Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – The Miami Marlins were hoping to make a big splash in free agency this winter. Sunday, they did just that by signing free agent shortstop Jose Reyes to a 6-year/$106 million contract.
It’s the largest contract the Marlins have ever given any player in team history.
Reyes is coming off a solid 2011 campaign where he led the National League in batting; hitting .337 with the New York Mets.
The Mets were not willing to go near $100 million to retain Reyes’ services.
The shortstop has battled hamstring problems in recent years, but his hitting gives the Marlins a very potent lineup for manager Ozzie Guillen to manipulate during the season.
Reyes will become the team’s new shortstop, which means Hanley Ramirez will either move to third base or possibly even to centerfield.
Ramirez, who has a history of petulant behavior, hasn’t been keen on moving positions; but will likely not have a choice.
The Marlins are not done shopping for help for the team. The baseball winter meetings kick off this week and most deals are cut during this time in the offseason.