I read Matt Cerrone’s take on whether the deal Carl Crawford signed last offseason would impact Jose Reyes this offseason. He writes:
I don’t think Crawford’s deal will impact the market for Jose Reyes as much as I initially thought. I figured seeing Crawford struggle might spook teams interested in Jose, considering both players rely so heavily on speed and are pushing 30. But, as more than one person told me (be it agents or front office people), each team will value these guys in different ways and they will reach those conclusions independent of one another.
He goes on to talk about the pressure of playing in a big fan and media market like New York or Boston and how Crawford wasn’t ready for it while Reyes has thrived in it, which I totally agree with. But I have a different opinion and take on the main thrust of his conclusion.
Historical contracts have always had and always will have an effect on new contracts. It’s a large factor in determining arbitration awards, it’s the starting point and reference point of many a negotiation and it’s place in the overall process of a new contract negotiation is undisputable.
I’m sure some teams will be gun-shy where Reyes is concerned, but as long as there is more than one General Manager or Owner who see Jose Reyes as the missing piece to their championship puzzle, Reyes will make a killing this offseason and that would include matching or topping whatever Carl Crawford got last offseason. There are at least four large market teams that will be salivating over Jose Reyes this Winter and all of them have money to spend and want to win. That will add up to one of the richest deals of this offseason for Jose Reyes.
Also, don’t dismiss the possibility of that wild card – a team like the Washington Nationals last year who swooped in out of nowhere and signed Jayson Werth to a 7-year, $127 million dollar deal. Who saw that coming?
When mega-deals like that flop, especially in the first year like they did in the case of Werth and Crawford, it has a two-fold effect. First comes the knee-jerk reaction that you are seeing now when everyone points to the deal and say no way Jose Reyes gets that kind of money now.
But then comes phase two where the agents, players union and players point to the Crawford deal and say if he’s getting $20 million a year, then surely my client is worth $24 million a year, and it’s that second phase that has had salaries escalating like crazy since the dawn of free agency.
So do I think Crawford’s deal will have any impact on what Jose Reyes will get? You betcha, and the impact will be much bigger than many people think.
Now what does that mean for the Mets? It means exactly what I’ve hinted all season long and that is that Jose Reyes will not be wearing a Mets uniform next season. It’s hurts me to say it, but unfortunately that’s the reality of the sittuation and everyone I’ve spoken to who is tuned into the situation all tell me the same thing.
Regarding Reyes geting Carl Crawford money, the person who signs the checks and makes the final decision already weighed in on that matter last Spring, when owner Fred Wilpon said, “Reyes wants Crawford money, but he won’t get it.”
And regarding longterm contracts here is a quote Sandy Alderson made last offseason when he was asked his thoughts about the Jayson Werth deal:
“It makes some of our contracts look pretty good. That’s a long time and a lot of money. I thought they were trying to reduce the deficit in Washington.”
So add it all up, do the math, carry over the one, and what do you get?