With the signings of Heath Bell and Jose Reyes, the Miami Marlins have already spent more this offseason than they have in the past five offseasons combined, but they aren't ready to stop yet. According to Jayson Stark from ESPN, the Marlins are prepared to make a large push to sign Albert Pujols next:
Sources told ESPN.com on Sunday night that the Marlins still plan to make an aggressive run at Pujols, even after committing $106 million to Reyes over the next six years, and plan to meet with Pujols' agent, Dan Lozano, Monday or Tuesday at the winter meetings.
Pujols would certainly make the Marlins a better team, and it's possible that he's going to come at a comparatively "cheap" price considering no large market team is in on the bidding. At the same time, though, the Marlins don't need to sign Pujols. They moved Logan Morrison to the outfield because of their depth at first base, and Gaby Sanchez is a competent, valuable player. It's not as if first base is a position of need.
The Marlins appear to be working with the strategy of, "If you can sign a Hall of Fame talent, you have to do it." And I can't say I blame them. That money would probably be better spent on a starting pitcher or two, but I can't fault the Marlins for making a run at the best, most consistent player of the past 10 years.
At some point, though, Marlins fans have to start asking questions. Where is all this money coming from? Why is it that the Marlins could never barely afford a payroll over $50 million before, but all of a sudden they're able to afford all these big name players and have a payroll at or above $100 million? A new stadium will certainly increase revenues -- especially when you have taxpayers giving it to you for free -- but the extent of this change is suspicious. Were the Marlins holding back before?