Homeowner dispute: Marlins' Jeffrey Loria counters Jose Reyes claim

Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, right, and Jose

Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, right, and Jose Reyes share a laugh after a news conference at the Major League Baseball 2011 Winter Meetings in Dallas. (Dec. 7, 2011) (Credit: AP)

JUPITER, Fla. -- Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria denied telling Jose Reyes to buy a house in Miami shortly before his trade to Toronto. In Loria's version, he tried to warn Reyes not to do so as soon as the deal was completed.

"I immediately called his agent, Peter Greenberg, and I said, 'We're going to be making a trade,' " Loria said Tuesday during his first news conference since the 2012 season ended. "I want you to call Jose -- just make sure he doesn't buy a house."

What prompted Loria?

The owner confirmed that he did talk to Reyes about Miami real estate while the two were at a dinner function in the days leading up to the trade, but he did not advise him to purchase anything.

"I never encouraged him to buy a house," Loria said.

One of Reyes' representatives from The Legacy Agency, Chris Leible, declined to comment Tuesday when asked about Loria's version of the events, but the shortstop provided his side of the story earlier this month. The fun-loving Reyes, normally the easygoing type, angrily ripped into Loria when he arrived at Blue Jays camp in Dunedin.

"I was shocked, because Jeffrey Loria, he always told me he's never going to trade me," the former Met told reporters that day. "He always called my agent and said, 'Tell Jose to get a good place here to live,' and stuff like that."

"I mean, how can you want me to spend some money in Miami, when I have my house in New York, and you're going to trade me in two days?"

When pressed again Tuesday on the subject, Loria dismissed Reyes' accusations by saying that the shortstop was on a plane to Dubai four days before the trade was done and the two did not speak since then. The only contact was during that dinner function, and Loria said it was brief.

"I had no idea we were putting together any trade that was going to happen while he was away," Loria said. "First of all, he sat two people away from me, so I had very little opportunity to speak with him. My wife sat between us.

"I asked if he'd been to Miami, he said he'd been looking at houses, and his wife was down there. Three or four days later, [general manager] Larry [Beinfest] called me with what he wanted to do."

That's when Loria said he got in touch with Reyes' agent to stop his house-hunting expedition.

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