When the free-agent signing period began in November, the Marlins wanted to meet the All-Star shortstop right away – as in not a minute to spare.
So owner Jeffrey Loria, team president David Samson and their top baseball officials arranged a midnight rendezvous with Reyes and his agent at a table outside Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle, the New York hotel famous for hosting President Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe a half-century ago.
“12:01. Those guys are crazy,” Reyes said Wednesday, when his $106 million, six-year contract was finalized. “They showed me a lot of love.”
Reyes joined a team that suddenly aspires to be among baseball’s big spenders. When the winter meetings began Monday, the Marlins finalized a $27 million, three-year contract with closer Heath Bell.
A few hours after the Marlins introduced Reyes, manager Ozzie Guillen said the team had reached a deal with free-agent pitcher Mark Buehrle, signing the four-time All-Star for $58 million over four years.
Guillen praised Buehrle over and over at baseball’s winter meetings. They were together on the Chicago White Sox this season, and Guillen was eager to have the left-hander on his side next year.
PADRES: Acquired closer Huston Street from the NL West rival Colorado Rockies.
The 28-year-old Street had 29 saves in 33 chances for Colorado in 2011. He was 1-4 with a 3.86 ERA in 62 games.
The right-hander has 178 saves in seven seasons with Colorado and the Oakland Athletics.
“We’re happy how it ended up. He’s a very proven closer. He’s done it in this division, he’s had three good years in Colorado, which is a very hard place to pitch,” new Padres general manager Josh Byrnes said. “We’re glad to have him.”
PIRATES: Nate McLouth is back to finish what he started.
The veteran outfielder agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Pittsburgh, returning to the team he spent his most productive seasons with from 2005-09 before being traded to the Atlanta Braves.
The Pirates also agreed to terms with left-handed pitcher Erik Bedard on a one-year, $4.5 million contract.
METS: In a rapid-fire series of moves at the winter meetings that took 1½ days to put together and 1½ hours to finalize, New York agreed to trade center fielder Angel Pagan to San Francisco for outfielder Andres Torres and pitcher Ramon Ramirez, and reached agreements with free-agent relievers Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch.
YANKEES: Wanting to add a backup infielder following injuries to Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez last season, New York won negotiating rights to shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima of the Seibu Lions in Japan’s Pacific League.
Major League Baseball announced Wednesday the Yankees had the highest bid in the posting process. New York has 30 days to reach an agreement with Nakajima and will pay the posting fee only if an agreement is reached. The posting fee for the 29-year-old is about $2 million.
FRICK AWARD: Tim McCarver won the Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence on Wednesday.
The former All-Star catcher and current Fox announcer has been an analyst on national television networks for three decades.