Worried for his health, Mets stop Reyes' winter ball bid

Updated: December 9, 2006, 3:34 PM ET
Associated Press

Jose Reyes

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- The New York Mets prohibited Jose Reyes from playing winter ball, not wanting to take any chances with the health of their star shortstop.

The 23-year-old Dominican had expressed interest in playing in the winter league for the Cibao Gigantes.

"Reyes is an important part of our team," general manager Omar Minaya told Channel 37 in the Dominican Republic. "That's why the Mets organization decided that he will not play."

Reyes batted .300 with 19 home runs, 81 RBI and 68 stolen bases in 153 games last season. He also won the Silver Slugger award, given to the top offensive performer at each position.

"We want him to keep healthy for the next season,'' said Minaya, who is visiting the Caribbean nation.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press