The Florida Marlins just signed Jose Reyes to a six-year $106 million contract late Sunday night to really kick off the Baseball Winter meetings in grand fashion. That's a whole lot of money, and there is some disagreement about whether or not Reyes is worth the money. Rob Neyer at our very own Baseball Nation has some concerns.
I don't have any idea. I don't have that information handy. Here in Dallas, we have baseball writers, not information. But I'm guessing however you run the numbers, you're going to find that Reyes' expected performance over these next six years is worth slightly less than $119 million, or slightly more. But within whatever margin of error you happen to find acceptable.
If he plays 125-130 games per season.
One catastrophic injury makes this deal look foolish. Two makes it a disaster.
For a counterpoint, here's Dave Cameron from MLB Fangraphs.
If Reyes manages to stay reasonably healthy for most of the next six years, the Marlins are going to get a lot of surplus value from this contract. They’ve signed an elite player who isn’t yet 30 years old and whose skillset historically ages quite well. He doesn’t have to be the next ironhorse to earn this contract — he just has to stay away from something like a skillset-altering leg injury. Essentially, if he can avoid the Grady Sizemore career path, he’s a pretty good bet to be worth this contract and then some.
While the two men aren't totally in agreement about the value of Reyes' contract, they seem to be making the same point. Jose Reyes has to be healthy to make it worth it. He's had some issues with that in the past, and it's unfair to expect him to be completely healthy over the life of his contract, but if he can avoid that big injury like Mr. Cameron says, he should be worth it.