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Should Marlins overpay for a Pujols or Reyes?

     Just back from the GM meetings in Milwaukee, where the greatest stir was created by the sighting of Meg Ryan and John Mellencamp in the lobby of the Pfister Hotel. Otherwise, it was a rather slow event, as GM meetings tend to go, and the Marlins left without even making a waiver claim, as they did at the same gathering in '08 when they picked up Dan Meyer.

      But Marlins executives, not used to any clamor whatsoever at these things in the past, were treated like rock stars in Milwaukee. Larry Beinfest was surrounded by no fewer than 20 reporters on Tuesday when he spoke and Jeffrey Loria, his clothes packed in a Marlins duffel bag, was mobbed by scribes and followed to the lobby elevator after he checked into the Pfister.

      All eyes are on the Marlins, who have early bids in on Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Ryan Madson, feelers out on C.J. Wilson, Roy Oswalt and probably many others, and are having trade discussions with other teams -- all for the sake of improving and, to be sure, making a major splash.

      Which brings us to today's discussion topic. If the bidding for Pujols, Reyes and the rest goes sky high, beyond a reasonable level let's say, is it imperative that the Marlins overspend to acquire at least one of the Big Three players, given all the buzz they've created already? Would you be satisfied if they ended up with, say, Buehrle and Madson -- but not Pujols, Reyes or Prince Fielder, the cream of this year's free agent crop? Where would you draw the line? Give us your thoughts.....      


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No, they should not overspend just to land a big-name FA, even if it's Pujols. They need a more balanced team. Buehrle and Madson would give them a more balanced team. If they can afford Wilson or Oswalt (or both) with the two, better. If they can still afford a Pujols or Fielder after signing Buerhle and Madson (or some other decent starter and closer), then that would be great. If they throw away all their money on a Pujols or a Fielder, the next season will be another throwaway.


No way for Pujols. We won't need to overpay for Reyes, doesn't really look like many other people want/trust him staying healthy long term. I'm down with Reyes, Cespedes, Buehrle and a closer.


Would be very disapointed if we didn't wind up with Reyes. I like Sanchez and don't view 1B as a need. Teaming Reyes with Ramirez and the Power of Stanton is a nice 1-4. Sanchez and Morrison will continue to grow and as long as they fix the pitching this offseason with guys like mentioned above I think it will be a successful offseason.

SoFla Ken

OK, I'm going to be the contraian and say YES, they should overpay for at least one of those guys. And the reason is simple: to show people they're serious about free-agency and making this team better.

Offering a contact and lading the player are two different things. Teams that land free agents often DO overpay. Now is the time the Marlins need to take a big chance and get one of these guys, no matter the cost.

There's a lot of momentum building for this team, and nothing would kill it faster than coming up empty on the big name FAs. Overpay, and deal with consequences later. For once.

Flav C

Agree with all above. I would get Reyes as the only big-name position player right now. Adding Buherle and Madson would make a huge difference. Re-sign Dobbs as a good option off the bench. Save the money for 2013 FA. If Hamels does not get a new contract with the Phillies he will be available, along with Matt Cain, Colby Lewis and Zack Greinke. There will be good options for pitching in 2013. Not mentioning that David Wright will be a FA too.


It wouldnt be logical to have an up and coming team put all their eggs in one basket. Simple:
Overspend for only one player. Yoenis Cespedes, Why? Well wherever the price goes it wouldnt be anywhere pujols/fielder money. Cespedes would bring a latin flare and game style to a purely latin community.
Next acquire pitching. Be it Burhle, Wilson, or whomever.
Finally try to explore the trade market. I would use either Logan Morrison, Gaby, or Bonifacio as bait. Any of these players are tradeble. After this we would have a good team to grow and with plenty of money left from this typhoon of an off season.


Overspending for Reyes means 18 million/yr, overspending for Pujols might mean 25-30 million/yr. I'll take the bait on Reyes at worse but just getting Pujols wouldn't put them over the top.

