The Miami Marlins spent the last decade socking Cheetos and dollar bills under their mattress. The Cheetos were for their new uniforms. The dollar bills were for Jose Reyes. Maybe. On Sunday, the Twitter-loving baseball world was treated to this:
According to various sources, JOSE REYES is a Miami Marlin.
And the news spread like it always does on the internet, moving exponentially until it became a thing. Mets bloggers started posting Reyes-is-probably-gone updates. The rest of us were welcoming our new deep-pocketed orange-and-rainbow overlords.
The tweet came from a radio host, Dino Costa of SiriusXM. Not unusual, really -- radio guys get scoops all the time. The radio host in question, though, was one who isn't shy about breaking news that was probably better off not being broken. But when there's confusion, at least he's not shy about clearing things up.
The day came and went, and Reyes wasn't officially a Marlin. And we all re-learned a lesson that we already knew about Twitter, but just love to forget when the news is juicy enough. Maybe, just maybe, there's a downside to instantaneous news feeds filled with anyone and everyone. Just maybe.
But there is a growing sense that the Marlins are the frontrunners. Kevin Burkhardt of SNY wrote that the Marlins are "VERY confident" on signing Reyes. Think back to June and July of this year. The Mets were adamantly against trading Reyes because they were planning to sign him in the offseason. They weren't going to trade him for a bushel of prospects if that hurt their chances to keep him around. Four months later, the Marlins -- the Marlins -- are likely to outbid the Mets for a New York fan favorite.
The original Reyes tweet might have been premature, but the overall point still stands. Let's just rewrite the tweet a little:
According to various sources, A REALLY GOOD PLAYER YOU'VE TOTALLY HEARD OF AND EVERYTHING is a Miami Marlin.
It will probably be Reyes. The Marlins also have offers out to Albert Pujols, Mark Buehrle, and Ryan Madson. They're an eight-year-old kid with a gift certificate to Toys 'R' Us. They can't afford to screw around because their mom gave them a ride now, and there's no guarantee that they'll get another ride any time soon. They're going to spend a ton of money to build momentum for their new stadium. It's a business decision as much as it is a baseball decision. The best way for the Marlins to counter the perception that they're cheap is for them to not be so cheap.
Of all the players on the free-agent market, Reyes makes the most sense for the Marlins. He's a big name, but he'll probably be $100 million or so cheaper than Pujols. A Marlins team with Reyes means that Hanley Ramirez, who has never been a heralded defender at short, will move either to third base or center field, upgrading one of two substantial holes last year.
The Marlins are the story of the offseason so far, and they're going to buy a shiny new player. It's probably going to be Reyes. Think about what Reyes gets -- a chance to be a marquee player for a franchise that's trying to reinvent itself; a new stadium in a city that's a two-hour flight from the Dominican Republic; an up-and-coming club with a new commitment to spending. The Marlins have a ton of core talent already with Mike Stanton, Logan Morrison, Gaby Sanchez, Josh Johnson, and Anibal Sanchez. When Reyes looks back at the Mets, all he can see is an unsettled financial situation and Mike Pelfrey giving up home runs in the offseason.
The Marlins are in a good spot to steal an All-Star from the Mets, who can't compete financially. One more time, with feeling: The Marlins are in a good spot to steal an All-Star from the Mets, who can't compete financially. When your dog comes up to you and meows tonight, just know that this is what started the end times.