Marlins Show They Are Serious, Sign Jose Reyes To Six-Year Deal Worth More Than $100M
The Marlins and SS Jose Reyes "agreed to terms on a six-year deal that will reportedly pay him $102 million, the largest contract the Marlins have ever given to a player," according to Clark Spencer of the MIAMI HERALD. The Mets were reportedly "willing to give Reyes no more than [a] five-year deal worth $75 to $80 million" (MIAMI HERALD, 12/5). The Reyes signing comes after the Marlins last week signed P Heath Bell to a three-year, $27M contract, and the WALL STREET JOURNAL's Brian Costa notes it appears the Marlins, who have "long been among baseball's thriftiest teams, have the cash to back up their recruiting efforts" this offseason. Marlins President David Samson said last week, "Clearly, with the new ballpark opening in 2012, we have an opportunity to capture more revenue, and we're putting that directly into payroll. We're able to talk to players that in the past we wouldn't have an opportunity to speak with." But Costa notes for the Mets, losing Reyes "represents a dramatic role reversal" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/5). MLB Network’s John Hart said the Marlins are "projecting their revenue." Hart: "It’s going to be interesting for fans to come out and get their arms around it. There’s going to be a lot more people coming in, corporate sales, there’s going to be merchandising sales, signage, all of that is going to be revenue that they’re projecting. And what they’re doing, they’re taking that revenue and they’re going to put this into players.” MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds said, “To have a dome stadium, all of a sudden now you can plan the game will be played, and you can sell that. … They’re not all coming from Miami, people are driving from all over Florida to come to a ball game and if you plan it you’re saying, ‘We don’t know if it’s going to rain or not,’ why are you going? … The game will be played and that’s important” (“Hot Stove,” MLB Network, 12/2).
THE LOST BOYS: In New Jersey, Bob Klapisch writes the loss of Reyes "is an indictment of [Mets Owners] the Wilpons' collapsing empire." Klapisch: "Is there any remaining doubt the Wilpons are too broke to operate a major-market team?" (Bergen RECORD, 12/5). ESPN N.Y.'s Rob Parker writes the Mets' "below-market offer of $90 million for six years wasn't going to get it done and fell way short." The Mets can "act surprised when they see Reyes holding up that Marlins jersey at a news conference." They can "try to convince Mets fans that they did their best to hold onto what many thought would be a piece of their winning puzzle for a long time." But "none of it is true." The Mets "now need a new plan." If management "was serious about trying to build a team to win another championship, it should have started the process by dealing Reyes." Parker: "Instead, they lost him. Just terrible. Just the Mets" (ESPNNY.com, 12/5). The N.Y. Post's Bart Hubbuch wrote on his Twitter feed, "I covered a Marlins game in '09 where we literally counted 326 people in the stands. For Mets to be outbid by that team is beyond absurd."