Jose Reyes Rumors
Here's the latest from the NL East...
- Jose Reyes told reporters (including WFUV's Amit Badlani) that he signed with the Marlins because of the team's potential to contend, not just because of the money, as recently stated by Marlins president David Samson.
- Chase Utley's chronic right knee tendinitis "is not going away. More than likely, it might never go away," says Phillies manager Charlie Manuel told reporters, including CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury. Utley has yet to play during Spring Training and the Phillies are known to be looking for infield depth for not only Utley, but also Ryan Howard and Placido Polanco. Prospect Freddy Galvis has seen a lot of time at second this spring, and Manuel thinks he could potentially handle the position should Utley miss significant time during the season.
- Braves right-hander Arodys Vizcaino will visit with Dr. James Andrews on Monday, reports MLB.com's Mark Bowman. Vizcaino has been suffering from ulnar neuritis in his right elbow and could potentially face Tommy John surgery if Andrews feels the ailment is serious enough. Vizcaino is one of Atlanta's several top-tier pitching prospects and was recently ranked as the 40th-best prospect in the sport by Baseball America.
- The Nationals optioned Eury Perez to Double-A today but some front office officials think he could be eventually be their answer in center field, reports Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Adam Jones, B.J. Upton and Gerardo Parra are just a few of the many names that have been connected to Washington's search for a long-term center fielder. The 21-year-old Perez is coming off a .283/.319/.321 season for Class A Potomac in 2011 but he turned a lot of heads with an impressive Spring Training performance.
- For more Nationals news, check out this collection of Nats links from earlier today.
National League East teams averaged 84 wins last year, more than any division in baseball except the AL East. Here are some links from Florida, where NL East teams are preparing for the 2012 campaign...
- Bill Ladson of MLB.com hears from one person who believes the Nationals will trade John Lannan before Opening Day. The Nationals might seek prospects for Lannan, a Spring Training trade candidate.
- Marlins president David Samson recently said Miami's politicians are "not the intellectual cream of the crop," according to the business publication Miami Today. Samson suggested the population of Miami, which partially funded the Marlins' new stadium, is unintelligent. "We're not the smartest people in Miami," he said. His words are causing a stir, but he told the Miami Herald that he was "misquoted, misrepresented, mis-everything." UPDATE: Here's a clip of the comments. To my ear it does appear they were taken out of context.
- Samson also said Jose Reyes was all about the money this offseason, but Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports that Reyes would have considered a deal worth less than $106MM from the Mets and was shocked when New York didn't make him an offer. Reyes would have seriously considered a five-year deal if the Mets had offered one, Martino reports.
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com asked three agents what Cole Hamels would obtain as a free agent after the season and heard guesses in the $150-175MM range. C.C. Sabathia’s seven-year, $161MM deal remains the record for pitchers, but Hamels could challenge it if he hits free agency after 2012.
The Mets lowered payroll by approximately $50MM this offseason, while division rivals such as the Marlins and Nationals moved aggressively to acquire top talent. However, Mets principal owner Fred Wilpon said his club could surprise some people in 2012. The details...
- Wilpon said the team's finances are "OK" and that he intends to own the franchise "for a very long time," Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com writes.
- Wilpon made it clear that he and GM Sandy Alderson have some misgivings about offering long-term deals. “Are we a little leery of six-year, seven-year, eight-year contracts? Yes. Is Sandy leery of it? You bet. I'm big-time leery of it,” Wilpon said, after suggesting the Mets offered Jose Reyes a deal in the $100MM range.
- One person familiar with the Mets' financial situation told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that a lot of things will have to go right for Wilpon and Saul Katz to remain in place as owners.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post explains that David Wright could become a trade candidate this July or after the season if he rebounds in 2012. Sherman draws a comparison between Wright and Ryan Zimmerman, a childhood teammate of Wright's who just signed a long-term deal with the Nationals.
- In a separate piece, Sherman wonders if the Mets would exercise Wright's $16MM option for 2013 if he falters this coming season.
- Sherman says it's unfair of Mets manager Terry Collins to criticize Ruben Tejada for not showing up to camp early.
Here's the latest from South Beach...
