The Miami Marlins are courting Jose Reyes, and despite rumors last week that they were close to signing Reyes, it appears the bidding has only just begun.
The Marlins' offer to Reyes was six years, $90 million, according to one source; the team is declining comment. Obviously, the offer was not tempting enough for Reyes to accept immediately. But it was only a first offer. (Ken Rosenthal, FOX Sports)
The New York Mets are also interested in Reyes and are expected to make a hard run at him, and recent rumors have suggested that Reyes will not accept a deal that's less than $100 million in total. This makes the Marlins' offer look rather low. Not only are they only offering him $90 million in total, the average annual salary he would receive under this contract would be only $15 million. Most analysts believe Reyes could get an average salary around $17-20 million per season, so while this offer is certainly large, it doesn't seem like it's big enough.
As Ken Rosenthal notes, some people in baseball are skeptical about how serious the Marlins are about spending money. Just last offseason the Marlins had to be forced by MLB to spend money and sign starter Josh Johnson to an extension, so if all the current rumors about them are true, their organization would be pulling a complete 180.
Then again, it'd be silly for the Marlins to put their best offer for Reyes on the table right from the beginning. The Mets are sure to match their first offer and try to outbid them, so the Marlins are smart to start low. Are the Marlins being smart and playing the bidding game, or is their interest all a ruse to increase excitement about the club?
Judging solely based on the Marlins' history, it seems most likely that it's the latter. Call me an optimist, though: I think they're more serious about adding talent than Rosenthal suggests.