New York Mets manager Terry Collins observes Jose Reyes' workout...

New York Mets manager Terry Collins observes Jose Reyes' workout prior to the Mets/Phillies game at Citi Field. (July 17, 2011) Credit: Bruce Adler

SAN DIEGO -- Get ready for the Reyes Rules.

So says Terry Collins, who is convinced that Jose Reyes must be handled more carefully for the rest of this season -- and beyond, if the Mets are able to re-sign their explosive shortstop.

"He and I have already talked about it," Collins said before Monday night's game against the Padres at PETCO Park. "It all started with, 'Hey, look, I hope you're here. And if you are, you and I have got to sit down and figure out how we're going to get 155 games out of you.' And that will be our goal of spring training, to come up with that plan. We've got to be smart enough to make those adjustments."

Seeing Reyes land on the disabled list twice in a month's span because of the same left hamstring strain changed the manager's thinking about his team's MVP. Reyes completed a second straight day of baseball activity Monday but is not scheduled to run until the Mets return from the West Coast on Friday.

As it is, Reyes won't come off the DL next Tuesday, the first day he is eligible. When he does return, Collins will take a more cautious approach with him than he has in the past, with more regular rest.

"It's the kind of an injury -- when do you feel comfortable with it?" Collins said. "I felt real comfortable with it the last time. We watched him run, he felt great. We watched him play, he felt great. Steals two bases one night in a game, the next day it's bothering him. I don't know -- outside of if he steals two bases, you don't play him the next day -- how to keep the fatigue off."

That's the riddle with Reyes. Even he admitted to not shifting into high gear until Aug. 6, almost three weeks after his return from the DL. That night against the Braves, Reyes stole second and third base easily and had two singles.

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The next day, Reyes was pulled in the second inning because of what he initially described as hamstring tightness. That left the Mets shaking their heads and prompted Collins to take a closer look at the problem.

Collins realizes how difficult it will be to sit his best player, but he also understands there is little choice. "As I told him, wouldn't it be better off to have one day as opposed to two weeks off?'' he said. "And the answer to that is yes."

What if Reyes, who leads the NL with a .336 batting average, still occupies the top spot heading into the season's final game? Would Collins rest him then?

"Maybe," Collins said. "I bet you one thing, though -- I'll bet he comes in and says I will not win the batting title that way. That's the kind of guy he is."

Accord with top pick.The Mets agreed to terms shortly before Monday's midnight deadline with first-round pick Brandon Nimmo, who received a $2.1-million signing bonus to forego his commitment to the University of Arkansas.

Nimmo, 18, was the 13th overall pick in the June draft and the Mets paid well above the recommended slot of $1.65 million to get him in the fold.

The Mets also agreed to terms with their third-round pick, righthanded pitcher Logan Verrett of Baylor University; their 11th-round selection, righthanded pitcher Christian Montgomery of Lawrence Central High School (Ind.); their 15th-round pick, infielder Phillip Evans of La Costa Canyon High School (Calif.), and their 16th-round pick, outfielder Bradley Marquez of Odessa High School (Texas).

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