So this Jose Reyes thing could soon come to an end. There are reports out of Miami that with the winter meetings about to begin, the Marlins would like Reyes to make a decision soon, perhaps as early as this weekend. The Mets are sitting back, hoping Reyes gives them a chance to match his best offer.
Depending on which report you believe, the Marlins have offered Reyes a five or six year contract ranging from $75-$90 million. It appears the Mets would go to five years and $80 million and not much more money than that. By all accounts the Mets will not guarantee a sixth year under any circumstances.
Given Reyes’s injury history, I don’t like the idea of guaranteeing six years either. But the Mets would be penny wise and dollar foolish if they let Reyes slip away because they don’t want to give him $16 million or so more. That’s because Reyes would be worth far more than that to the team in ticket sales and merchandising, not to mention his value on the field.
I can see the Mets offering Reyes a sixth year option that becomes guaranteed if he meets a games played or plate appearance threshold. This way they protect themselves in case Reyes breaks down, and if he remains healthy and performs well, the Mets would be glad to have him for another year.
I think Mets fans would understand if Reyes got some crazy contract offer and the Mets didn’t match it. But if he signs a reasonable contract and the Mets still won’t match it, there will be hell to pay in the form of fans staying away from Citi Field in droves in 2012 and perhaps beyond.