The Winter Meetings officially ended Thursday afternoon, and the rumor mill has already begun to slow down in speed and intensity. Many of the big names this offseason are off the market -- Jose Reyes, Albert Pujols, and C.J. Wilson chief among them -- and it seems increasingly likely that the Miami Marlins are finished making a splash.
While the Marlins were heavily involved in the Winter Meetings and made the most aggressive offers to both Pujols and Wilson, they missed out on both players. Wilson and Pujols were two of their top two free agent targets, and the Marlins were obviously hoping to sign at least one of the two of them. There had been some speculation that the Marlins might shift their focus after losing out on these two and pursue Prince Fielder instead, but as of now, Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Marlins are not interested in Fielder.
If true, this strategy makes sense. The Marlins have already improved their team enough that they will be playoff contenders next season (barring a little bit of good luck with injuries), and Scott Boras -- the mega-agent that represents Prince Fielder -- is going to drive Fielder's price up to astronomical levels. There's already talk of Fielder wanting a seven year deal that approaches $200 million, which wouldn't be a sound investment for the Marlins to make.
The same logic applies to Japanese pitching phenom Yu Darvish. He's looking to sign with a major league team for 2012, but he will come at a steep price. Considering the spotted history of Japanese pitchers coming over to America -- think Daisuke Matsuzaka and Kei Igawa -- he'd be a risky acquisition for the price involved.
So for now, the Marlins will likely quiet down on the rumor mill. They have acquired many of the players on the offseason checklist -- Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle -- and missed out on the other players they were most interested in. They will likely still want to add another starter, but may have to look to the trade market to make something happen.
To join in the conversation about this ongoing saga of an offseason, head over to SB Nation's blog on the Marlins, Fish Stripes.