MLB Free Agent Contract Prediction: Jose Reyes

NEW YORK, NY - Jose Reyes #7 of the New York Mets lays down a first inning bunt single in his only at bat against the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Where is Jose Reyes going to end up, and how much will he get?

Everyone wants Jose Reyes. If the team already has a shortstop, they'll move them. Or they'll move Reyes. The Rangers have Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus, and Ian Kinsler in their infield. They still want Reyes. They can put someone in center field. Preferably Michael Young, but only because I want them to. Heck, the New York Post thinks even the Yankees can get some of that action.


Everyone wants Jose Reyes. What they're willing to pay him is something that varies. The Rangers would love him for a couple of years and $10 million. But they wouldn't pay him what he's worth because they're set in the infield. Of the teams that really, really want Reyes, one of them will offer more than the other. There will be no-trade clauses, option years, riders that force clubbies to pick out the brown M&Ms … it'll be a big contract. It might be the hardest contract to predict on the free-agent market.

Why teams want him
I'm reminded of the famous Branch Rickey quote: "He's, like, good and stuff." Over the last ten years, he's been one of the best shortstops in baseball. His competition on the free-agent market is Jimmy Rollins and Rafael Furcal. After that, there are some scary names. Ronny Cedeno. Yuniesky Betancourt. Clint Barmes. Names you can talk yourself into if you're really desperate.

Why teams might be scared of him
He could get over $100 million and his hamstrings are made from the same material that kept G.I. Joe legs attached to G.I. Joe hips, and if he's left out in the sun too long, things could get ugly. And while he was a force when he was in the lineup last year, cherry-pickers might pick up on the fact that he's been merely okay in three out of the last five seasons, with an OPS+ barely over 100. That's great for a shortstop -- not as great for a player that's taking up 15 or 20% of your team's budget.

Potential to jaysonwerth
The O.E.D. defines "jaysonwerth" as a verb meaning "to surprise the baseball community with their new contract." When Jayson Werth signed a seven-year deal, you were right to go to the fridge, get something to drink, and take a swig just so you could spit it back out in surprise that Werth got that contract.

The potential here is high. The other shortstops are flawed. There are teams on the market with money and a need. All it takes are two teams to get in a game of chicken, and suddenly Reyes could own a state. The whole thing. And not one of those flat ones with the farms, either -- we're talking a state with big buildings and such.

Prediction
Six years, $112 million

Team
Nationals. They're starting to get pushy, and it seems like they have money to spend. Ian Desmond becomes bait for a pitcher in this scenario, and Mets fans get really, really annoyed.

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