By Mike Steffanos
Note: The official press release on the signing is up on Mets.com.
I was watching Daily News Live on SNY, and there was some opinion voiced on the show that this was a steal for the Mets. I believe that is missing the point. While Reyes is undoubtedly costing himself money during his first couple of years of free agency, he'll still be in his twenties at the end of this and can go for a staggering contract at that point. What this does now is ensures that if his leg injuries return he has financial security. He's passing up on a few bucks to ensure that, and to me that makes him a smart kid. Besides, if he's the elite player 3-4 years down the road we all think he'll be, his agent can always negotiate a raise/extension.
Meanwhile, the team has negotiated some cost certainty going forward. They can better decide what their budget will be because they know exactly what Reyes will make. This is a win - win deal.
Keep in mind that you are only going to sign a player at a "bargain rate" like this if he's one of your own, and you have a very good reason why I am so deeply in favor of the Mets developing their own talent rather than always looking to trade for or buy it.
WFAN's Joe Beningo was on the show, talking about what a good player Reyes is, and how no one is bringing up his on base percentage any more. I know you're a Mets fan, Joe, but a couple of years ago you and Sid Rosenberg were demanding the Mets trade Reyes for Alfonso Soriano. You may have forgotten that, but I can't.
Contract Details from ESPN.com:
Reyes gets a $1.5 million signing bonus; $2.5 million in 2007; $4 million in 2008; $5.75 million in 2009; $9 million in 2010. There is a club option for $11 million in 2011, or a $500,00 buyout on the last year. There also are numerous performance incentives, ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney reports.