An original H/T to Fish Stripes reader byoung for pointing this out to me while I was away, and a H/T to MLB Trade Rumors for providing us this information originally from Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportesLosAngeles which has since been confirmed by other sources such as Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Let's look at Rosenthal's tweet just to appreciate it:
Now, nothing yet is guaranteed, but it does appear as if the Marlins and Jose Reyes are close to agreeing on a six-year, $110 million deal. Because the team is only close to a deal, I will not get into the specifics in terms of player analysis, what we can expect in 2012 and beyond, and of course, the inevitable offseason debate of whether Hanley Ramirez or Reyes should (and would) move away from shortstop (all coming tomorrow). However, what I will get into here is a little bit of the financials that the team will face next year and beyond in just a little bit.
UPDATE: Confirmed by Ken Rosenthal as six-years, $106 million deal. Juan C. Rodriguez also confirmed.Chris Towers previously figured how much the team was currently committed to with contracts and pre-arbitration deals. I later on used MLB Trade Rumors' projected arbitration salaries and said that the Fish would be at $67 million prior to signing any free agents. Well, now the team has signed Heath Bell and Jose Reyes to separate deals, adding up to almost $27 million more in salary for 2012, putting the team at $94 million before any other moves. If the club is looking to sign a C.J. Wilson or Mark Buehrle, they will have to at least extend the previously-rumored payroll roof from $100 million to $108 million.
Now, let's take a look at future considerations. Here are the Marlins' contractual obligations when including Reyes's deal (information from Cots Contracts)
As you can see, the Marlins are as of right now still decently in the clear for the long term. Even if the team is looking to re-sign Mike Stanton to a long-term deal past 2017 (his first free agent season according to Cots), they would not currently have any commitments to prevent them from doing so. There is a chance Bell and Reyes are the only players under contractual obligations remaining from the 2012 Marlins team that will be playing in 2015, which reinforces the team's potential idea of the team rebuilding the core. Right now, Reyes's signing only takes a little less wiggle room away from the space necessary to build around Mike Stanton. The team could still commit to, for example, Ramirez beyond 2014 and actually have room left over for arbitration-eligible and rookie-level players to fit around the three-player core.
Right now, the deal financially does not come out all that bad. Where it may get worse is if the team must commit to another six-year deal with a player like Wilson. If the team can help it, they should go after Buehrle. A three-year deal would give the Marlins the continued flexibility to build with the current core and see whom among them (outside of Reyes) they can keep. A commitment to WIlson will almost assure the team no chance to continue with Johnson or perhaps even Ramirez with the looming certainty that Stanton will be making large amounts of cash shortly, even with an extension.
Nevertheless, Fish fans can rejoice: the biggest fish that they wanted is now an actual Fish, an actual Marlin. Congratulations to the Miami Marlins, to Jose Reyes, and to us fans! Welcome to the team Jose!