The free agent market this year might not have a TON of depth to it but the top 3 players are very strong. When you look at guys like Pujols, Fielder and Reyes being available to the open market there’s potential for a team to make huge strides with a single stroke of the pen.
This is not only exciting to general managers across baseball but also to the fans that support their teams with such a high level of passion. The first domino has dropped as Reyes appears to be taking his talents to south beach just as Lebron James did. For Lebron there was a lot of appeal going down there. The chance to play with guys like Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh would tempt any NBA player. But what about Reyes? What made him make such a quick decision?
I’d like to start off by saying that the decisions was rushed. It’s not even November 10th and Reyes is finalizing the biggest and most important contract of his entire life. There are generally 3 stages of a players career if they are of super star status. You go from being an up and coming star at the beginning of your career earning less money then you feel you should in most cast cases. This is your chance to work hard and prove to teams everywhere that you belong and that you can be a force in this league for a long time. Then you have the big contract time. The prime of your career where you want to get paid for all the work you’ve put into this game. All the batting practice and all the ground balls are finally going to land you a big contract. This is often your longest contract as well. Then you slowly start to fade into your mid 30’s and things quiet down a bit. If you’re a good player then you will still get a deal somewhere but it’s not going to be as lucrative or as long. You’ll often see players bouncing around from team to team as they end their careers.
Was it the money that lead Jose Reyes to the Miami Marlins? Was it that he believed they were a contender and that he had a legit chance of winning a championship with them? Was it Ozzie?
The Marlins are far from a “big market” club as they have a bottom 10 payroll in the league currently sitting 24th as of last season. Yes they gave Reyes a great contract with the money that he was looking for but what does this mean for the franchise? Between Hanley and Jose the Marlins are spending roughly 26 million dollars a season. The team currently has a payroll of 56 million dollars. Is that concerning to anyone else? The fact that 2 players out of 25 make up half the teams payroll?
They will have to fill out the roster with low budget players who are making roughly 1-2 million each. Last year their average salary was 2.1 million dollars and that was without Jose Reyes. On top of that Josh Johnson the teams ace is set to earn over 7 million dollars this season as well. They will have to increase payroll slightly but I can’t seem them doing anything extreme.
The Marlins are a team with a VERY shaky fan base. They haven’t been competitive in the division in quite some time. Will the move to Miami really make that much of a difference? Will a new stadium suddenly revive a fan base? Or will the addition of Jose Reyes really be able to take the Marlins to the next level?
All I’m trying to say is that Jose Reyes rushed this decision for reasons that I’m not sure of at this moment. He will be in Florida for quite some time going forward and baseball of all sports is the one I’d least like to be on a losing team. 162 games will grind you up if your team is in the seller and out of the race by June 30th. That’s a lot of meaningless games as you head down the stretch.
If I were Reyes I would have gone to a weaker division, one where I could have been more competitive. Maybe the N.L West? That’s a wide open division where one team isn’t likely to dominate next year. The Giants will be decent as will the D-backs and Rockies. There’s no clear cut favorite there.
However in the N.L East there’s NO WAY the Marlins make the playoffs playing in that division. I will guarantee that right now. The Phillies are still too good and the Braves and Nationals are also improving as well. If the Nationals can sign Prince then they are leaps and bounds better then the Marlins. I don’t see the Marlins finishing any better then 3rd next year and I’m not sure they can be better then anyone but the Mets.
Reyes might have signed up for several more years of basement of the division finishes. Unless it doesn’t bother him. Maybe he took location and the new stadium into consideration. I would just imagine that a guy with his skill set would like to showcase his abilities on the big stage that’s all.
By: Bob McVinua