By Taryn “the Coop” Cooper
Money talks, bullshit walks.
That’s the name of the game, especially in baseball.
Look at Alex Rodriguez. Remember prior to the 2001 season, he signed a gargantuan contract with the Texas Rangers, usurping essentially 75% of their payroll that prohibited the team from building around him. He left a successful career and as a hero in Seattle, where he’d played for several years, and by most accounts had a good relationship with his fans. I have it on pretty good authority from folks in the known in Seattle that had he stayed there, they probably would have named a street after him, he’d be a folk hero there. But no…
Money talked. Bullshit (in this case, A-Rod) walked from Seattle.
Under the category of less successful long-term contracts, take a look at Barry Zito. He signed a seven-year contract with the San Francisco Giants, with reports suggesting he wanted to stay “close to home” (the Bay Area in California). However, the Mets were also a team that were in the mix for Zito. When Omar Minaya, who overspent to keep the likes of Luis Castillo on the team, said that a seven-year contract and $18mm per year was not money well-spent in New York for a pitcher of Barry Zito’s caliber. Turns out, the move not made was the best one in Minaya’s case, as Zito’s contract would have been another noose that would have tarnished his legacy here in New York.
Is there such a thing as being “too much” for a large market team though?
This seems to be a recurring question when it comes to Jose Reyes and the New York Mets.
Reyes isn’t an “Alderson guy.”
Sandy Alderson will pay the man, but won’t give him the years.
That’s preposterous! No one would say that seven years is too much for Jose Reyes!
Even if Alderson doesn’t pay him, someone else will.
Don’t trade Reyes!
Pay the Man!
These are all valid arguments and great rallying cries. Steve Keane even begs the question today about how much is TOO much for Jose Reyes.
But what if, and this is a big WHAT IF…What if Jose Reyes doesn’t want to stay? What if years is the problem, and not money?
The answers mostly point to…of course he wants to stay! New York is the only place he’s ever played. He’s moved the majority of his family from the Dominican Republic to live in New York. He’s raising a family here.
But as the first line of this post suggests…money talks and…well, you get the drift.
I would be devastated if Jose Reyes were not a Met in 2012. I’d be heartbroken if he was traded, as I suggested a few days that when he goes, it’s saying that the Mets aren’t going to be very good for several years, that they will be in full rebuild mode.
But there are three things that Reyes (or most importantly, his agent) is eerily silent on: the number of years he wants, the amount of money he wants, and whether he wants to stay in New York.
There might be a better chance that Reyes stays in New York, provided the Mets front office gives him a fair deal. No one has ever said outright, “Reyes will ONLY go for Carl Crawford money,” which is mostly media speculation and crying out of bored Mets fans on Twitter.
But what will be the breaking point? What is Jose Reyes, after receiving a more than fair offer from the Mets, decides he does not want to be a Met? Will that impetus be on the Mets for not going the extra mile? Or on Reyes, who may want to be out of the market or be able to get more bang for his buck elsewhere?
I will acknowledge this is all speculative. But all of the he-said, he-said regarding this is all speculative as well. But we’re neglecting half of the equation. The Mets have to come up with a deal on their end, and Jose Reyes needs to accept it.
What if Jose Reyes doesn’t accept? It’s a valid question, and one that many of us are now asking since it would seem silly that the Mets would not want him to stay.