- Once Albert Pujols was off the market, the Marlins told Gaby Sanchez and his agent that rumors about Miami pursuing Prince Fielder were false and that the club wasn't looking for another first baseman, reports MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Sanchez said he wasn't offended that the Marlins were pursuing Pujols: "He's proven what he can do for 10 straight years. I still have so much time to go."
- Anibal Sanchez told reporters (including MLB.com's David Villavicencio) says the Marlins haven't approached him about a contract extension but he'd be open to signing such a deal. MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith recently examined Sanchez as an extension candidate.
- Sanchez also didn't mind his recent arbitration hearing with the Marlins, where he won his case and earned an $8MM salary for 2012. "I think everybody thought they were going to say a lot of things that were bad about me. But I didn't think they said anything bad or that I didn't know. It's part of the business," Sanchez said.
- Jose Reyes understands that the Mets didn't have the finances to re-sign him, but he wished his former team would've at least made some kind of offer, reports Dan Martin of the New York Post.
- The Marlins offered Yoenis Cespedes a six-year, $36MM contract, reports Frisaro. The team wanted a six-year deal since they felt Cespedes would need minor league seasoning and didn't want to pay him a large salary if he'd be spending time in the minors. Cespedes instead agreed to sign with the A's for $36MM over four years.
- With Cespedes gone, Frisaro says the Fish aren't expected to add any more players before Spring Training, though they could look for veteran starting pitching later in camp. The Marlins aren't interested in Ivan Rodriguez for the backup catching job.
On this day last year, the Padres traded Brandon Gomes, Adam Russell, Cesar Ramos, and Cole Figueroa to the Rays for Jason Bartlett and a player to be named later (though Tampa would eventually send cash instead). Here's some notes from around the league...
- The Reds have had conversations with Jason Kubel, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (via Twitter). GM Walt Jocketty told Fay (Twitter link) that the club does not have the type of money to sign someone to a Josh Willingham-type deal.
- Even after trading for Mat Latos, Reds GM Walt Jocketty still plans on using Aroldis Chapman as a starter, tweets John Fay of the Cincinnatti Enquirer. Jocketty did leave room for a change of heart, however, noting that things could change later on.
- We should soon find out which team won the bidding for Japanese outfielder Norichika Aoki, tweets Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- ESPN's Keith Law feels that the Rockies overpaid for Michael Cuddyer, who he considers to be a part-time player (ESPN Insider link). In Law's opinion, Colorado is receiving perhaps a one win upgrade over Seth Smith, but paying $7-8MM more than Smith would earn.
- In that same piece, Law says that he likes the Twins' gamble on Josh Willingham better, but notes that he should be a DH rather than an outfielder and that the contract is still a gamble because Willingham showed signs of decline in 2011.
- Willingham told MLB.com's Jane Lee that leaving the Athletics wasn't an easy decision, but GM Billy Beane was honest and up front about the fact that he could probably only offer a one-year deal through arbitration.
- Juan C. Rodriguez of the Miami Sun-Sentinel provides some details on the heavily backloaded contracts that Heath Bell, Jose Reyes, and Mark Buehrle received from the Marlins. Bell's vesting option triggers if he finishes 55 games in 2014, or a combined 100 between 2013-14. He and Buehrle both took signing bonuses deferred withiout interest, and all three have contractual obligations to donate to charity each season.
- Law (via Twitter) prefers Aaron Cunningham to Cory Burns. The Indians acquired Cunningham from the Padres in exchange for Burns yesterday.
Here's the latest from the National League East...
- The Nationals "have had little contact with" Roy Oswalt, a source tells MLB.com's Bill Ladson. We heard last week that Oswalt was the Nats' "plan B" once Mark Buehrle signed with Miami. The Nats didn't bid on Yu Darvish and won't meet Oakland's price for Gio Gonzalez, so the club may stick with its current rotation.
- Ladson believes the Nationals will look for bench help before re-entering the pitching market. To that end, Ladson reports the team is maintaining interest in Mike Cameron, Mark DeRosa and Greg Dobbs. (Both links go to Ladson's Twitter account.)
- The Marlins are interested in Rays right-hander Wade Davis, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post. With Matt Moore, David Price, Jeremy Hellickson as untouchables and the Rays seemingly determined to keep James Shields, Davis and Jeff Niemann are the most likely Rays pitchers to be moved, if the club does indeed try to deal from its pitching surplus. The inter-Florida rivals have already completed one (lower-profile) trade this offseason, involving righty Burke Badenhop.
