By Rich Coutinho
» More Columns
I woke up Saturday morning and saw a tweet: Jose Reyes was exploring a new agent. Namely, Scott Boras.
Being around this situation for the past few months, I knew I had to check it out. And I knew the story was going to be bogus. First of all, agents do this all the time. They reach out to potential clients in walk years, promising them this or promising them that. And every once in a while, players switch agents — but clearly anyone who knows Reyes knows it would never happen.
That’s not the way the Mets’ effervescent shortstop is programmed.
I spoke to Jose about it this past weekend at Citi Field, and he indicated he is very happy with his representation. All this “contract stuff” is the furthest thing from his mind. He thinks of only one thing these days: playing the sport he loves every single day. Truth be told here, Reyes and his representatives have played this whole situation about as strategically sound as you can imagine. They have not uttered a sound about his contract, nor leaked any demands to the media. And it is the right thing to do. Too many times today’s athlete chatters (too much) about what he wants and why he wants it.
A lot has been made about the contract Reyes signed four years ago and whether it was a good deal for him or not. And in typical fashion, many people are missing the big picture here. Both the Mets and Reyes gave up something in that deal.
The Mets gave a young player guaranteed money before they had to. Reyes gave up some cash, as he might have made more money going year-to-year. But the contract assured him of salary certainty, which helped both Reyes and his family in a number of ways. It also set Jose up with an $11 million option this year as a prelude to his upcoming free agency. I’d have to say it was a sound strategy.
Boras would have never signed his player to that deal. With Boras, it’s never about the player — it’s about setting the market and setting salary records, which I might add, help set agency commission records. But make no mistake about it: when you hire Boras, you are establishing you want the most money no matter what the situation. I am sure Reyes will receive a great contract somewhere — my guess is it will here with the Mets — but it will be a decision made by the player in concert with his representation.
I firmly believe the brand of Alex Rodriguez might be quite different if he did not succumb to the riches in Texas and instead took a look at the big picture. I think that gargantuan contract has haunted A-Rod from the moment he signed it, and in many cases, has unfairly labeled him as a selfish player.
Now do not get me wrong here. Reyes is not going to give any huge home team discounts — but he will consider all issues. How comfortable his family feels will be very important, the fact he has been with this organization since the age of 16 will have an impact, the notion that he loves New York and wants to win here will play into the decision as well.
You cannot consider all of those issues when the goal of your representation is to bleed every penny out of team’s ATM machine. Money is a huge consideration here. It is a contract of a player entering his prime — and oh by the way, that player happens to be one of the top three players in the sport. But there is so much else at play and Reyes knows that Boras would not let those issues be considered. Reyes’ current representation has strategically put him in a great position to make a boatload of money AND be happy where he makes it.
For Jose Reyes, passion and happiness is what he’s all about.
Admit it, Mets fans. You had a minor panic when the Boras-Reyes rumors came out. Sound off about it below…