Jose Reyes is now a Toronto Blue Jay … not even one calendar year after he signed a six year, $106 million contract with the Miami Marlins. Don’t cry for Reyes too much. He made his own bed by going after the largest deal on the table (and pretty much the only deal on the table), while assuming all risks in signing a backloaded deal with a franchise known for its garage sales. And he hasn’t made out too badly. The better situation that Jose knew he was going to might be the one he hasn’t experienced yet. And he’s not going to come out too badly in this. Think about it, he’s going to make the money that only the Marlins were willing to pay him, and now he doesn’t have to play for the Marlins anymore. To me, that’s the best of both worlds.
But there’s a reason that players ask for no-trade clauses. And now we know why the Marlins don’t give any … so they can pull disgraceful crap like this every five to ten years or so. (And make no mistake, this is absolutely disgraceful.) Jose Reyes signs with Miami not thinking that he would have to spend five of those seasons running on the AstroTurf Game Day Grass 3D of Toronto. Now while this isn’t your father’s AstroTurf which probably wrecked the knees of many an explosive athlete (just ask Andre Dawson), playing shortstop on a field which doesn’t have a full dirt infield cutout has to be concerning to him. (Though he might have himself about a million triples there next season.)
Reyes and his agent had to know that signing with the Marlins could (and would) produce this. And I don’t think that it’s going to work out badly for Reyes, making Marlins money while playing for an actual contender. So in a roundabout way, Jose Reyes might, just might be the smartest one in the room (and the luckiest one, since I’m sure not even he thought this abomination would be over after one season … and he’s going to a good place to resume his dancing in). And good for him. If his knees hold up with all the extra defensive time on the turf and not the dirt, Reyes will come out a winner in all this. Met fans will also win from this, as now they can laugh at the Marlins while still wishing Jose well in his baseball career now that he’ll be torturing the Yankees instead of the Mets. Maybe, just maybe, Jose will get a couple of fans back in his corner.
As for the Marlins, it’s one less team the Mets have to worry about. (Three is quite enough.) Maybe they’ll make a World Series run in 2018 before they sell off all of those players. The tragedy is that Bud Selig, who’s doing every favor in the world to keep the Wilpons in ownership, will also let Jeffrey Loria continue to run rampant and leave baseball fans in ruins everywhere he goes. Think about it: the Tampa Bay Rays, an actual baseball organization, might have to leave because nobody goes to see them. But the Marlins won’t go anywhere while ensuring themselves of playing to empty houses for the next five years.
No wonder Jose is smiling. (Just don’t mention those Canadian taxes to him.)