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Mets see Cora as Reyes' understudy

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The Mets have set their sites on free agent Alex Cora to serve as the understudy for Jose Reyes; so says Worcester, Mass. radio station WEEI on its website Friday. Cora, 33 and a lefthanded hitter, has played with the Red Sox for the last 3 1/2 seasons, averaging just less than 200 at-bats in the last three years.

He appeared in 69 games as a shortstop last season, starting 38 at the position he has played most often during his 11 seasons in the big leagues.

Cora, the brother of former Padres and Mariners infielder Joey Cora, would take the place of Damion Easley on the Mets bench, serving as the middle infield reserve. He played seven games at second base for the Red Sox last season, starting three as the back up for Most Valuable Player Dustin Pedroia. He played second more regularly the previous season and has started 344 games at second in his career.

With that history, Cora could play second base with some regularity if Luis Castillo's promised renaissance doesn't happen.

A career .245 batter, Cora batted .270 with 10 extra base hits and nine RBIs in 152 at-bats last season. he has hit 34 home runs in his career, 10 with the Dodgers in 2004.

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