**Since posting this article, the Marlins have become front runners in the CJ Wilson sweepstakes, while all but pulling out of talks with Fielder and Pujols. Sanchez appears likely to stay in Miami, but still worth a look at his present trade value.. **
Despite dishing out $190M the last three days in contracts to All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes, closer Heath Bell and recently starter Mark Buehrle, word from the Winter Meetings in Dallas this week has been that the Marlins could add one final mammoth contract to the payroll before this week is over: a 10-year, $220M deal with all-world 1B Albert Pujols, that is reportedly still on the table or possibly a lesser agreement with fellow 1B free agent Prince Fielder.
While this type of spending activity by the Marlins seemed far fetched just a week ago, the front office has certainly made it clear that they expect to be serious contenders this season.
As of this afternoon, deals with Pujols or Fielder are looking increasingly unlikely, however until either signs elsewhere, the Marlins should not be ruled out.
Regardless, as fans continue to salivate over a potential lineup featuring Reyes, Pujols/Fielder and Hanley, others have begun to question how the team will look to bolster their pedestrian starting rotation in the coming months. The Marlins made an initial step in that direction early today, inking Buehrle to a four-year, $58M deal, however management has indicated that the Marlins may not be done.
—Allow us to get ahead of ourselves—
If Pujols or Fielder do wind up landing in Miami, 28-year-old 1B Gaby Sanchez is a likely bet to be on the train out of town, according to Atlanta-Journal Constitution writer David O’Brien. Sanchez, the Marlins everyday 1B since 2010, would easily become the next best available 1B on the market this winter, behind Pujols and Fielder. And with numerous teams looking to improve at 1B, Sanchez gives the Marlins a prime trade piece that should look into moving, NOW, regardless of the Buehrle acquisition.