As if the Heath Bell signing wasn't enough, we now have more proof that the Miami Marlins aren't messing around.
According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Marlins have agreed to terms with former New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes on a deal that would pay him $106 million over six years. The deal also includes an option for a seventh year at $22 million.
So just like that, the Marlins have themselves a star shortstop. Hanley Ramirez, the star shortstop the club already has under contract, will have to change positions.
Based on numbers alone, Reyes is a good signing for the Marlins. He's a .292 career hitter and a four-time all-star. Additionally, he is coming off a season in which he won the NL batting crown with a .337 average.
A guy who can do things like these is certainly worth nearly $18 million per year.
The only trouble is that Reyes is exactly the most reliable player under the sun. He has a history of coming down with nagging injuries, and it's worth noting that he hasn't played a full season since 2008. Reyes is great when he plays, but he can't always play.
As such, paying him nearly $18 million per year is a bit excessive. It's even more excessive when you consider that Reyes already has a lot of mileage on his body. He's only 28, but he's been in the big leagues since 2003.
By the time his initial six-year deal is up, Reyes will be 34 years old. If he's injury-prone now, one naturally has to wonder what things are going to be like when Reyes is in his mid-30s.
So why pay Reyes so much money?
Well, a couple reasons. The first and most obvious is that the Marlins are hoping for the best with this deal. If Reyes stays healthy, there's no reason to think he won't be worth it. Talent has never been a question when it comes to Reyes, nor will it be at any point in the near future.
More importantly, the Marlins dished out the big bucks because they truly are trying to usher in a new era. Gone are the teams with slim salaries that played in front of small pockets of fans. The Marlins have a new stadium that is going to be a big draw, so they need to field a team deserving of the attention.
Let's not kid ourselves. You can develop these teams, but it's easier to buy them.
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