The Florida Marlins have long been buried.
The Miami Marlins are alive and kicking.
According to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports!, the Marlins have made a standing offer to Albert Pujols which would be for nine years and an annual value of $25 million ($225 million). This tops the St. Louis Cardinals offer of nine years and $210 million and would blow out of the water the record for most lucrative Marlins contract held by Hanley Ramirez (six years, $70 million)
According to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick, part of the team's pitch to Pujols last Friday involved bringing in about ten players to assist in recruiting and "make the organization's interest clear."
Since the tour was last Friday, the ten players are obviously those who showcased the jerseys, perhaps even incumbent first baseman Gaby Sanchez who would be the de facto trade bait if the Marlins landed Pujols.
During that tour, the Marlins showed Pujols where his locker would be and a jersey with his name on it. However, the interesting thing is whether the Marlins would make a special concession to allow Pujols to wear the retired "5" jersey which was retired in the memory of the first team president in club history, Carl Barger, who died before he franchise began play.
There seems to be no one as hot after the free agents the Marlins are pursuing this offseason. For Pujols, the race is a two-man one and for Reyes, the same applies as no other team has yet to offer a deal to the shortstop. Marlins reportedly offered six years and $90 million ($15 million per season) and the bigger question is if they'd want both players.
President David Samson seemed to indicate that there was a flow chart involving free agents and more specifically Samson told Glenn Geffner on his radio show this past Saturday:
"So we know from a flow-chart standpoint, if (a free agent says) yes, we go this direction. If no, we go in that direction. And at the end of each branch of our plan is a playoff team… We don’t know which branch the team will look like but we expect to be a playoff team.”
By this, it's hard to tell whether a single branch included both Reyes and Pujols but my gut feeling seems to indicate it doesn't because the Marlins are already in a crippling situation under Pujols. Not to mention, the franchise is due for a Mike Stanton extension pretty soon, an extension which might even be delayed if a big deal is struck with Pujols.
I can say that Yoennis Cespedes would be apart of any scenario the Marlins embark on from this current free agency fiasco. Cespedes wouldn't cost more than $50 million and its someone who the Marlins envision as their center fielder and acquiring him opens the door for the Marlins to deal said pieces in deals for starting pitching, namely, Gio Gonzalez of the Athletics.
The next few days will have many setting their sights on the Marlins "altered" state of mind.
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