DALLAS (CBSNewYork/AP) — For Miami, the winter meetings are set to open with a bang.

For Mets fans, a bust. New York’s All-Star shortstop and face of the franchise, Jose Reyes, is speeding down I-95 to the suddenly splurging Marlins.

Reyes became the second top free agent to land with the Marlins in a matter of days, agreeing Sunday night to a $106 million, six-year contract, according to multiple reports.

After adding All-Star closer Heath Bell for $27 million over three years, the Marlins gave the NL batting champion a deal that reportedly includes a club option for 2018 that would make the contract worth $120 million.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs With Reaction From Mets Fans

The contract does not include a no-trade clause, according to WFAN’s Jon Heyman.

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 the numbers are what are speculated and Jose does leave us, I don’t think people will be surprised that under those circumstances he went elsewhere. It doesn’t mean they’ll be happy about it,” 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.”

Listen: Alderson on the Mets’ approach to Reyes

Reyes’ departure is another blow to the Mets, who went 77-85 in their third straight losing season. Attendance at Citi Field dropped to 2.35 million, down about 7 percent from last year and their lowest since 2004, when they played at Shea Stadium.

Alderson said the Mets never made an official offer to Reyes, who is coming off a deal that paid him $32.4 million over five years.

“I don’t believe Mets’ fans will be surprised if these reports are true that Jose may not be back,” he said. “You have to draw a line somewhere and based on our experience, not just with Jose — but with multiyear contracts generally, and not just with our multiyear contracts, but all multiyear contracts generally — we decided that there were some conceptual limitations to where we would go.”

Reyes signed with New York at age 16 and last year become the Mets’ first NL batting champion, when he hit .337 and topped the league with 16 triples, while stealing 39 bases.

The 28-year-old 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, averaging 98.

Alderson became general manager when Omar Minaya was fired after the 2010 season. The Wilpon family that owns the Mets has been sued by the trustee trying to recover money for the victims of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme, and he is seeking to recover up to $386 million from the Mets’ ownership group.

“Bernie Madoff and his specter are always referenced in these situations. I really don’t really think that Madoff has that much to do with this,” Alderson said. “But when a team loses $70 million, irrespective of Bernie Madoff or anyone else, that’s probably a bigger factor in our approach to this season and the next couple than anything else.”

Alderson wouldn’t say whether the $70 million figure was for 2011 only.

“Big losses, let’s put it that way,” he said.

With Reyes gone, Ruben Tejada becomes the Mets’ projected starting shortstop.

“We don’t expect him to be Jose Reyes,” Alderson said. “At some point, he will be what he can be as a player.”

In a matter-of-fact 20-minute briefing, Alderson didn’t concede the 2012 season would be a loss and maintained the departure wouldn’t lead to a total rebuilding.

“I don’t think anything that Jose does or doesn’t do over the next few days has any impact on David Wright,” Alderson said. “Right now, we don’t contemplate trading David Wright.”

Preparing to move into a $515 million retractable-roof ballpark, the Marlins hired Ozzie Guillen as their manager and have become a driving force in the market ahead of the winter meetings, which start Monday. With Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols the remaining high-profile hitters on the market, they hope to land another big bat. Pujols, like Reyes, already has toured the new stadium — which opens when the Marlins host the Cardinals on April 4.

His arrival in Miami, where the Marlins will be wearing new brightly colored uniforms, likely means three-time All-Star Hanley Ramirez will be shifting from shortstop to third base.

Reyes received the second-nine figure deal of the offseason, following center fielder Matt Kemp’s $160 million, eight-year contract to stay with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Your thoughts on how the Mets handled Reyes in free agency? Sound off in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (27)
  1. cooljewel says:

    Are you serious with this article. Please don’t insult the Mets fans intelligence.
    We can only hope that after Citi Field is empty in 2012 the Wilpons might reconsider and sell the team.

