Archive for Hot Stove
With payroll expected to jump to around $80 million, the Marlins are now looking like serious spenders in this year’s off-season. They have been linked to some of the biggest name free agents on the market, and seem intent about signing one, if not more, to their new home in Miami. While this certainly isn’t a bad sign, whether they can turn extra payroll dollars into production on the field remains to be seen. And to do just that, the front office will have to target players who specifically fit this team’s needs. One of which, possibly the most critical of all, is at third base. Below is one of possible free agents the Marlins could realistically sign or promote to fill that void–I’ll continue with more players in ensuing posts–with the benefits and downfalls of each different route.
Jose Reyes-Any discussion of infielders in this year’s free agent class is going to begin, and end, with Jose Reyes. The four time All-Star shortstop, 2011 NL batting champ, and now former New York Met is officially a free agent. If the Marlins are able to sign him, the benefits are obvious. His 6.2 fWAR highlights his outstanding season this year, which was the result of a .337/.384/.493 triple-slash line. Reyes’ speed on the basepath would also be a welcome addition to the top of the lineup. In 2011, he barely missed the 40-steal plateau, finishing with 39. With this in mind, what makes Reyes’ value (6.2 fWAR) even more impressive is the fact he was only able to play in 126 games. Extend his pace out to a full season, and he easily could have finished with an fWAR above 8–if he did, we could easily be talking about Jose Reyes, the 2011 NL MVP.
However, Durability is a legitimate concern with Reyes. His stint on the DL this year was not the first time (it was actually his fifth, for those who are wondering) in his career. The Marlins would have to take the risk that his legs stay healthy, and that he is finally behind his past injury concerns.
Earlier this morning, I wrote that I’d believe the Marlins were for real when they signed their first big-name free agent of the off-season. Later in the day, word spread that Jose Reyes and Marlins management dined at Joe’s Stone Crab. Well, tonight, according to a source with insider knowledge, whom I trust:
Reyes should be happening.
When pressed, the source followed it up with:
Wouldn’t say it’s done yet, but sounding good.
Two hours later, I received this message:
Yeah, they think it’s a lock. F—— crazy.
Of course, until that contract is signed, anything can happen. But, this news is even better than the earlier news and it comes from someone I trust, as opposed to some random guy tweeting things on the internet. I’ll continue to keep you updated, giving you the info as it hits my phone, but for right now, what you see above is what I’ve got. And even though there are no financial details and it can’t technically be considered concrete, it’s certainly something for Marlins fans to be excited about.
AP Photo/Paul J. Bereswill
Depending on whose sources you trust – if you trust any at all, and I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t – Jose Reyes should become a member of your soon-to-be Miami Marlins at some point today. Or maybe he won’t.
So, should you be getting excited or should you be expecting another let down of Manny Ramirez proportions?
Maybe I’m cynical, but if you’re asking me, I’d say my feelings on the Marlins free agency experience fall somewhere in line with this guy’s:
On Friday night at an invitation-only shindig, the team officially will change its name to the Miami Marlins and introduce a new logo and new uniforms. At 11 p.m. on the 11-11-11 event, they will open a team store at the new ballpark to peddle new apparel. Turning a uniform unveiling into a Friday night celebrity bash is so Miami. And just to make sure the occasion is worthy of paparazzi, they are talking up the chances of signing Reyes or Pujols in the preceding days.
But, maybe, hopefully, I’m wrong, and the Marlins make a big splash this offseason, signing a guy like Reyes, Wright or Fielder. (My “sources” tell me there’s a 0% chance they land Pujols.) I just wouldn’t get too giddy about anything until it happens. Once this team proves that it’s willing to do more than just get its name in the headlines, then we can reassess future excitement.