If you believed all the rumors flying around Friday afternoon, the Miami Marlins were supposedly making one final push for Jose Reyes and getting ready to offer him an ultimatum. "Sign now, or we're out." They theoretically wanted to get him to sign on the dotted line before the Winter Meetings started up in earnest Monday morning.
Obviously, that didn't happen. Reyes is still on the market, and it appears that the Marlins never actually offered him an ultimatum. They will simply have to wait for him to make his decision during the Winter Meetings.
It's understandable that the Marlins would have wanted Reyes to sign before the Winter Meetings -- more teams will likely enter the bidding during the Meetings and Reyes' price will only escalate -- but they never had the leverage to force Reyes into making a decision early. Sure, they could tell Reyes that they would retract their offer if he didn't sign by Friday, but does anyone actually believe they would do so? That's an easy bluff to call.
This sequence of events does raise some interesting questions about the Marlins' front office, as they appear to be getting impatient with the offseason procress. In contrast to the Tampa Bay Rays -- who rarely make a move before or during the Winter Meetings, but wait for the market to settle -- the Marlins want everything to happen now:
Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest suggested that he feels as if the team is behind schedule with its offseason makeover. (Miami reportedly has signed closer Heath Bell to a three-year, $27-million contract that has yet to be announced.) "It'd be nice to have some things done," Beinfest told the Palm Beach Post. "I'm not gonna use the word 'disappointed,' but we'd like to have some players in place."
What's the rush, Beinfest? Free agents are only more expensive early in the offseason, and Spring Training doesn't start until February no matter how fast you put your roster together. Rushing decisions and feeling like you have to make moves is one way to ensure you're going to make some poor decisions, spending more money than you would otherwise.
To join in the conversation about the Marlins' offseason, head on over to SB Nation's blog on the Marlins, Fish Stripes.