I have no problem with Jose Reyes taking the money and running. There are fewer and fewer players who’ll play their entire careers with one organization. Cal Ripken did it. Derek Jeter will do it. I thought Albert Pujols would do it, but I’m not so sure anymore.
I can’t even guess the odds on David Wright doing it now.
I never figured Reyes would be one of those players. Early in his career he begged the Mets to give him a long term deal. They did it, to him and Wright, when they didn’t have to. It was a good business decision then, but at the time Reyes was saying how he desperately needed the money for his family. It was a sign he didn’t manage his funds well, and would eventually go for the bucks.
No problem, because that’s the way of the sports world.
There are some interesting things to come out of Reyes signing with the Marlins. While the Mets never gave a formal offer their early conversations with Reyes included a base with incentives – games and plate appearances – that could have pushed it over his magic figure of $100 million. The Marlins’ money is guaranteed, so if Reyes blows out a hamstring and ends up playing 50 games a year for the Miami he’ll still get paid.
Knowing Reyes’ injury history the past three years, the Mets were right to be cautious. So, too, was Reyes. He knows he’s not durable, so it was a no brainer for him to take the guaranteed money.
The Mets’ stance of letting the market form and reacting to it was a calculated gamble, and might have worked had Miami not bid against itself. Reyes was one of the three premier free agents, but why did he go so fast? And, why was nobody else in the game?
Where was Detroit? San Francisco? Boston? The Angels? Milwaukee? All were teams supposedly with an interest, but didn’t come knocking. Their thinking was the same as the Mets, which was to let the market form and perhaps they could scoop him up at a discount.
Nobody wanted to set the bar for Reyes and his hamstrings. Nobody, but Miami.
The Marlins were the clear aggressors, but took a risk. Initial reports had the Marlins around $90 million, but they blinked and bid against themselves. And Reyes’ camp, perhaps sensing a lack of suitors, didn’t let the market develop at the Winter Meetings and grabbed the deal.
There is a lot to be said for a bird in the hand.
Perhaps Reyes didn’t think he’d get a better deal elsewhere, and knew he wouldn’t get anything close to the Marlins’ price from the Mets.
Nope, I don’t blame him for taking the money and running, especially on those tender hamstrings.