By: Stache Staff

How Jose Reyes Took His Talents to South Beach

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A new trend is happening in sports. Athletes are spurning New York and taking their talents to South Beach. This time it is different. This time the city of New York has lost one of it’s own.

Buster Olney reported tonight that Jose Reyes has agreed to terms with the Miami Marlins tonight. The contract is for 6 years and $106 million. There is a team option for a 7th year at $22 million. If the option is not picked up then the Marlins will pay Jose Reyes $5 million at the end of his 6th season to part ways.

If you’re keeping up, Jose Reyes contract is either for 6 years and $111 million or 7 years and $128 million.

Part of me wants to be angry, upset, bashing Jose for leaving the city. But why should I be? It’s not like I didn’t know this was coming. If you follow the Mets as closely as I do, you knew Jose was going to bolt town a year ago. Not that he necessarily wanted to, but because the Mets were not going to give in to his salary demands.

If there is someone to be upset with here, it is the New York Mets organization. How could you let this happen? How could you let the best player you’ve had since Mike Piazza leave town without even a contract offer?

That’s the kicker here folks, the Mets never even offered Jose Reyes a contract. He never even had a shot to come back. Sandy Alderson spoke with Jose’s agents to get a ball park figure of his salary demands.

What I have heard is that if the Mets were to make Reyes an offer it was going to be somewhere in the ballpark of 5 years and $85 million. The Mets were considering throwing in a club option for a 6th year that would total somewhere around $100 million. The problem is the Mets were so worried about Reyes’s hamstring injuries that they felt 5 years was a stretch.

The Marlins are looking at Jose Reyes as a piece to the puzzle. The big piece for the Marlins is luring Albert Pujols out of St. Louis and to South Beach. I myself cannot see that happening, but if the Marlins offer the most money, then why not? Puljols has been to the World Series three times with the Cardinals and won two championships. At this point it will most likely be more about money then championships.

The Marlins had to lure Jose in first for someone like Pujols to even consider the Marlins and take their championship intentions seriously. The Marlins ignored Jose’s injury history and completely outbid, which to this point seems like themselves.

Who was in the market for Jose?

All off-season we have heard numerous teams linked to being interested in Jose. But, who really contacted him? Who made Jose an offer?

There was a report last week that Jose Reyes was spotted in Philadelphia and dining at a luxurious restaurant that the Phillies bring their free agent targets to. As expected when this report leaked Phillies GM Ruben Amaro denied it. If there is something to be said about the Phillies tho, is they are always secretive about their free agent targets and they are always the mystery team that seems to sweep in at the last minute and claim their prize, so maybe Philadelphia did have some interest. Regardless when this report leaked it may have caused the Marlins to panic and increase their offer for Reyes dramatically.

Whether this report was true or false, it didn’t hurt Jose at all.

As I mentioned earlier the Mets never made an official offer. The Marlins initial offer was for $90 million which Reyes declined.

Those are the only offers or stories we have heard publicly about Reyes free agency up to this point.

Why did Reyes sign so soon?

When I broke the news of Reyes bolting to Miami to some of my friends this evening they asked me what his price was and I told them, and they all had the same response.

That’s it?

It appears to me that most of the public thought Reyes was going to get more or could have gotten more if he waited it out longer.

I myself think Reyes got a fair offer, and I think they Marlins may have even overpaid considering he is good for at least one DL stint a season and we know he is not a quick healer. He healed quickest in his contract year.

The reason Jose Reyes signed so soon though is because the Marlins made him his biggest and best offer to date. If Jose waits on this offer, maybe the Marlins really up the contract offers to people like Mark Buehrle or Albert Pujols and they commit and then the Marlins take the offer to Reyes off of the table. Now maybe his best offer left is $90 million. He’s then out $21 million.

That’s a lot of money especially considering Reyes last contract with the Mets was for 4 years and $22.5 million with the Mets. Reyes had to jump on his highest offer quick before teams reconsidered or even lowered offers, and Reyes seen the market dry up right in front of him.

What does this do for the Marlins?

Jose Reyes joining the Marlins does not make them a championship team. At this point it doesn’t even make them a championship contender yet. What it does do is add another nice piece to build around.

The Marlins already have a stud shortstop in Hanley Ramirez. Early word on the street was that Hanley will most likely move to third base or the outfield and he was not thrilled with the idea. Will that be an issue throughout the season? How will Hanley adapt to the new position defensively?

Jose and Hanley are good friends. Hanley Ramirez is the god father to one of Jose Reyes daughters. Their relationship is similar to the Jeter/A-rod situation in New York years ago.

What kind of attitude will Jose have? He’ll have his smile and his handshakes and he can motivate the team, but there is also another side to Jose. A childish side, a selfish side. When I say selfish I am not talking about bunting to win a batting title and finish your Mets career. I am talking about having a poor attitude when he’s in a slump or things are not going right with the team. With Ozzie Guillen as the manager, personalities may clash.

Right now the Marlins have a lot of talent on paper, but as the Philadelphia Eagles have shown this season in the NFL and the Miami Heat showed last season in the NBA…talent on paper means nothing.

If Pujols does join the Marlins next, it gives them the best offense in the National league, but they still lack pitching. The only thing the Marlins have accomplished so far is stealing one from the Mets.

How this effects Reyes?

Reyes got the big contract he’s always wanted, he’s in a brand new ballpark and he is going to be playing in nicer weather. That is a huge factor on his hamstrings. Reyes also joins a team that has a much better chance of winning next season then then Mets do. I myself cannot knock Jose Reyes for this decision.

How this effects the Mets?

If the Mets were willing to shell out 80 million to Jose Reyes you would think the club has that kind of money to spend on other free agents. I am curious to see what Sandy Alderson does with this money. He has cleared a lot of payroll, and he claims this team is not rebuilding, so how does this team immediately improve without bringing back your best player?

Final Thoughts:

I enjoyed every moment Jose Reyes put on a uniform and took the field for the Mets. We all saw this coming, so I prepared myself for this day months ago so when the news finally broke I wouldn’t feel so hurt.

What bothers me is this…in the last two days the Mets have lost Chris Capuano to the Dodgers on a 2 year $10 million contract and now Jose Reyes to the Marlins.

Last season the Dodgers declared bankrupcy. Major League baseball had to step in and pay their players. The Florida Marlins (now the Miami Marlins) have always been known as a cheap team and they would always trade their star players before they had to pay them too much. The Mets were the team competing for top free agents with the Yankees and the Red Sox.

Now the shoe is on the other foot. The Marlins and the Dodgers miraculously have money and the Mets have re-signed no one. When I see players leave the New York market for teams that have been known to not have money, I feel like I am being slapped in the face. Even if that player is being overpaid.

With the Reyes news now becoming real, New York now has a mid market team. I never thought it would ever get this bad for the Mets. It’s not just bad for the Mets, but it is bad for baseball and the longer this keeps up I have to ask myself, when does the MLB step in?

All we can do right now is believe in the Sandy Alderson regeme. Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow starts a new era for the Mets. When Jose Reyes comes to New York on April 24th for the first time, if I’m in attendance, I’ll be giving Jose a standing ovation. I will then rely on hope that sooner then later, we can make Jose regret his decision of taking his talents to South Beach.

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