According to published reports coming out of the Winter Meetings in Dallas, the Miami Marlins have supposedly offered New York Mets free agent Jose Reyes a six-year, $111 million contract the Mets are unprepared to match.
The deal has been agreed pending a physical, and beat writers on the scene expect the move to become finalized "within 24 hours."
Baseball's annual offseason gathering had not even officially begun Sunday night when the first inevitability of the offseason hit Mets fans—that their shortstop would almost certainly be playing somewhere other than Citi Field in 2012.
A report by Enrigue Rojas of ESPN Deportes Los Angeles at 6.42 p.m. EST said the Marlins were prepared to give Reyes six years and $106 million, a $5 million incentive and an option for a seventh year at $22 million.
New York Post writer Joel Sherman followed by tweeting the Mets were willing to make the sixth year for Reyes a but were steadfast not willing to go to six guaranteed years, with Lennon saying the Mets knew a five-year, $90 million incentive-laden deal would not be enough. vesting option
Around 30 minutes later, ESPN's Adam Rubin reported GM Sandy Alderson as saying that if the Marlins' offer was legit, the Mets were out of the running.
A few minutes before 10 p.m., ESPN's Buster Olney said the deal was official pending a physical, with Adam Rubin reporting that Sandy Alderson acknowledged the team losing $70 million "played a factor in shaping Reyes bidding tolerance."
The good news to come out of the meeting for Mets fans? David Wright is going nowhere. It's a silver lining to the move that most fans thought was an inevitability anyway but quietly hoped would never come to fruition.
In the space of a little over three hours, the Mets' worst-case scenario presented itself and became a reality. A move to a division rival with cash to play with is never something you relish, but I can sleep a little better knowing at least it's not the Phillies.
We'll miss you, Jose, but for your sake I hope those legs hold up. By 2013, that new ballpark you'll be hobbling around will be quieter than Citi Field in September. The handful of Marlins fans who cheered you on Opening Day will be cursing your name as the foolish investment that set their new-look team back for half a decade.