Miami Marlins Confident In Signing Jose Reyes, Pursuing Albert Pujols
According to reports, the Miami Marlins are very confident in their pursuit to sign star shortstop Jose Reyes, formerly of the New York Mets. The Marlins reportedly made significant offers to Reyes, first baseman Albert Pujols, and starting pitcher Mark Buehrle. Reyes is the Marlins number one priority at the moment and they are pushing hard to sign the speedster to play shortstop for them. If Reyes signs, Miami will shift Hanley Ramirez to third base to form a hard to beat infield of Reyes, Ramirez, Gaby Sanchez at first base, and Omar Infante at second base. If Pujols signs with or without Reyes, Sanchez could then become trade bait for starting pitching help, perhaps a guy like James Shields from Tampa Bay (he has been rumored to being shopped due to Tampa not being able to afford him after arbitration, and he was shopped at the trading deadline with Cincinnati as the most serious pursuer) or Gio Gonzalez from Oakland.
The St.Louis Cardinals are reportedly said to not be sweetening there offer to retain Pujols from last winter of $210 million. If the Marlins can soar above that price tag by a good amount and with Pujols being from Puerto Rico, Miami could have a very, very good chance to sign Pujols. With an already interesting young team, Miami might just be enticing enough for Pujols to leave St.Louis. It’ll probably cost at least $225 million for Miami to rip Pujols from the Cardinals and with the new stadium opening in April and the Marlins owner saying that the Marlins are willing to spend a lot this winter to get a championship caliber team on the field, I can see Miami coming at least close to that $225 million for Pujols. Having a 3-4 in the lineup of Pujols and rising star power hitter Mike Stanton would be scary to see. First things first, you have got to show Pujols the money and make sure it’s more then St.Louis. I think the Marlins have enough power with Stanton, Sanchez, and Ramirez, which leads me to think that they have a far greater need for Reyes.
Jose Reyes is the Marlins number one priority and some sources have already said that Reyes and the Marlins have an agreement in principal and that an announcement is expected later this week but no team officials are confirming it. So until we get something official from the team or someone like Jon Heyman, Ken Rosenthal, or Buster Olney, Reyes is still a free agent and not a Marlin. Early indications are Reyes will get at least a 5 year, $100 million deal. The Mets are not going to be big spenders this winter as the owners have financial woes going on currently. It doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t re-sign Reyes but if a bidding war were to happen for Reyes, the Mets may have to bow out and lose their star shortstop of seven years. The Mets, Marlins, Phillies, Brewers, Cardinals, Giants, Redsox, Blue Jays, Tigers, and Angels are teams that have, may, or could express interest in Reyes. The Marlins appear the front runner after reportedly already sitting down with Reyes for lunch, giving him a tour of the new ballpark, and offering him a significant contract. No other team has met with Reyes yet, but the Brewers have said that they reached out to his representation, but no meetings are set up as of now. I would think being closer to his native country of the Dominican Republic would be enticing to Reyes to sign with Miami, but no one knows what his family wants to do. If Reyes signs with Miami, that would shift Hanley Ramirez to third base and form one of the best left sides of the infield in the MLB and a very fast team. The Marlins need to get one of Pujols or Reyes before the new ballpark opens or else the new ballpark may be empty just like the old one always was. I’d have to think with Miami being the only serious pursuer so far and willing to spend lots of money, that it bodes well for them in their pursuit to sign Reyes.
Signing even one of Pujols or Reyes would be a HUGE jolt to the Marlins offense and instantly make it one of the NL’s best. If they can somehow, someway obtain both Reyes and Pujols, they’d have arguably the best offense in the MLB with Reyes, Pujols, Ramirez, Stanton, Sanchez, Infante, etc. Getting Pujols would give the Marlins the chance to trade rising star first baseman Gaby Sanchez for some pitching help, in which they are in dyer need of, with ace Josh Johnson being so injury prone, and Ricky Nolasco, and Anibal Sanchez being inconsistent. Perhaps they can re-sign Javier Vasquez, who was excellent the final four months of the season, and/or maybe sign another veteran starter like Roy Oswalt or Mark Buehrle (who they already have extended an offer to as well). A report out today indicated that the Marlins also extended an offer to ex Phillies closer Ryan Madson. With all these big names being associated with Miami and already fielding an intriguing young team, the Marlins seem like they may be ready to finally make another strong push towards a World Series title for the first time since 2003. First, you have to get one of Pujols or Reyes, then work on the pitching. Albert Pujols or Jose Reyes with the Marlins will make the NL East an even more interesting division and possibly the best in the MLB.