NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 27: Jose Reyes #7 of the New York Mets rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the fifth inning of a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field on September 27, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)2011 Getty Images
High-ranking Marlins executives traveled to New York to make a pitch for Reyes at 12:01 a.m. last Thursday, according to the Herald, which was the exact minute major league teams could begin courting free agent players.
Reyes is a four-time All-Star who, along with Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, will be among the most prized players this off season.
It would be nice to play next to him. He’s an energy guy.
- Hanley Ramirez, Marlins Shortstop
The Marlins' reported tenacity in pursuing Reyes is the first real sign to the league that this infamously frugal franchise will be looking to sign big free agent names before entering their new ballpark in April of 2012.
The Marlins are expected to raise their payroll somewhere to the tune of the $80 to $90 million figures.
Fox Sports senior baseball writer Ken Rosenthal reports that the Marlins are already set to meet with White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle as well as Reyes in South Florida.
Baseball insiders, including Rosenthal, believe if the Marlins do sign Reyes the team's current shortstop, Hanley Ramirez, will have to move over to third base. Ramierz positively addressed this possibility in September.
“It would be nice to play next to him,” Ramirez said. “He’s an energy guy.”
Meanwhile, the Mets are believed to not be aggressively pursing Reyes because they are apparently scared of the hamstring injuries that sidelined him twice last season, according to the New York Daily News, which reports that the team is unwilling to offer a six- or seven-year deal that the 28-year-old will most likely be asking for.
Reyes will likely command in excess of $15 million a year.