Jose Reyes signed a six-year contract with the Miami Marlins worth $106 million, and the offseason shopping may not stop there yet.
ESPN's Jayson Stark is reporting that the Marlins could still have money available to make a strong push for Albert Pujols. Heath Bell signed with the team to take on the team's role as closer. Reyes will play shortstop as Hanley Ramirez moves to third base. If Pujols ends up manning first base at the brand-new ballpark in South Beach, is the United States ready to call Miami the most hated sports city?
The Marlins seem to be playing the same game the Miami Heat were playing more than a year ago with top-tier free agents like Chris Bosh and LeBron James. They assembled a squad projected to be one of the greatest NBA trios of all time, only to come up short in the NBA Finals.
The Marlins have Bell and Reyes under contract with deals that do not seem like they overpaid for either one. Now they await to make a pitch to Pujols.
This is very much like the negotiations James had as a free agent because the stage is set for a big decision to be made. If it were not all about the money, many would assume Pujols would have signed a deal with the St. Louis Cardinals by now. James was out looking for the best team he could win a championship with, whereas Pujols is coming off a championship-winning season.
Something interesting could be brewing by the fact that he has not signed with St. Louis yet.
Now, hypothetically speaking: If the Marlins end up having Bell, Reyes and Pujols join Ramirez in Miami, how hated will they be in the major leagues? The Yankees are always despised for showing the big bucks when they need to. The Knicks have been looking to reel in Chris Paul, so they could have their own "Big Three" with Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire. The Phillies have been buying the best pitchers on the market of late. The Eagles attracted some of the biggest NFL free agents.
But who is the most hated of all?
Baseball is a game where a team can lose 60 games and still make the playoffs. The pressure to win everything will not be there for the Marlins, but a huge turnaround will be expected.
The Heat were the most hated team in the NBA last year.
Hanley Ramirez as the equivalent of Dwayne Wade. Jose Reyes coming along for the ride as Chris Bosh. Albert Pujols can fill the shoes of LeBron James in the analogy. Will the rest of Major League Baseball have the same reaction as the NBA fans did when the Heat made themselves a dream team?