- The Mets have talked to Ronny Cedeno and Jack Wilson, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). Wilson has been linked to the Mets for a few weeks, but Cedeno is a new name in the mix for the Amazins. The Red Sox and Braves have also had interest in Cedeno this offseason.
- Also from Heyman, the Phillies made Michael Cuddyer an early contract offer worth more than $25MM. The club lost interest in Cuddyer, however, after signing Ty Wigginton and Laynce Nix. Cuddyer agreed to a three-year, $31.5MM deal today with the Rockies.
- Dontrelle Willis sounded confident that he will play alongside his longtime friend Jimmy Rollins with the Phillies next season, reports Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Jose Reyes has yet to speak to Hanley Ramirez since signing with the Marlins, according to The Associated Press. "As soon as I have the opportunity, I'm going to talk to him, because we are very good friends," Reyes said. "We're both here for one reason -- to win the World Series. It doesn't matter where I'm going to play or where he's going to play."
- The Braves will rely on several players aged 24 and under next season, but Fangraphs' Jason Roberts thinks the health of veterans like Chipper Jones and Tim Hudson are bigger concerns for the club.
The Marlins held an introductory press conference for Mark Buehrle today, and here are a few hot stove details from those proceedings and beyond...
- The Marlins have "poked around in the market" to see what interest there would be in Hanley Ramirez, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney. The team claimed Ramirez wouldn't be dealt in the wake of Jose Reyes' signing but even coming off a down year, Ramirez would be a big trade chip.
- Logan Morrison is "drawing more trade interest" than any other Miami player, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Still, it is "highly, highly unlikely" Morrison is sent elsewhere.
- Team president David Samson denied reports that the Marlins offered Albert Pujols a near-record contract, saying the club's offer was worth a bit more than $200MM, tweets Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported yesterday that Miami offered Pujols a ten-year, $275MM deal that could have ultimately been worth $300MM with incentives and because Florida has no state income tax.
- When asked if the club would pursue Prince Fielder, owner Jeffrey Loria replied "Oh, I don't know about that. We'll see," reports Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post. In another tweet, Capozzi hears from a source that the Marlins never had interest in Fielder.
- Juan C. Rodriguez reports the Marlins also aren't interested in free agent starter Edwin Jackson (Twitter link).
- The Marlins are planning to have internal discussions about an extension for Mike Stanton, Capozzi reports (via Twitter). There is no time frame, however, as the club is waiting until "after [the] dust settles" on their busy offseason. Stanton is already under team control through 2016 and doesn't reach arbitration for two more years.
- MLB.com's Anthony DiComo details the incentive clauses and the year-by-year breakdown of Jose Reyes' six-year deal. Reyes will earn $10MM in each of the next two seasons, $16MM in 2014, and then $22MM in each of the final three guaranteed seasons. The Marlins have a $22MM team option on Reyes for 2018 that can be bought out for $4MM.
WEDNESDAY: The Mets have been told they'll receive the Marlins' second-round pick for Reyes, tweets Ken Davidoff of Newsday. For losing Bell, the Padres will get an extra pick right before the Mets' second-round compensation pick (plus a supplemental round pick). I presume the Mets' pick from the Marlins can still be downgraded if the Marlins sign Pujols or Wilson.
MONDAY: The Mets will receive the Marlins' third-round pick as compensation for Jose Reyes, based on an article three days ago from ESPNNewYork's Adam Rubin. The Mets will also receive an earlier, supplemental round pick in the 2012 draft. Reyes agreed to a six-year, $106MM contract with the Marlins last night.
One might think that since the Marlins did not have to surrender a pick to the Padres to sign Heath Bell, the Mets would get the Marlins' second-rounder. However, an MLB official told Rubin that Bell's higher Elias ranking still pushes the Mets' Reyes pick to the Marlins' third-rounder. We'll have to see if Mets GM Sandy Alderson confirms, or even if MLB will make an exception given this strange situation.
At 77.249, Reyes was a lower Type A free agent, and the Mets' pick from the Marlins could be pushed back an additional round if the Marlins also add a higher-ranked Type A such as C.J. Wilson, Prince Fielder, or Albert Pujols.
