When SI's Jon Heyman noted that he believes the Mets would be willing to issue Jose Reyes a five year deal worth $80 million dollars, there was some seriously diversified buzz amongst Mets fans. There were those who feel the Mets should hesitate to extend such a long deal to the oft injured shortstop. Conversely, there were others who panicked that this, more preferred offer, will never be enough to retain former all-star. Finally, there were those of us, myself included, who think these numbers lineup just right.
Regardless of the fact that the Marlins have reportedly offered a six year deal worth as much $90 million, the Mets must offer a contract that is both fair to Reyes and something the organization can stomach for the duration of the deal. Heyman once again reported that the Mets will not guarantee a deal for a day longer than five years..and they shouldn't. A five year deal provides Jose with the long term security he seeks, without grossly over-extending the team. The front office, which originally stated it would prefer a four year deal, acknowledges that Reyes will command a longer commitment, but isn't willing to mortgage the future for the sake of retaining one player, which I'm okay with.
The other thing to recognize here is what Jon Heyman didn't say. The Mets may not be willing to extend the guaranteed length of the deal, but nothing was said about the value. While the total value of the Marlins offer exceeds that of the potential deal Heyman suggests, the Mets have the slight edge on an annual basis. Futhermore, the Mets could sweeten the pot in one of two ways. Increasing the total amount of guaranteed money, or adding option years at the end of the contract. Either option not only allows the Mets to better counter the Marlins, but will allow the deal to reach the nine figure range Reyes desires.
All things considered, I don't expect an offer of five years and only $80 million to get it done, but I think its a fair start. This Mets' front office may bend on their plan for the future, but they won't break. No matter what offers Reyes collects from other suitors, the Mets are going to offer what they feel to be a fair deal for everyone involved. If that doesn't get it done, so be it...
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