Earlier Monday, ESPN's Buster Olney reported that he anticipates free-agent shortstop Jose Reyes to sign in the near future with the Miami Marlins. This was bolstered by a report by SNY's Kevin Burkhardt, who also was told that the Marlins are "very confident" that it will happen and that he is the "centerpiece" of their entire offseason.
So it's only fitting, on the backdrop of all these Reyes-to-Miami rumors that New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson caught up with reporters on the scene to discuss the prized free agent.
Altogether, the Mets front-office boss thinks this is going to be a slow process and he is ready and willing to wait it out. There have been discussions between he and Reyes' agent, Peter Greenberg, since Reyes visited Miami last week. But Greenberg is out of the country now so no team will be able to negotiate with him at the GM meetings this week.
"We've had some conversations," as quoted by Rubin. I wouldn't classify them as substantive -- more than phone tag. ... I don't want to get into any detail. But I also while saying I don't want to comment, I don't want to give you the false impression that we are anywhere along the road. I still think it's early, notwithstanding all the background noise from the last week.
Prior to the offseason, Alderson had asked Greenberg if Reyes could come back to him with the offers on the table so that the Mets would have a final opportunity to make an offer. But the GM said that has not been "promised" to him.
In terms of if payroll was affecting the Mets' pursuit of one of the game's most exciting players, Aldeson was pretty non-committal:
"I wouldn't say that's strictly the case -- that if the payroll were higher we would definitely re-sign Jose. I wouldn't say that was necessarily the case."
The new limitations will certainly to make things more difficult this offseason, and therefore almost impossible to meet Reyes' supposed $100-million demands (per NY Post's Joel Sherman). Regardless, Alderson has a very methodical approach, he's patient and he's calculated. In many cases, it's almost better to wait around, let the market define a player's value and then see if you can intercept and make an intriguing offer. The problem you run into, though, is that if someone like Reyes gets what he wants immediately and early on in free agency, he may accept right away -- it's tough to say, though. Thus, Alderson runs the risk of losing out entirely without making any legitimate offer.