  2. Frank says:

    Steve it has nothing to do with race! my son is half Dominican ! If you are dumb it dosnt matter what color your are you are dumb. He won a batting title because he took himself out of the last game! He is always hurt and his game is all about his legs! He is a very fragile ball player! I think the Mets did the right thing get a good starter for the money you would have given Reyes

  3. Dinger says:

    I think the Wilps should focus on bringing more concerts, soccer games and MMA (if it comes to NY) to citifield since they would be the only events that people would pay to see at this venue. How about outdoor hockey and perhaps the CitiBowl college bowl game…? Forget the Mets, move the franchise to Vegas.

  4. Larry B says:

    is it true the Mets will only get a 3rd rounder for him?

    1. nick says:

      Yes,because the Marlins’ 1st round pick is protected and
      San Diego got their 2nd rounder as compensation for Bell>

  5. Jim inVA says:

    There is no reason to by a ticket to see this team play. The only hope for this franchise is for the Wilpons to sell the team. As long as they own the Mets, the Mets will be losers. I always travel to NY to see a couple of games every year, no more!! I wouldn’t spend a dime to see this team play, hopefully Citi Field will be a ghost town next year and the Wilpons will lose more money!!!

  6. Guy says:

    This was known for awhile he was going to leave. The team is cash strapped this was know, the team is losing money this was known. It was just delaying the inevitable. Alderson does get some blame but it’s ultimately the owner who puts up the cash. If Selig wasn’t a political hack he would boot Wilpon out of MLB like he did to McCourt but like all of Washington DC, Selig likes to talk out of both sides of his mouth.

    The sad part in all of this is that every hack propagandist (ESPN, NY Post, Mike Francesa, Daily News, Fox Sports, Hardball Talk, etc) is going to take their cheap shots against the Mets fully knowing that this was going to happen but pretend to be shocked anyway.

  7. Marc Weiss says:

    When his hammy acts up and he plays in just 85 games a year and doesn’t steal any bases how will the Marlins feel ? Bottom line is that this Mets team is not going to win for at least 3-4 years. Sad, but true fact. Is it worth it shell out all that loot for a guy who is broken down ? His body is like someone who is 10 years older. He didn’t steal any bases in Sept, when he came off the DL. He even took himself out of the lineup so he could win a batting title that no one cared about. Real respect for the game.

  8. David Lewis says:

    Is anyone really surprised here? It comes down to one thing – it’s time to sell the team! If you cannot afford to pay Reyes and then plan to bring the budget down by 30% you are going to see more empty seats than filled ones. The downward spiral for the Mets gains momentum today. Sell the team Fred. You have no business as an owner.

    1. steve says:

      Really, why is it so hard for the Mets to basically say we have no money and will have to rebuild. We are going to not resign or trade for any big name players and we will have to get rid of any of our big name players (Wright, etc.). Because they are telling the fans they aren’t giving up on 2012 but their actions are not saying the same. And how is this team 70mln in the hole without the Madoff issue? The Stadium?

      1. ? says:

        Steve, you needed the Mets to make a special broadcast. It’s like the guy stated, it should not come as a surprise to Mets fans. Everyone other then Mets fans saw this coming, why?, because the Mets stated they were going to reduce payroll $100 mil or less, the Mets do not have money & Alderson does not re-sign or sign free agent players to big contracts.

        The problem here is, like you, most Mets do not see the forest for the trees.

        1. steve says:

          I am very aware of what is happening and I don’t need a special broadcast. I am guessing the financial issues of the Mets didn’t just become news with the Reyes signing. So why didn’t the Mets try to trade him at the deadline? Why are they telling us they have no plans to trade Wright? Is that so they don’t tip off any possible GM’s? But everyone already knows? The organization is such a mess, they can’t even lay it out straight to the fans. If they can’t, sell the team now and move on.

          1. ?? says:

            Why Steve, because the Mets now get two top picks in next year’s draft. Alderson is all about building a team from within & not paying millions to just one player. The Mets need to build the farm system which currently sucks.

