Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – The Miami Marlins finally made their first big splash in free agency Thursday night when the brought in closer Heath Bell. Now, the Marlins are preparing to up their offer for free agent shortstop Jose Reyes, according to SI.com’s Jon Heyman.
The Marlins had previously offered somewhere in the neighborhood of six years for $90 million.
But, it’s believed that it will take closer to $100 million to sign Reyes, meaning Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is going to finally have to cough up some money.
When Reyes is healthy, he’s a phenomenal hitter who can step into the lineup and immediately contribute.
He hit .337 last season, the best numbers of his career. But, he hasn’t played in more than 130 games once in the last three seasons.
Still, if he can regain the form he had from 2005-2008, the Marlins would be set at the leadoff position.
Reyes stole 256 bases over a four-year stretch. It would make it easier for new manager Ozzie Guillen to generate instant offense with Mike Stanton hitting clean-up.
The only problem facing the Marlins is what to do with their current shortstop Hanley Ramirez.
He’s resistant to moving from his position, but would be a positive addition in the outfield. If Reyes comes to Marlins, Ramirez will likely be on the move in the field.