The Miami Marlins wore an old coat that they haven't worn in a while, and it turns out that there was several hundred million dollars in it. Don't you just love it when that happens? Also, the coat was covered in teal sequins.
The Marlins used that money early in free agency, pouncing on the best available shortstop on the market, Jose Reyes. We knew that he had signed for six years and $106 million, but the actual breakdown of the contract comes as a bit of a surprise. From Ken Davidoff:
Breakdown of Reyes contract with #Marlins: $10 mil, $10 mil, $16 mil, $22 mil, $22 mil, $22 mil. $$22 mil option on '18 with $4 mil buyout.
Reyes will be paid something just over Edgar Renteria money for the first two years of the deal before it shoots up into the stratosphere. There are a couple of possible reasons:
- The Marlins, who don't allow no-trade clauses, staggered the money like this to make Reyes less tradeable as he ages, which would be a concession to the Reyes camp.
- The Marlins are expecting revenue to go up as the new stadium ages, possibly because the new home run feature will make people brainless slaves who will tithe to the Church of Loria.
- The Marlins are expecting $22 million in 2017 money to mean something different than it does in 2012.
- The Marlins are going to win the World Series soon, possibly steamrolling the Cubs and/or Indians to get there, and afterwards they're going to trade anyone making more than $8.50 an hour, so they might as well limit the payroll damage in the short-term.
Whatever the reason, it's an interesting strategy, as when Reyes starts to get extraordinarily expensive, players like Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison should start to reach free agency. But seeing as the Marlins are going to sign Albert Pujols, C.J. Wilson, Carlos Beltran, Prince Fielder (to play second), and Ryan Madson for 2012 and beyond, the might need the extra money for this season.