Less than a week after reaching out to Reyes with a phone call at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 3, a minute after clubs were able to contact free agents, the Marlins gave him a tour of their spanking new stadium and a fancy lunch, as was reported on mlb.com.
Besides a new ballpark, the Marlins will also have a new manager in Ozzie Guillen, and are looking to make a splash by landing one of the marquis free agents. Hanley Ramirez said he’s be willing to move from short to third base if the Marlins signed his buddy, Reyes. Northjersey.com reported that Miami was planning to nearly double its $50 million payroll.
“We wanted him to see the ballpark. And see the ballpark, he did," Marlins president David Samson said on a local radio show. "I would certainly count [Reyes] among our priorities. But we have a priority that includes pitching and position players.’’
There was no comment on the meeting from the Reyes camp. Samson didn’t mention whether or not the team had made an offer.
The Mets have not made Reyes an offer, even though general manager Sandy Alderson told fans during a late-season game telecast that October would be “Jose Reyes month.”
And, while the Mets have said they would like to resign their popular — though injury-prone — star and Reyes has said he’d like to return, Alderson seems content to let other teams begin the bidding.
“I think this is going to be a slow process,” Alderson said on mlb.com. “I’d be surprised if it weren’t.”
—JOE GREENE, NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM