Jose Reyes and his agent were on the phone with the Mets as late as yesterday morning, giving them a last shot to reel him back. It was clear, though, that the advances made by the soon-to-be Miami Marlins were more than the Mets would match, and by last night, Reyes's destination was certain. Reyes will join the Marlins on a six-year, $106 million contract with an optional seventh year — more years and dollars than the Mets were reportedly willing to grant their shortstop of nine years. It was only a matter of time, really. The Marlins' dogged pursuit and the Mets' self-imposed ceiling were evident from the beginning, so it seems as if Reyes and his agent delayed mostly to push Miami to their limit. And, indeed, the Marlins went well beyond the six-year $90 million deal Reyes rejected earlier in the off-season. Nicely agented.
Reyes joins a Miami team that's going balls-out for the available talent. They added Reyes despite already employing Hanley Ramirez at his position (ESPN has word that Ramirez has agreed to move to third base), and will now look to bolster their lineup even further. After Reyes, Miami is expected to go hard after Albert Pujols, another one-team veteran willing to follow a princely sum out of town.
While the Marlins look for other teams to plunder, the Mets are left to say things like this:
"I really don’t think Madoff has that much to do with this," Alderson said.
That's Sandy Alderson defending a decision that — Madoff or not — will allow the Mets room to add pitchers, but likely leave them with a smaller payroll than last year's. New York is expected to move the precocious Ruben Tejada to Reyes's vacated position, while Daniel Murphy will probably slide over to play second base.
Farewell, Jose. It was an exciting nine years.