Get Reyes and Buerhle for the price of Pujols. I cringe at the thought that Loria would really give a 40 million package to a one inning a game closer in Madson. Don't do it, that's horrible value. You find a closer from within, you don't give huge dollars for someone else's.

Flav C

Anyone here saw the Blue-Jays new logo and uniforms? They are awesome.


They really should try to land one of the big names out there!! my favorite would be Prince, since it makes the most since in the long run. I am a huge fan of Pujols but if someone is willing to give him 9 years at 225 mil, that is just crazy!!


I think just the term "overspending" says all you need to know. You don't ever want to overspend for anybody or anything. Making a splash in the offseason won't mean much if it turns out you've done a bellyflop once the season starts.
As SoFla Ken says, teams DO overpay for big-name free agents — and they almost always regret it big-time a couple years down the road.


The Marlins should not over pay for these FA's.
I would behappy tojust get 2 reliable starting pitchers & a bonafide closer.

steven gonzalez

If there would be one player i would overpay for would be albert pujols we dont need reyes,ramirez is a grate shot stop and we can have aramis ramirez for cheep it evens out i think getting those 2 players would be grte haveing emilio btting first is the same as reyes


marlins shold pay for latin playrs to fill up new field for latin fans

G Ramos

Reyes or Pujols would create alot of excitement with our fan base which really needs a shot in the arm. I think we need a solid number two starting pithcer, a CF and would love to have a third basemen. People are forgetting that Hanley is going to be recovering from a should surgery with very little spring trainging, and now you are going to ask him to switch positions. Might be tough! If we can get Cespedes, Buerhle and Gio Gonzalez I think it would be an improvement our pitching staff has been alittle below par. if it wasn't for Javier Vazquez last year we would have been terrible!

Mets Fan

Don't get too excited. Reyes is too smart to come here. Loria and Mighty mite Sampson are not to be trusted. He willl stay with the Mets or he may go to Milwaukee.

You better buy a 20 game season ticket ticket package so you can park your car in the garage. Good luck fighting that traffic on I-95 or getting lost in that neighborhood. Hopefully you wont get blcoked in parking on someones lawn.

meri con

no blockee no blockee $20.00

SoFla Ken

Laurel-Yes, a lot of teams do overpay and end up with buyers remorse. However, my point is that in order to prove this whole free agent chase is more than lip service, then overpaying for one of these guys (I'm not saying all of them) is actually a good faith gesture to the fans.

I know that sounds ridiculous. But what would be more ridiculous is coming back to a fan base that might be (slightly) thawing to this ownership group with yet another excuse as to why they didn't sign at least one of these guys. They can't afford to jerk around their patrons--and potential future free agents--any longer.

So if that means they have to outspend someone to get Reyes or Pujols or Buherle, then just get it done, and deal with potential remorse down the road. As someone else said above, Reyes at $18 mill a year is less of a gamble than Pujols at $25 mill a year.

(Oh, and Mets Fan? Reyes may go to Milwaukee before Miami, but he's not going back to New York.)



Gabe the D-Town FishFan

All I want for christmas,

1. Not to Overspend on Pujols, Fielder or Reyes. I think that Gaby Sanchez is perfect for this team, and Hanley should only move to 3B if he is comfortable, as well all know he can't truly handle pressure. If not lets just give Matt Dominguez the time learn and star at 3B.

2. The True Shot to the fan base would be to bring the hometown boy back in Gio Gonzalez and sign Yoenis Cespedes to reign over the outfield with Stanton and Coghlan. Lets just BUY Gio soccer style if we have to, and use the left overs to bring Javy back!

3. Im all for diamonds in the rough lets give Scott Kazmir a minor league deal.

Lets Talk Fish


SoFla Ken,
I understand your point and I wasn't being sarcastic. The FO does owe it to the fans to spend big money and make major improvements to the lineup after all the swaggering they've done of late. If they don't, most of us are going to be disappointed and p*ssed as hell, and for good reason. I just think that most fans are sophisticated enough to understand that adding three or four very good players might be a better use of the available funds than blowing it on one aging or injury-prone superstar.
Having said that, I'd love to have a Pujols, Fielder or Reyes on the team as long as we can get some other pieces to go with them.
As much as I distrust Loria and his henchmen, I don't think they're jerking around the fans and I don't think they're smart enough to jerk around the sharpies representing those free agents. It's just a negotiation process, like buying a used car. You never offer top dollar during your first visit to the lot.