Anyone still wondering if the Miami Marlins are serious about making a splash this offseason? The Marlins officially signed star shortstop Jose Reyes to a six-year, $106MM deal today. Reyes will receive a heavily backloaded $102MM over six guaranteed years, and has a $4MM buyout on a seventh year option worth $22MM. The backloaded nature of the deal could serve as a no-trade clause, something the deal does not include. Reyes is represented by Peter E. Greenberg & Associates.
As a free agent shortstop in his prime, Reyes was a rarity. The 28-year-old had one of the finest seasons of his nine-year Mets career in 2011, winning his first batting title and posting the fourth season in which he was worth about six wins above replacement. Mets owner Fred Wilpon famously told a reporter in April that Reyes wouldn't get Carl Crawford money, and while Reyes fell one year and $36MM short of that benchmark, he did join Crawford as just baseball's second $100MM player without a 20 home run season on his resume. Reyes' contract was depressed by his injury history, as he hasn't played 135 games in a season since '08. I still like the deal for the Marlins, as Reyes doesn't have to be amazing or play 162 games a year to be worth $17.67MM annually.
The Mets were willing to offer Reyes a five-year deal for $75-85MM with a sixth year option, but felt that they could not push their offer any further, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter). At today's press conference, Reyes suggested the Mets never made an offer. GM Sandy Alderson made the decision not to trade Reyes this summer partly because he hoped to re-sign the team's longtime shortstop. The new collective bargaining agreement did not affect Reyes' status as a Type A free agent, and the Mets will receive the Marlins' third-round pick as well as a supplemental pick in the 2012 draft for their loss (unless the Marlins sign C.J. Wilson or Albert Pujols, among others). It appears that although the Marlins did not give their second-round pick to the Padres for Heath Bell, Bell's higher Elias ranking still pushes the Mets' pick to the third round. In addition to the Mets, the Brewers were expected to be in on the 28-year-old and had planned to meet with his agents this week.
Armed with deeper pockets and the appeal of a brand new ballpark, the Marlins have been aggressive in their courtship of top free agents this winter. They signed closer Heath Bell a few days ago, have an offer out to C.J. Wilson, and remain in the mix for Mark Buehrle and even Albert Pujols.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports broke news of the agreement and the absence of a no-trade clause, ESPN's Jayson Stark added contract deals, Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportesLosAngeles.com first reported the length of the offer, and other details were also provided by Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated and Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Tim Dierkes contributed to this post. Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.
Before the Winter Meetings officially got underway, the Marlins struck the week's first major blow, agreeing to terms with Jose Reyes on a six-year, $106MM contract. Despite the shortstop's injury history, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes likes the signing for Miami, since Reyes "doesn't have to be amazing or play 162 games a year to be worth $17.67MM annually." Here's a round-up of a few more instant reactions to the deal:
- While the Marlins took a risk committing over $100MM to Reyes, he has the potential to turn into a genuine bargain, writes Dave Cameron of Fangraphs.
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan thinks the contract matches up favorably to Carl Crawford's deal, although "the idea of budget-conscious Mets and free-spending Marlins takes a minute to process."
- ESPN.com's Keith Law (Insider link) views the contract as a big risk for Miami, arguing that, given Reyes' injury history, it seems "wildly optimistic" to assume he'll still be a viable shortstop by the end of the deal.
- In another Insider piece, ESPN's Jim Bowden writes that Reyes provides the Marlins with a "much-needed dose of star power." Whereas Law saw the Mets as major winners in the process for avoiding a long-term risk, Bowden considers them the big loser in the deal.
- The Mets have to rebuild their credibility along with their roster after losing Reyes, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
- The Mets are justified in letting Reyes go, but their approach made it look like they intended to finish second in the bidding, writes John Harper of the New York Daily News.
- Adam Rubin of ESPN New York assigns the blame for Reyes' departure from New York on the Wilpons and Bernie Madoff, among others, rather than the player or GM.
- When Reyes and Hanley Ramirez are both healthy and productive, they'll be perfect fits for the style of play preferred by new manager Ozzie Guillen, says Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider link).
- Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog respects GM Sandy Alderson's approach on Reyes, but is disappointed to see the Mets star snapped up by a division rival.
- Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer takes a look at what Reyes' signing means for the new top shortstop on the market, Jimmy Rollins.