Jose Reyes arrived at camp Tuesday without a contract beyond 2011, and while he likely may exit the season the same way, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said the financial troubles the Mets are facing will not restrict them from spending if they offer Reyes a new contract.
Reyes almost certainly will command a contract above the $100 million mark if he gets through the 2011 season healthy and with his usual production. Alderson has been reticent to give out six- or seven-year deals as a general rule, but he would not eliminate any options with Reyes as spring training began.
"I'm confident I can do anything with any one individual player," Alderson said. "Anything we do is going to be viewed through the prism of what's going on in New York. There's no question about that. All I can do is try to make the best baseball judgments, and at this point, I'm not facing any limitations, and at this point, don't expect to."
It remains a long shot that any deal will get done. Alderson has said he would like to see Reyes play before deciding on his future, and Reyes has said he will not put a deadline on talks, but would prefer to not discuss a deal after spring training. More important is that ownership is embroiled in a lawsuit brought by the trustee for the victims of the Madoff Ponzi scheme, seeking to collect up to $1 billion from the Wilpons and Sterling Equities. Since Alderson came onboard in November, he has spent cautiously and has admitted that the $145 million payroll he has this season is above where he would like and expect it to be in the future.
If Reyes hits free agency, Mets' officials believe the contract handed to Carl Crawford by the Boston Red Sox this winter - seven years, $142 million - likely is a comparable deal to what he could expect. Reyes is younger, a switch hitter and plays shortstop - a more valued spot than Crawford's left field.
Mets keeping options open on next Jose Reyes contract
Bergen Record | Feb 16