Every day now, the Miami Marlins are making the news for some rumor concerning their pursuit of free agents Jose Reyes and Albert Pujols. Yesterday, the big story was that the Marlins had offered Reyes a 6 year, $90 million contract. If that wasn't enough to blow your socks off, today's rumor about the Marlins and Albert Pujols should do the trick:
The Miami Marlins aren't messing around. 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. Is it possible that two weeks into November Pujols could already have what will be his best offer? (Tim Brown, Yahoo! Sports)
So much for those frugal Florida Marlins, eh? If this report is true, then the Marlins would be looking to increase their payroll significantly in 2012 and could top $100 million. It would also position themselves as one of the front-runners for Albert Pujols, which is something nobody seemed to believe could happen even yesterday.
Other news sources have picked up on the $225 million figure, but in my opinion, it sounds as though Tim Brown is largely hypothesizing about the dollars involved. He heard that the Marlins offer for Pujols is for nine years, and then he's plugging in a dollar value that seems to make sense. It's entirely possible that the Marlins came in lower than a $25 million/year average salary in their offer, so I'd hold off on the jubilation until we get a more solid report on the money involved.
The Cardinals supposedly offered Pujols a nine-year, $210 million deal before this past season, so the Marlins would have had to clear that benchmark if they wanted to be taken seriously. It seems likely that they did surpass that total, but by how much? Will it be enough to woo Pujols, and are they willing to go higher if need be?
One thing is clear, though: the Marlins are more serious about Pujols than most people expected. It may be time we start wrapping our mind around the idea of Albert Pujols playing next season in these lovely duds.