So, over the past 72 hours the Marlins have committed an estimated $315 million over the next nine years. These mega deals are absolutely new to the Marlins' franchise. In fact... here is a quick break down of the Marlins' payroll expenses in recent years:
So what is the ultimate goal here? To fill seats... Since 2004, the year following their last World Series title, the Marlins have been no better than 26th out of 30 teams in annual attendance (source). When you combining that with the fact that they are on the hook for $155 million of the reported $515 million dollar (source) Miami Ballpark, it makes sense that they would stress filling most of those empty seats.
I'm not saying that the Marlins don't have the cash to bring in top tier talent, because quite frankly I have no idea. What I am saying is, it is 100% out of character for the Marlins to spend money in this fashion. I do not believe that they are players for both Reyes and Pujols. In fact, I think they have no real interest in signing Pulojs or Prince Fielder (who they've also been tied to) to anything resembling a $200 million dollar contract. Therefore, Jose Reyes appears to be the prime target. Whether their intentions are genuine remain to be seen, but the Marlins are not adept at this type of negotiation and if nothing else that leaves the Mets with a window of opportunity.
I'm not resigned to Jose Reyes signing elsewhere..at least not yet. I'm not convinced the Marlins are real players in this market. They just don't have the history. That could change, but after some brief panic...I think the Jose Reyes negotiations are far from over.
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