Originally posted on MetsZilla  |  Last updated 11/21/11

In his column entitled “Projections for Pujols, Fielder, Reyes and the top 65 free-agents” (click here to read in full), Jon Heyman of SI.com offered up his projected landing spots and contracts for this Winter’s impressive crop of free agents.  Albert Pujols ($220 million, nine years) and Prince Fielder ($195 million, eight years) were predicted to land the biggest deals by Heyman (as expected), with long time New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes coming in third.  Of the 28-year-old Reyes, Heyman wrote:

Photo by Michael G. Baron

He has at least one offer, from the Marlins though it’s been described as a “preliminary” type bid. Sources suggest it is somewhat less than the $90 million, six-year offer it was reported to be, perhaps closer to $75 million. In either case, it is seen as a “safe” opening salvo since it’s not near the $100 million-plus Reyes is hoping to get. The Marlins are still viewed as the favorite since they seem to have him at the top of their very long list and are clearly trying hard. He would match Carl Crawford‘s $142-million deal except for an injury history that makes six years seem like a more realistic goal (also the Crawford deal looks like a disaster so far). The Tigers and Brewers have some interest, and the Mets have asked Reyes to come back to them for a counter once he’s done shopping. Projection:$120 million, six years.”

A week ago Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweeted that Jose’s minimum target would be $100 million and in his column from Sunday (click here to read in full) he seems to suggest, as does Heyman, that offers in excess of that amount are likely:

Reyes is a star, at a time when the Marlins are trying to enlist stars to improve their standing — in the NL East and with their fans.

The Marlins’ first offer was believed to be for six years at somewhere between $80 million and $90 million. It suggests room to grow into the $100 million-plus range Reyes wants, while being an area the Mets are unlikely to follow with their own bid.”

Photo by Michael G. Baron

I firmly believe that Jose Reyes will pull in at least a $100 million contract and Miami has seemed like a perfect fit ever since they opened up the bidding.  If they do in fact have the money and Hanley Ramirez is willing to make the move to third base then Reyes will help usher in a new start for baseball in South Florida.  The shortstop can help erase the memory of empty seats and poor attendance that is fresh in the minds of Marlins fans and players.

The money may seem high to New Yorkers, especially Mets fans, because we have seen our share of bad contracts and witnessed Jose’s injuries first hand.  Others, however, aren’t quite as close to the situation and are likely to be more enamored by the positives than deterred by the negatives when it comes to signing Reyes to a long-term deal.

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