NEW YORK - Jose Reyes isn't worth all the money he wants. Carlos Beltran is no longer a top-tier player. David Wright isn't a superstar.
Those aren't merely the opinions of some disgruntled New York Mets fan. Those thoughts come straight from the owner of the team.
Fred Wilpon had sharp words for the all-stars and his teetering team in a newly released profile in the New Yorker. He made the comments during the Mets' 4-3 loss to the Houston Astros on April 20.
"Lousy clubs, that's what happens," Wilpon remarked after the Mets missed an early chance to score, then gave up some runs. "We're snake-bitten, baby."
Reyes can become a free agent at the end of the season. There's been speculation the shortstop wants a contract similar to the $142 million, seven-year deal that Carl Crawford signed in the offseason.
"He's a racehorse," Wilpon said of the often-injured speedster.
"He thinks he's going to get Carl Crawford money," he said. "He's had everything wrong with him. He won't get it."
Beltran is finishing up a $119 million, seven-year contract the outfielder signed with the Mets after his monster 2004 postseason for Houston, when he hit eight homers and scored 21 runs in 12 playoff games.
"We had some [jerk] in New York who paid him based on that one series," Wilpon said, referring to himself. "He's 65 to 70 percent of what he was."
As for Wright, Wilpon said the third baseman is "a really good kid. A very good player."
But he's "not a superstar," the owner concluded.
In a statement released by his agent, Wright said: "Fred is a good man and is obviously going through some difficult times. There is nothing more productive that I can say at this time."
The Mets are 22-24 and were off Monday. They start a series Tuesday night against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
In a statement, the team said: "We are handling the matter internally."
Much of the magazine story focuses on Wilpon and his Mets getting caught in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme.
Madoff told the New Yorker that Wilpon "must feel that I betrayed him, as do most of my friends who were involved."
"I don't think Fred could be a nicer guy than he is," Madoff said. "He obviously loves baseball and loves the team."