Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes is not reporting that the Miami Marlins have increased their contract offer to Jose Reyes to a guaranteed 6 years worth a minimum of $111 million. The deal can break out one of two ways:
1) Six years at $106 million with a $5 million dollar buy out ($18.5 million annual average)
2) 6 years at $106 million and a $22 million dollar option for the 7th year ($18.28 million annual average)
This could really be the beginning of the end. With the winter meetings set to start this week, it was likely that the Jose Reyes negotiations would get heated up. However, the Marlins instead have chosen to essentially bid against themselves by increasing their offer to Jose prior to any other team making a contract offer.
My gut tells me that the Mets would likely match an $18.5 million dollar average salary for their all-star speedster, but I don't foresee Sandy Alderson offering more than five years guaranteed.
This doesn't necessarily mean that Reyes' departure is a formality. As I wrote yesterday, the Marlins appear unlikely to include a no-trade clause in any deal this offseason, as it is a long time franchise policy. This could be a stumbling block, as Reyes has said in the past that he only wants to play in either New York City, Miami or Los Angeles.
This is a developing story. As such, we'll bring you more when we have it...