The move will not preclude the Mets from possibly discussing a multi-year extension with Reyes in the future.
"Jose Reyes is one of the most dynamic players in the game and there never was any doubt about picking up his option," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said in a statement. "A long-term deal is not out of the question. It is something we can certainly discuss at a future date."
Reyes, 27, hit .282 this year with 11 home runs and 30 stolen bases in a season marred by multiple injuries. Missing the beginning of the season due to a thyroid imbalance, Reyes also sat out two extended periods later in the summer with a right oblique strain.
His $11 million option represented the final portion of the four-year, $23.25 contract Reyes signed back in 2006. It remains unclear whether Alderson would seriously consider giving Reyes an extension beyond 2011. At his introductory press conference last week, the new general manager admitted that homegrown players such as Reyes can be critical from a marketing standpoint.
"One of the reasons fans like baseball is because it provides a certain amount of consistency and continuity in their lives that maybe doesn't exist otherwise," Alderson said, hinting that he would not immediately look to trade Reyes or third baseman David Wright. "It's important to recognize that at times. There's a bond that exists over time."
But Alderson also said that he would prefer not to give out many "second-generation" long-term contracts for six-year free agents. Reyes will fall into that category after this season.
Prior to Alderson's hire, a team source said the Mets had not even broached the topic of an extension with Reyes' agent, Peter Greenberg.
In eight career seasons, all with the Mets, Reyes has hit .286 with 74 home runs, a franchise-record 83 triples and 331 stolen bases. But injuries have marred his production over the past two seasons, keeping him out of nearly half the team's games.
"I can't wait to get started again," Reyes said in a statement. "This is where I began my career and this is where I want to stay. I want to do everything I can to help turn this around here. The last four years have been disappointing for everyone. We have to make it better and we will."