PAT LONGOBARDI — Sports Writer
The winter meetings kicked off last week when the television flashed that there was a report shortstop Jose Reyes agreed to a contract with the suddenly styling-and-profiling Miami Marlins.
We all knew the time would come when the Reyes sweepstakes would begin, but no one expected it would come this quickly. It also did not go the way a New York Mets fan would have wanted it to go.
Reyes was a player that was considered a possession because he played nine seasons with the Mets.
The Mets can and will survive this loss, though. It is just another part of the mess the team is going through that general manager Sandy Alderson is trying to clean up.
Everybody knows the Mets are supposedly hurting financially and were projected to offer Reyes lower than what he received. Whether the Mets made an offer remains to be seen, but it was likely nowhere near Reyes’ desired range.
Let this Reyes deal (six years, $106 million) and even the Albert Pujols deal be a lesson that if a player is willing to leave somewhere they are loved and respected for more money, then they are not worth it and need to move on. The Mets and the Cardinals had plans made on how they would attack their free agents, and both wound up without their ticket sellers.
If Reyes wanted to stay in New York, he would have been willing to bargain with the Mets for a contract close to where both sides can meet halfway.
Reyes cannot be blamed for leaving. Especially when considering this was also his opportunity to leave a team that nobody really knows when their reputation can be restored to a winning product.
One would understand that New York became lenient and understanding with Reyes after his injuries time after time. Miami will want him to help produce a winner with his performance from this past season where he won the National League batting title.
It is a shame that his last game in a Mets uniform has to be leaving the game after a bunt single in the bottom of the first inning on the final day of the season. His personality and play on the field was so much more than what he showed on that day.
Whether the Marlins will be a good team remains to be seen, especially in the NL East. The Marlins surely helped themselves at the winter meetings but can this turn into success?
Maybe the Mets do not look at this as a loss, since more money can be used now. The Mets know the loss of Reyes will take time to get over. They just have to look at this as part of a long process that they cannot get rid of. Alderson will continue to make decisions best for the team and its fans, so hopefully it can turn into a winning product again.