Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fickle Fan Base Will Hurt Marlins Pursuit Of Jose Reyes

With Wednesday's news that Jose Reyes took in the sights at the Marlin's new complex in Miami, many Mets fans entered panic mode as the idea of losing the all-star shortstop to free agency finally came full circle.  Fans should remember that Reyes, who will undoubtedly take similar tours at other cities across the country, has stated all along that he intends to see what the market has to offer.  Its for that reason that I don't find myself too concerned with the news that the Marlins appear set to offer a three year contract in excess of $20 million annually (source).

While the Marlins are able to offer certain things, such as the nightlife and Latin culture that Reyes likely covets, they will struggle to deliver the type of fan base Jose has become accustomed to.  Despite some empty nights at Citi Field, the Mets still ranked in the top half of MLB when it came to attendance.  The Marlins on the other hand ranked 28th out of 30 teams, averaging more than 11,000 fewer fans than the Mets on a nightly basis (source).  Furthermore, the Marlins fan base doesn't nearly exhibit the passion found in Flushing, where Jose has fed off fan excitement for the better part of a decade.

Jose's free agency tour is just getting started.  He'll be offered more than one contract over the next few weeks and it should incite fear amongst the Flushing faithful.  However, in this case I don't believe the Marlins are a good fit.  They, like the Mets, are a mediocre team which will not aid Reyes if he is looking to land with a contender.  Additionally, the rumored deal the Marlins are set to offer is no where near the term, or financial bracket Jose hopes to command.  Finally, I just don't think the total package will be there for Jose Reyes.  Hes passionate about the the baseball experience.  That experience simply won't be there if he choses to take his talents to South Beach.

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