DALLAS – The suddenly splurging Miami Marlins landed their second big free agent in a matter of days, agreeing Sunday night to a $106 million, six-year contract with All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
After adding All-Star closer Heath Bell for $27 million over three years, the Marlins gave the NL batting champion a deal that includes a club option for 2018 that would make the contract worth $120 million, the person said, speaking Sunday night on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not yet been announced.
Preparing to move into a $515 million retractable-roof ballpark, the Marlins have become a driving force in the free-agent market ahead of the winter meetings, which start Monday. They've also shown interest in acquiring one of the high-profile free-agent first basemen: Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols.
Reyes is following Francisco Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran out of New York, leaving David Wright and Johan Santana as the Mets' last remaining stars. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson began hearing rumors of the deal Sunday afternoon.
"If they are true, I think that Jose at this point is beyond where we would have been," said Alderson, who spoke with Reyes' agents earlier in the day. "There was an indication to me that things were moving. Exactly how far. I didn't ask. I didn't need to."
The 28-year-old Reyes won the NL batting crown last season, becoming the first player in Mets history to do it. He hit .337 and also topped the league with 16 triples, while also stealing 39 bases.
Reyes is a four-time All-Star and three-time stolen base champion. But he has been prone to injuries in recent seasons, particularly to his hamstrings. He has not played more than 133 games in any of the last three years.