Will Reyes join Braun in Milwaukee?
Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun believes his team could be a realistic player in the sweepstakes to sign Mets shortstop and fellow MVP-caliber player Jose Reyes.
"I think there's a better chance we sign [Reyes] than we re-sign Prince," Braun told the New York Post, referring to slugging first baseman Prince Fielder.
That is an educated guess on Braun's part, based on the assumption Fielder -- who is represented by Scott Boras -- will command upwards of $150 million this winter on the free-agent market. Braun's best guess for Reyes was about $120 million, which might be more feasible for the small-market Brewers, who will face the Cardinals in Game 1 of the NLCS Sunday at Miller Park.
Also, the Brewers could have an opening at shortstop -- Yuniesky Betancourt's four-year contract expires after the season, and the team must decide whether to exercise a club option on Betancourt for next year.
Braun is unabashed in his admiration for Reyes. The two were teammates on the NL All-Star team this season, and Braun tried to recruit Reyes to the Brewers. The Mets were then in the process of compiling offers for Francisco Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran, but had decided not to trade Reyes.
"[Reyes] is dynamic, man -- he is one of the most exciting players in the game," Braun said.
Braun and Reyes became intertwined as the regular season concluded. With the NL batting race up for grabs on the final day, Reyes bunted for a single in his first at-bat and promptly departed the game to protect his .337 average. Braun would have needed a 3-for-4 performance that night to overtake Reyes. Braun instead went 0-for-4 and finished at .332.
"Honestly, I respect whatever Jose decided to do," Braun said. "I personally would have played, regardless. I'm not judging him in any way. I don't necessarily disagree with what he chose to do -- to each his own. But for me, personally, I would have played."
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