Jose Reyes is taking his talents to South Beach.
The superstar shortstop, who finally shook off chronic injuries and won a batting title with the Mets last season, has reportedly signed a six-year, $106 million contract with the Miami Marlins. The deal includes an option that could bring the package to $120 million, according to The Associated Press.
The Marlins, who have dropped "Florida" as their geographic designation and are moving into a brand new, $515 million stadium under new manager Ozzie Guillen, are proving they won't be outbid for free agent talent. The Reyes signing comes on the heels of a three-year, $27 million contract to former Padres closer Heath Bell. They have even vowed to be players in the sweepstakes for the season's biggest free agent prize, Albert Pujols.
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The Mets, on the other hand, appear to be going in the opposite direction. General Manager Sandy Alderson all but admitted the Marlins' offer was too much for the team to match.
“If the numbers are what are speculated and Jose does leave us, I don’t think people will be surprised that under those circumstances he went elsewhere. It doesn’t mean they’ll be happy about it,” said Alderson, who spoke with Reyes’ agents earlier in the day. “There was an indication to me that things were moving. Exactly how far. I didn’t ask. I didn’t need to.”
Reyes, who signed with the organization 12 years ago when he was just 16, hit .337 last season with 39 stolen bases. He's an electrifying player, but has been injury prone throughout his career. The Marlins already have a superstar shortstop in Hanley Ramirez, but speculation is that he will shift to third base.