Reyes more likely than Pujols
MIAMI — Albert Pujols came, saw the sparkling new ballpark, and left South Florida on Friday night impressed with the direction the Miami Marlins are headed.
Before Pujols went home, the Marlins presented the slugger with a preliminary contract offer.
Although the Marlins confirmed Pujols’ visit, they are not commenting on whether they’ve made contract offers.
According to multiple sources and multiple news outlets, however, the Marlins have indeed extended initial offers to Pujols, Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle.
The offer to Pujols is reportedly “substantial.” But is it enough to sway the Cardinals slugger into leaving St. Louis for South Beach?
At this point, the answer is probably not.
The buzz late Friday night is that the Marlins are more likely to sign Reyes than Pujols. One reason is money. Another is passion to play in Miami.
The Marlins certainly would love to add Pujols, but those connected with the club said the first offer probably isn’t close to being enough to lure in the biggest prize on the free agent market.
Exactly what the Marlins presented Pujols isn’t yet known. It also may be the first offer, and not necessarily the team’s final one.
To those connected with the team, keep an eye on Reyes.
Reyes is viewed as a strong possibility to become a Marlin. Word around the club is the shortstop loved his visit on Wednesday, and he wants to play in Miami. Reyes is said to be comfortable in the market, he likes many of the players already on the team, and he was impressed by the new ballpark, which promises to be one of the best in the big leagues.
The Marlins certainly are looking to attract big names as they are rebranding their name and image.
Signing Pujols clearly would create the biggest splash. Perhaps it will happen before the start of Spring Training.
For now, a more realistic Miami signing is Reyes.
— Joe Frisaro