GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Jose Reyes made news on Friday, telling reporters that Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria encouraged him to buy a home in Miami two days before the Marlins traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Contrast that with the way the Cleveland Indians reached out Monday night to their players who were affected by their signing of free-agent center fielder Michael Bourn.
General manager Chris Antonetti called outfielders Drew Stubbs and Michael Brantley and first baseman Mark Reynolds to inform them of the news and assure them that they would not be traded.
The three players met with Antonetti and manager Terry Francona and received the same message in person the next day.
“As soon it came out, Chris called me,” Stubbs said. “He said, ‘I hope you haven’t heard it elsewhere. I wanted to be the first to tell you what our plans are. We had an opportunity to make our team better. We’re not trying to move you to another team.’
“It cleared the air right off the bat. They wanted to take all of the ambiguity out of it, make sure I was comfortable with everything.”
Antonetti and Francona informed Stubbs that they wanted to move him from center field to right, a position that he has not played in the majors. But Stubbs said he embraced the idea, knowing that it would help improve the Indians’ outfield defense.
Brantley didn’t actually speak with Antonetti on Monday night — he said he was still on east-coast time, and was asleep at 8:02 p.m. MT when the GM called. He, too, met with Antonetti and Francona on Tuesday morning.
“They went over their thought process,” Brantley said. “It was nice to sit down, have that meeting, have that reassurance. Now it’s my job to go out there, continue playing baseball to the best of my ability.”
Antonetti said that the Indians did not need to contact Nick Swisher, who now figures to play first base instead of right field; Swisher, who had helped recruit Bourn, was aware of all of the possible moving parts.
Reynolds, on the other hand, did not know about the Bourn signing, which could lead to him becoming more of a designated hitter than a first baseman if Stubbs hits well enough to remain in the outfield.
“It’s just being honest,” Antonetti said. “Guys like to have some idea of where they stand. For us, while we may not be able to deliver the best news, we always try to be honest and communicate the best we can.”
— Ken Rosenthal