When this offseason began, I expected teams like the San Francisco Giants, Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and even the Philadelphia Phillies to throw their hat into the ring, in addition to the Mets of course.
But just this week an interesting suitor emerged for Reyes…the Miami Marlins.
As the team prepares to move into their new stadium, the Marlins have made it a point to seek high profile free agents in attempt to lure fans to their ballpark.
Reyes was first on the list, even though Hanley Ramirez is currently the team’s shortstop. The Marlins will also be meeting with the biggest star on the market, Albert Pujols.
The question is where are the Marlins getting all this money. They must really be expected a boom in ticket sales and merchandise upon moving into their new home.
While the team would be in no position to offer long-term contracts, the marlins will be making a run at free agents by offering a huge annual salary and not as many years.
For example, early speculation suggests that the Marlins would pay Reyes $20-30 million per year but for just three years.
So if you were Reyes, what would you do?
Let’s take a realistic angle and say that the Mets are basically out of contention to sign Jose. Would you go to a team offering your five or six years at around $15-20 million per year or sign for a three-year, $60 million contract?
While virtually all of us will never be faced with that decision, players these days seem to be more concerned with the numbers of years than the price value. Look at C.C. Sabathia. He wanted the security of a few more years on his contract and he got it.
So Reyes will be faced with a tough decision. An even tougher one would be to play for a Mets division rival. While it’s not necessarily the Phillies or Braves, the Marlins will still be playing the Mets 19 times in 2012.
Reyes apparently liked what the Marlins had to offer but will shop around for other offers. One of those will come from the Mets, but will it be what Reyes wants?
This whole process is gaining steam much sooner than expected, so the Mets will either have to take action or sit back while their best player is courted by Miami.