in the Rockies cutting ties with Reyes. Major League Baseball and its Domestic Violence Joint Policy Board suspended Reyes for 52 games of the 2016 season for a domestic abuse incident from October. Reyes’s wife refused to testify against him, leading to the charges being dropped, but MLB’s domestic violence policy does not require a conviction in order to levy its own punishment.