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Miami Marlins Target C.J. Wilson, Have Price Fielder As Back-Up Plan

The Miami Marlins are by far the most aggressive team on the free agent market this year. If there's a big name player available, you better believe that the Marlins have inquired about them and are in on the bidding. They are serious about improving their team immediately, even if it means they have a lot of risk hanging over their team for the next seven years.

While the rumor mill changes on a near hourly basis, the Marlins' current position is well known: they have offered a six-year deal to C.J. Wilson, and he remains their top priority at the moment. If he instead signs with the Angels -- who will not offer him six years, but have the hometown advantage and seem willing to compensate with boatloads of money -- then the Marlins are ready to pursue Prince Fielder.

No matter which player they acquire, Wilson or Fielder, the Marlins will have dramatically improved their team. Wilson is an ace starter (2.94 ERA, 3.24 FIP in 2011) and Fielder is once of the premier sluggers in the game (38 HRs, .408 wOBA in 2011). Considering teams are currently anxious about signing Fielder to a six or seven year deal -- and he's still only 28 years old -- the Marlins could potentially lock him up and take on much less risk than their 10 year offer to Albert Pujols.

Heck, the Marlins could offer Fielder an aggressive offer -- 7 years, $22 million per year -- and still only be paying him $154 million. When compared with Pujols' $220+ million demands, that's peanuts.

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

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