Marlins Low Ball Albert Pujols, Offer Him Less Than $200 Million

When it came out this morning that the Miami Marlins had offered Albert Pujols a nine year contract, most people jumped on the rumor as an indication that the Marlins were serious about acquiring Pujols. Reports came out indicating that the Marlins had offered Pujols $225 million — considerably more than the Cardinals had offered at the beginning of last season — but it turns out those reports were false. Clark Spencer from the Miami Herald has set the record straight, noting that the Marlins offered Pujols a nine-year contract worth less than $200 million.

So how did the $225 million rumor originate? When Tim Brown from Yahoo! Sports broke the story this morning that the Marlins had offered Pujols a nine year deal, he got a little liberal with the details:

Their standing offer to Albert Pujols is believed to be for nine years. With a competitive average annual value (say $25 million), that’s $225 million, minimum, and that’s more than what the St. Louis Cardinals are believed to have offered in the spring.

As I mentioned at the time, that part about the money involved sounded like pure speculation on his part. It was entirely possible that the Marlins had offered a deal for less than the Cardinals had offered; we simply had no way of knowing at the time.

Late this afternoon, Jon Heyman tweeted that most GMs are skeptical that the Marlins will actually land Pujols, and this rumor would seem to confirm that. The Cardinals will surely be willing to go over $200 million to sign Pujols, so although the Marlins could still increase their offer, this raises suspicions all over again. How serious are the Marlins about making a run at these big name free agents? Are they in it for the publicity or the players?

Most likely, the answer is a little bit of both.

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