Last Friday, Albert Pujols visited with the Florida Marlins before they became the Miami Marlins. It was rumored that the Marlins made a contract offer to Pujols. Details have not emerged about that deal. Well maybe until now. Yahoo’s Tim Brown is reporting that the Marlins offer to Pujols is believed to be for nine years. Brown estimates that the deal is worth at least $25 million a year. That would put a potential deal at 9-years and $225 million. Brown speculates that this maybe the best offer Pujols may receive.
The St. Louis Cardinals in the off-season were believed to have offered Pujols a 9-year contract worth approximately $210 million. Jerry Crasnick hears that the Cardinals never topped $200MM. In the same article, Crasnick also mentions that Pujols was “shocked” by the news of Mike Matheny becoming the Cards manager, but that will not impact his choice one way or the other. Crasnick also says that at least 10 Marlins were called upon to help recruit the slugger in his visit to Miami.
Earlier in the day, a source told Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that the Marlins standing offer for Jose Reyes is expected to be at 6-years $90 million. Reyes is not expected to take any deal worth less then $100 million however. The market for Reyes has been set by the Marlins however. The New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers, two other teams that expect to bid on Reyes are going to have to top the Marlins initial, but not final offer.
If both these reports are true, the Marlins have already offered up $40 million in payroll for next season. With $25 million going to Pujols and $15 million to Reyes. Each player may end up making more, but if these reports hold true, the Marlins are absolutely giving free agency their best try.
With the addition of these two players to a young and talented trio of Mike Stanton, Hanley Ramirez, and Logan Morrison, the Marlins would have one of the, if not the best offenses in the Majors next season. A lineup with five potential superstars is not something that is seen in an every day lineup, especially for a team that has been known as a small market team for the entire duration of its existence.
While all this sounds extremely exciting. Marlins fans should remember that the Pujols offer could just be pure speculation by Tim Brown. We have yet to have any conformations by any other baseball people about this. In fact, Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post had this to say earlier this week about the Marlins possibly adding Pujols:
The Marlins won’t get into details, but industry sources believe the team made an “introductory offer” that is not considered a serious one - and not remotely close to the reported nine-year offer in the $200 million range that he rejected from St. Louis in January.
While this off-season seems to be getting more and more exciting for Marlins fans, we should all try to stay prepared to getting nothing as much as possible. There is still a great possibility that Pujols decides that even with the Marlins offering more money that he loves the city of St. Louis too much to abandon it. There is also the possibility that the Brewers or Mets decide that they will go all in on Jose Reyes. The off-season is way too fluid of a situation to be gambling which player goes where.
Marlins fans though, please keep your optimism high. The Marlins front office may have not delivered the product yet and they may not even do so this 0ff-season. This off-season however, you cannot say that they did not try. The Marlins have come out aggressive and this is a very exciting time for Marlins fans!