Because the fan reaction has been so loud and Reyes’s play has been beyond superlative, the Mets shortstop is making the lives of the front office very difficult in a good way—for now.
In the near future, it’s an issue that has to be handled; in the not-so-distant future of the winter, it’s a big problem and potential public relations disaster for a club that doesn’t need more ridicule.
Sandy Alderson is going to talk with Reyes’s people in the coming weeks about the parameters of a contract extension.
Speculation is fruitless.
The dollar value; years; whether the Mets are going to seriously explore trade options if they can’t sign him; or don’t think the team will have the money to pay him—all are byproducts of the landscape surrounding the Mets.
They’re not dealbreakers in any context.
The Mets have played far better than anyone could have expected partially due to league-wide parity and with a large amount of credit due to manager Terry Collins. But everything must be on the table regarding Reyes.
So here’s an idea: a long, long, long term contract with a dollar value that would satisfy Reyes’s financial desires and keep the team finances in order until the ownership issues are settled.
The Rockies don’t have a ton of money to work with—their 2011 payroll is $82 million—but they sign their players to longer term deals than the norm to keep them. They’ve done so with Todd Helton, Carlos Gonzalez and Tulowitzki.
Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t.
But they keep their recognizable stars.
The Tulowitzki deal was criticized—by me as well—because he was already signed to a team-friendly contract through 2014; they chose to keep that current contract in place and extend the extension through 2020 with a 2021 club option.
It’s value comes to $157.75 million for 10 years.
Would that type of offer satisfy Reyes? Give him the chance to spend his entire career with the Mets, keep his home, his children in school and be a Met for life?
The discussion has centered around Reyes wanting to match Carl Crawford‘s contract with the Red Sox of 7-years, $142 million. It’s been done so in embarrassing fashion because of the New Yorker article profiling owner Fred Wilpon. This has never been said by Reyes or his people—at least publicly.
A Tulowitzki-type deal would extend a lifeline to the Mets in keeping Reyes, placate the fans and send a signal that the club isn’t looking to slash payroll to minimalist proportions.
It would be reasonable for all sides and it should be examined closely.