07 December 2011
Albert Pujols maybe taking his time to think about where he wants to play next year, but the Marlins are not just going to sit around and wait for him. The Marlins signed left handed free agent Mark Buehrle this afternoon to a four year deal believed to be worth $58 million dollars. Buehrle will definitely give a boost to a starting rotation that already includes Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, and Anibal Sanchez. Buehrle is also capable of being the ace of the staff if Josh Johnson is unable to break his string of injuries.
Buehrle is the third big free agent signing for the Marlins after closer Heath Bell and Jose Reyes, who had his introductory press conference this afternoon. This has already been one of the best off seasons in team history and it could be better as the Marlins still have a six year contract offer out to C.J. Wilson and it seems like the pitcher will either end up in Miami or with the LA Angles.
This of course all comes less than 24 hours after intense negotiation battles between the Marlins and the Cardinals for the right to sign Albert Pujols. While their are reports that the Marlins are still going after Pujols, and team president David Sampson said this evening on the Dan Lebatard radio show that the Marlins are still in it until he signs with another team, their are also conflicting reports that Pujols' agent has told the Marlins that they are out of the running. It seems as though with ever Pujols report that comes out that their is another one from another baseball media member to contradict it.
Best guess about what is going on with Pujols is that the Marlins are now out of the running and that is why they are able to sign Mark Buehrle and also go after C.J. Wilson. The $200+ million that the Marlins were planning on spending on getting Albert is now being divided up so that the Marlins can get these two pitchers. Personally I think that as much business sense as it made for the Marlins to try to acquire Pujols, this plan makes much more baseball sense and will result in more wins over the next four years. If the Marlins are able to grab Wilson, that means that they will have a rotation of Johnson, Wilson, Buehrle, Sanchez, Nolasco and unlike the Phillies last year the Marlins will have the batting lineup that will be able to score a lot of runs as well.
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