The Jose Reyes free-agent tour stopped in Miami yesterday, long
enough to receive a second pitch in less than a week from the Marlins.
The next stop could be Milwaukee.
According to a source, the
All-Star shortstop remains high on the Brewers' wish list -- in the
event first baseman Prince Fielder isn't re-signed -- and may visit team
officials, perhaps as soon as next week, after Major League Baseball
general managers conclude their meetings in Milwaukee.
executive last week put the Nationals and Brewers atop the list of
favorites to sign Reyes, but the Marlins have stormed into serious
contention after yesterday's meeting between team officials and the
shortstop. It included a tour of the Marlins' new ballpark, slated to
open in March.
THE CITI FIELD CHANGES
The Marlins view Reyes as the potential centerpiece to revamping
the team before moving into their 37,000-seat facility in Little Havana,
built on ground previously occupied by the Orange Bowl.
president David Samson said on MLB Network Radio yesterday that his team
wouldn't be afraid to spend money for a player such as Reyes.
we have more resources, so the payroll is going up," Samson said. "But
with that comes the danger: You could spend a lot of money and win fewer
games, and we have seen a lot of teams do that, too."
shortstop Hanley Ramirez likely would shift to third base with Reyes on
board. Ramirez, who is godfather to Reyes' daughter, has made it known
he gladly would switch positions to accommodate Reyes.
brass previously met with Reyes and his agent, Peter Greenberg, last
Thursday in New York -- reportedly some time after midnight. The Mets'
exclusive window to negotiate with Reyes closed at 12:01 a.m. on
Thursday, with no offer extended to the shortstop. The Mets will instead
wait for Reyes to come back with his best offer.
camp has said there could be a quick resolution to the process, it
remains unlikely anything will be finalized before next month's Winter
Meetings in Dallas.
That's because the biggest fish in the
free-agent pool -- Albert Pujols and Fielder -- will likely have to fall
into place before Reyes can receive his best offer.
Brewers may already be convinced they don't have the money to re-sign
Fielder, and could quickly move past their franchise first baseman and
make a substantial offer to Reyes.
The Nationals aren't squeamish
about spending big on free agents, as evidenced by the $126 million they
gave Jayson Werth last offseason, and are thought to be lurking in the
weeds, with Reyes in their sights.