There are two aspects to the Miami Marlins & Jose Reyes saga that I haven’t really heard mentioned yet.
The first is that the Marlins had to put up $155 million for the stadium, plus purchase an additional $100 million in parking from the city. These funds do not include any additional stadium cost. Frankly, I’m not sure who paid the staff when they were at the old stadium, but if they were just renters, I imagine it was not them?
So right off the bat, the Marlins are investing a LOT of their own money before a game is ever played. I’m not suggesting they don’t have the money to sign Jose Reyes, I am suggesting that they don’t have the money to do much more other than Jose Reyes. Which would lead me to believe that the last two weeks are meant as a media ploy to drum up support for this franchise.
You have to remember, this is practically an expansion team. Granted, they have 2 championships, and they do have fans, but the support for this team is minimal at best. They need to excite a fan base that is basically non-existent.
So how do you do that? You let it be known that the days of operating at a minimal budget are over. You’re talking to Reyes, Pujols, Beuhrle, and CJ Wilson. If you’re selling season tickets, the first question somebody may have is “why should I invest in the team if the team owners never seem to?”
Answer? “Haven’t you heard we’ve already had serious talks with Jose Reyes, and Albert Pujols?”
For some people looking to get in on the Marlins early, that could be all they need. If the Marlins just get Jose Reyes, I would bet that the #1 jersey sold for the holidays is a brand new Miami Marlins, Jose Reyes jersey.
Secondly, and this is for the people who do believe Miami is a great fit for Reyes. (I happen to be one of them, thought I will patiently await this whole situation to unfold.)
A logical person would acknowledge that Citi Field was built with the idea that Reyes would benefit from it? Right? So isn’t it strange that when Reyes becomes a free agent, suddenly the Mets are lowering fences and bringing them in?
Also, take a look at these dimensions:
SunLife Stadium (Marlins old park)
LF Line: 330 feet
LF/CF: 361 feet
CF: 404 feet
RF/CF: 361 feet
RF Line: 345 feet
LF Line: 335 feet
LF/CF: 384 feet
CF: 408 feet
RF/CF: 415 feet
RF Line: 330 feet
Miami Ballpark: (new stadium)
LF Line: 340 feet
LF/CF: 384 feet
CF: 416 feet
RF/CF: 392 feet
RF Line: 335 feet
Now, when I see the new ballpark dimensions and I look at Citi Field, I see a lot of similarities. Specifically similarities that would suggest a player who relies on speed and hitting in the gaps would thrive in that park.
In October I suggested the Marlins would be a great fit for Reyes, and we had a very nice reader who was a Marlins fan say he would believe it when he saw it. Many Marlins fans don’t believe Loria has their best interest at hand based on his past, and I don’t blame them.
However, with regards to Reyes here is what I see:
New branding for a team, New highly popular Manager, Great local atmosphere for a young Latin American player, warm climate which should help a player with a history of leg problems coming from colder weather, retractable roof stadium, new ballpark with dimensions very similar to ones he has thrived in.
Everything fits for Jose Reyes to become the new face of the Miami Marlins alongside Hanley Ramirez. I believe this was not a mistake to be honest. I may get crushed for this, but I believe Reyes intended from day 1 to hit the open market and I don’t blame him at all for doing so.
I also believe that is why Alderson saw no point in making an offer, just like the Brewers and Prince Fielder. They knew he wanted to hit the market, so rather than set the market for their own player, they allowed the Marlins to do that. I find it hard to believe that if Alderson actually made an official offer to Reyes after the World Series that Reyes wouldn’t have said “I’ll get back to you,” and not fly out to Miami for a meeting.
I do think there is more to this story. I think it’s possible some team comes in and outbids the Marlins forcing Reyes to make a decision, but one thing is for certain in my opinion.
Whether we as fans like it or not. Miami is a better fit for Jose Reyes than Queens, and even if the money was the same, I wouldn’t blame Reyes if he chose to take his talents to South Beach.
Here’s hoping he doesn’t run a 1 hour special on ESPN to make his decision public.