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Miami Marlins Offer Albert Pujols 10 Year Deal, Make Cardinals Sweat

The Miami Marlins met with Albert Pujols' agent late Monday afternoon, but that apparently wasn't enough for the Fish; they also met with his agent again late last night, and they increased their offer in the process. While they originally offered Pujols a low-ball deal that was worth less than $200 million, but they appear to have gone on the offensive:

Hearing #Marlins boosted offer to Pujols to 10 years, matching arod's in length. they are obvs pushing hard. (Jon Heyman, ESPN)

The Marlins are now seen as the primary threat to the Cardinals, as the Cubs were never serious bidders and no other team has entered the bidding yet. The Cardinals have yet to modify their original offer to Pujols from last January -- 9 years at $22 million per season -- so that's the bar the Marlins need to clear.

But as Buster Olney reminds everyone, the hangup with the Cardinals' original offer to Pujols was never about the length; it was about the money. He wanted more than an average value of $22 million per season, and since we don't know how much money the Marlins offered Pujols, it's unclear how serious their offer is. It's possible that the deal matches the Cardinals' offer of $22 million/year, although it seems unlikely based on their initial offer.

Both the Cardinals and Marlins are expected to meet with Albert Pujols' agent Tuesday, and things may start to get serious. This could be a wild 48 hours.

To join in the conversation about the Marlins' offseason, head on over to SB Nation's blog on the Marlins, Fish Stripes.

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