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Mets expected to sign Jose Reyes on Saturday

Reyes is headed back to New York.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Once Jose Reyes officially becomes a free agent around 1 p.m. EST Saturday afternoon, the Mets are expected to sign the free agent shortstop, according to ESPN’s Adam Rubin.

On Friday, New York Manager Terry Collins started a response to a reporter’s question about Reyes with "when we gets here," foreshadowing Reyes’ arrival. Collins said Friday the Mets are open to giving Reyes, New York’s starting shortstop from 2003 through 2011, playing time at third base and in the outfield.

After Reyes, 33, missed the first part of the season serving a suspension for violating baseball’s domestic violence policy, Colorado designated him for assignment. The Rockies acquired Reyes in the Troy Tulowitzki trade last summer and have received consistent production from Trevor Story.

Once he completed the suspension, Reyes batted .303 with two home runs over nine contests in Triple-A. Colorado was unable to complete a trade involving Reyes and placed him on waivers Thursday.

Since the Rockies still owe Reyes $39 million, the Mets will be responsible for paying him just more than the league minimum.

Reyes will likely spend time in the minors before joining the Mets, Rubin notes. It seemed New York was uninterested in a reunion with Reyes but quickly changed its mind after being swept by Atlanta last weekend.

If the Mets feel Reyes could play at third base, he could emerge as a utility player. Since the Mets don’t have a clear leadoff hitter on their roster, Reyes could again sit atop New York’s lineup.

Chicago and Kansas City have also been linked to Reyes, who likely made the most sense for the Mets because of their vacancy at third base.

Reyes, a career .290 hitter, ended his first stint in New York after signing a six-year, $106 million deal with the Marlins entering 2012.

After losing David Wright and Lucas Duda to injuries, the Mets have added James Loney and Kelly Johnson to their roster. Reyes could be the latest veteran addition Saturday.