How the Mets Could Best the Marlins Recent Offer to Reyes

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Marlins have officially offered Jose Reyes a six-year, $90 million deal. That’s $15 million per season. The only problem is that $15 million per season is just $4 million more than he made with the New York Mets in 2011. While the tabled contract certainly provides Reyes with more years than people thought would be offered, the shortstop is apparently more concerned about the dollar value. In other words, he probably wants a team to offer him at least $100 million and who-cares-how-many-years. The Mets might not be able to outright hand Reyes a $100 million deal, but maybe plate appearance-based incentives could be the Mets’ golden ticket to edge out other suitors.

Fan Graphs estimated that Jose Reyes has been worth an average of $19.7 million per season since 2006, but more importantly, he’s been worth around $25 million per season when he eclipses the 650 plate appearance mark. Based on his production history, if Reyes garners 650 or more plate appearances, he’s worth a king’s ransom. So if he’s capable of being worth that much in a single season, why not include major incentives based on plate appearances to reward him?

For instance, the Mets could rival the Marlins base offer of $15 million per season by offering incentive-bonuses of $2 million for every 50 plate appearances past 650 Reyes collects. Considering Reyes averaged 749 plate appearances from 2005 to 2008, the shortstop could earn around $21 million in a given season if he returns to his healthy-ways. And if he collects 750 plate appearances per year over the course of five seasons, he will have banked $105 million total. More importantly to the Mets, Reyes probably will have generated $125 million worth of production–making the overall contract, albeit expensive, well worth the price.

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