            No MLB team would have given the Mets top players knowing Reyes was in his last year of a contract & then take the risk of not re-signing him. Smart move on their part because Reyes was going to test the market.

            Baseball is a business. When does a team have to consult with the fans before they make a move or not?

            You’re upset & bitter, understandable, but get over it. You should have seen this coming and you failed to do so, that’s on you.

  9. Bryan Mangels says:

    Two things happened here. 1) The Mets, I believe, didn’t make an offer as they wanted to see where the market was headed. 2) Reyes jumped at the first offer as he realized there was no real market for him. He’s a major injury risk and that scares a lot of GM’s. That being said, it is time for the Wilpons to step aside and sell the team. They clearly don’t know how to run a baseball team. I will continue to root for the Mets but I will not spend money on games. I will listen on the FAN. Jose, good luck, hope your legs hold up. Thanks for the memories.

  10. steve says:

    If the Mets had no intention of signing him, why didn’t they trade him in July? This organization is a total embrassment. I hope Jose has a great season and every time he comes back to Cityfield, he hits a home run in every location they brought in the walls. Thanks Jose for playing the game with enthusiams amd fun, it made watching this miserable team FUN. Since Darryl, Jose was one that you would stay to see and make sure you weren’t late for a game so you can see his first AB.

  11. Frank says:

    Reyes will amount to nothing!!! he is a head case!! he has the baseball IQ of my grandmother! and gets hurt more than Humpty Dumpty!

    1. steve says:

      Amount to nothing? He won the batting title is probably the most electrifying player in the game, plays a great SS and loves to have fun and brings that to the stadium. I bet if Reyes was white, it wouldn’t be head case, it would be “determined” or some other word. If Reyes is a head case, what does that make Wright?

  12. a says:

    I’m so sick of the front office in this organization. Goodbye.

  13. Frank says:

    Wright will not be ne if the Mets org has a brain in thier head he is the face of the franchise and grew up a Met fan’!!!!!!!

  14. fab says:

    who wants to take another decade of losing mets fans jump ship show wilpon we are tired of this ! .

  15. fab says:

    I am no longer a met fan i took strawberry leaving there wasnt even a offer made . Wilpons sell the team i will come back mr wilpon who a great historian of baseball but a clueless owner ! .

  16. SNY NEWS FLASH!!!!!!!! says:

    LOL, LOL, LOL, LOL. This is hilarious. All this time Mets fans thought Reyes was staying because he wanted to be a Met and win. The win part is the one that makes me crack up the most.

    Mets fans believed all the nonsense printed by Mets reports like Martino of the Daily News, Coutinho & Benigno that Reyes wasn’t going anywhere.

    Idiot fans like Avi & Jonas Altman-Kurosaki who are members of the Little Mets Fans Club who believe Reyes is this great superstar who was going to carry the Mets to many WS title. LOL, LOL

    There’s a reason the Mets never thought of brining Reyes back and one was they know Reyes is not a great player and not worth the money, but it was not just the Mets, other teams think the same about Reyes as well, good player, not great, that’s why there was just one team who offered Reyes a contract, the Marlins

    And Reyes did what all players do, he took the money.

    So long “Overrated Reyes “so long, adios muchacho. LOL, LOL

    Note: By Mid-season next year, Wright is gone as well. LOL, LOL

  17. Frank says:

    typical Dominican Ahole gets his money and runs good bye and good riddens!!

    1. Frank says:

      lets see he will be happy with the hot mamacitas down there and with the less than 5000 fans who will sho up to his games!

      1. FYI says:

        Frank, the Mets do not draw either. For a NY team they drew just a little over 2 million fans this past year. Don’t laugh at the Marlins; your Mets were just 5 games from being a last place team and this with Reyes in the line-up every day.

        Misery loves company

  18. ace11 says:

    Where are you now Coutinho????

    stop lying to Mets fans

    Reyes is GONE and you said he’d give the Mets a chance to match

    Sounds like Alderson didn’t even make an offer

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