- Adam Rubin, ESPNNewYork.com
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DALLAS -- Let's be honest: The New York Mets could have shown Jose Reyes all the love in the world. The reality is that if the Miami Marlins comfortably surpassed the Mets' offer, Reyes was leaving. It's a business first.
Still, Reyes seemed genuinely stung Wednesday by what he perceived as a lack of interest from the only employer he has ever known in retaining his services.
After all, there were no offers from the Mets. No calls, even just to say we really want you.
Reyes portrayed himself as a $106 million victim after slipping on a garish new Marlins jersey. He did not even seem emotional about leaving the Mets.
"During the season, you guys know, I always say I want to go back to play there," Reyes said about the Mets. "But they don't do anything to want me there. So, after that, there's nothing really I can do. Now, I'm with the Miami Marlins. The Mets don't do anything to have me. It is what it is, man. This is a business and I have to move on. It's over. I can't be crying about that, because they don't show me anything. They don't push anything to have me there. Why should I be worried about it if they didn't want me?"
In fairness to the Mets, team officials would have engaged in some negotiations in-season and Reyes' side refused. And even if there never was a formal offer, general manager Sandy Alderson talked enough with agent Peter Greenberg in the final days before the Marlins deal came together and Reyes' side knew exactly how far the Mets would go.
In fairness to Reyes, though, the Mets never would have offered enough in-season to entice him to forego free agency.
"It was pretty clear, I think, from [manager] Terry [Collins] as well as others in the organization, including me, that we would like to have him back," Alderson said. "Most of my conversations were public. I tried to convey that publicly. And those conversations I did have from time to time with Peter Greenberg, I expressed that personally.
"So, from that standpoint, I certainly don't feel as if that was the difference between him coming back and not coming back. I think our conduct over the course of last season -- when we had an opportunity to trade him, we had other opportunities to do things, when Terry and the organization went out of their way to protect him physically to make sure he was not only able to perform, but was healthy at the end of the season, which obviously would have an impact on his contract status -- I think given all of those things we acted in his best interest and with a view toward maintaining a positive relationship with him."
Reyes confessed he could not be sure whether his departure was fueled by a lack of interest or a lack of payroll, although the latter certainly seems like the dominant factor given the team's financial woes.
"You know, I can't tell you that, because they never talked to me," Reyes said. "I don't know if it was because of the money or they don't want me there -- they want to move on with some other pieces. I don't know, because they never said anything. Sandy maybe talked with Peter, but they don't offer anything. They don't do like [a] real offer. They don't do anything, really."
Would a little more love after the season had made a difference? Reyes mentioned repeatedly how Miami owner Jeffrey Loria and staff met with Reyes at 12:01 a.m. on Nov. 3, the minute they were allowed to conduct business.
"No doubt," Reyes said about wanting more love from the Mets. "They don't do that. When we almost get close to making a deal with the Marlins, that's when they called. But they call for nothing because they don't offer anything. It's kind of weird. I was confused a little bit. During the season a lot of times Sandy said, 'We want Jose' and stuff like that. I expect they'd at least call and say, 'We're still working on some things so we're going to get to you guys.'
"That never happened."
Said Alderson: "If you're asking whether I should have sent him a box of chocolates, perhaps I should have done that. On the other hand, the box of chocolates wouldn't have cost $106 million either."
Jose Reyes sounded hurt that the Mets never made him a contract offer.