Nine teams interested in Jose Reyes

In a recent report for SI.com, Jon Heyman says it is unlikely Jose Reyes will have to settle for a five-year deal … regardless of his recent hamstring injury.

Why? According to Heyman:

“Rival executives identified no less than nine teams that could be a fit for Reyes both in terms of finances and the playing field. Those teams are the Giants, Cardinals, Tigers, Angels, Nationals, Braves, Phillies, Red Sox and Yankees in addition to the incumbent Mets.”

Sure, but how many of those nine teams will go above and beyond the Mets to sign him?

I keep hearing from people around the game that the Giants will be Sandy Alderson’s biggest competition, unless of course the Cardinals lose Albert Pujols and the Angels decide this is the year they’ll actually spend money (in which case they’ll both be interested). I’ve heard repeatedly that, while the Red Sox and Yankees will flirt, they’ll never be serious, and if the Phillies and Braves engage it will probably be to raise his price. And so, in the end, it’s likely to be the Mets and Giants. … and like Heyman says, and like I’ve written endlessly already, everyone who knows him says Jose wants to stay in New York. This is why I still believe a deal can be reached.

The thing is, what is the point of entry that keeps teams like the Tigers, Nationals, and even the Sox and Yankees, from saying, ‘What the hell, if he’s willing to sign a four- or five-year deal, why not get in?” In which case, the price goes up anyway. In other words, I still bet the Mets start the bidding at five years and $18 million per season, to set a floor early in negotiations, from which point they can begin debating a sixth year and what it should look like, all while fending off team(s) who might be willing to go beyond that.