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Do The Miami Marlins Believe Albert Pujols Is Older Than 31?

If you believe Dan LeBatard from the Dan LeBatard Show on 790 AM, then the answer would be "Yes."  According to LeBatard, the Miami Marlins believe that Albert Pujols is older than his listed age of 31 years old. This is a stunning accusation, as Pujols is the top free agent on the market and any doubt about his age could significantly impact his upcoming contract.

Is this rumor true, though? I'm skeptical. First of all, radio hosts are not typically the most well-connected or trustworthy sources. While certain hosts may get juicy rumors and information, overall, most big news stories are broken by beat writers or professional rumor-mongers like Jon Heyman and Ken Rosenthal. For a person like LeBatard to break a story like this seems suspicious, and it seems more likely that it's a nugget dropped by someone with a blatant agenda.

Also, the Marlins reportedly just offered Albert Pujols a contract for nine years and close to $200 million. If they seriously believed that he was older than 31 years old, they would be insane for offering him a contract of that length and scope. Even when talking about the best player in baseball, you don't want to be committing yourself to paying him a huge salary when he's 41+ years old.

Some Latin American ballplayers have been known to lie about their age and identity in order to make the majors and make more money, and the Marlins know this fact all too well; it came out this past season that their closer, Leo Nunez, was playing under an assumed name and was a year older than reported. But there have never been any rumors of this kind about Pujols, and from all reports, he's one of the most upstanding players in baseball today.

I sincerely hope this rumor didn't originate in the Marlins' front office; if so, it looks like a dirty, cheap negotiating tactic. Maybe they have a justifiable reason for believing Pujols is older than he's stated, but for now, this rumor is simply too speculative to be given any consideration. This is a story best forgotten about.

For more Miami's offseason, see our analysis on why Albert Pujols isn't a good fit for the Marlins.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.