They have the TEAM they need to win already ... They need to focus on what they lack ... Starting pitching and a closer.


Trade Hanley for a REAL thrid baseman ( David Wright ?), move Infante to short, Bonifacio at second, maybe even swap Sanchez to leftfield and let Morrison play his natural position at firstbase.


Mostly good ideas here, except the one about trading Gaby, Morrison & Bonifacio. Maybe trade Gaby for pitching if they sign Pujols or Fielder-- both very unlikely. If I could have only 2 of the FAs mentioned, I'd take Buehrle & Madson, though honestly I can't see Madson walking away from Philly after all his work to get where he is. He has a good shot at the World Series every year on a team with a record of doing what it must. There's very little in the Marlins' history under Loria to give a top player confidence about joining this team.

Stan M

What a marvelous group of postings. Many names I've never seen before. Hope most of you stay around,the next several months will be the most interesting in many years. My personal opinion would center around the present conception of this team's ownership. Let's face it; they have been charlatans in the past. I for one am still afraid that they made many offers that were just a little too low to be accepted. In order to rebuild credibility, the team simply must get one of those free agents that are most talked about. My hope is that it is Reyes both because of his price and also style of play. With him hitting behind Bono, the team is already exciting! As far as other free agents, I wouldn't mind if they went to second tier, but useful players. In a perfect world, I'd take Reyes, Sizemore, Buhelre, Oswalt and our own Vazquez. And take a flyer on Dontrelle. One very encouraging thing I read somewhere was that many players are expressing interest in coming to South Florida.


I'm pleased that there are others out there who want Madson as much as I do. Signing him would be a two-for-one deal, because the Fish would not only have his arm available but they wouldn't have to bat against him a couple of dozen times a year. Now that the Phillies have reneged on his $44 million contract, he may be ripe for the picking — and for a lot less money than that.


If Boni is on top of the lineup you might as well take the free agent money and wipe your ass with it. Why on earth would you have that guy anywhere near the top much less in the starting lineup is unthinkable. If you sign Reyes you do it to lead off. Also you do not move a guy of a bag when he played the type of defense that Gaby did last year. Why screw up two positions. LoMo whom I think is great at the plate is a fair at best defender no matter where you put him. If you want to win, big and for a long time they should sign Cespedes, Reyes, and Buehrle. the linup should look something like this:

SS Reyes
2B Infante
3B Hanley
RF Stanton
1B Gaby
CF Cespedes
C Buck
P Spot

That is a 900+ run team that will average 90 or more wins for the next 5 years. Any configuration that has Boni with more than 400 AB's, a nice number for a super utility player, is not a good sign. He is a player who has greater value with less at bats. In my mind he is a 1 WAR player or if you prefer OPS about .665 which is not the caliber of player you need in a contending lineup.

Nathan Adams

I think we should go after pujols and do what ever it takes, overpaying for him is realy paying for two because I think he will fix Hanley. Do you think Haley will tell his Idol and hero to get out of his face when Pujols gets on him for not running or being late or any of the other 100 things he probably does that make him a bad teamate. Lets face it when he is right and I think Pujols will make sure he is Hanley is the one of the top three players in the legue at short. If we add Reyes Hanley just falls deaper into his own self pity then we stuck with the same problem as the last couple years.I say pay whatever it takes because Hanley form three years ago and Pujols form any time added to this average lineup makes it one of the best in the NL.


I will say bring back Miguel Cabrera. Trade Hanley and Volstad for Justin Upton. Sign Reyes and Buherle.

SS Reyes
2B Infante
1B Cabrera
CF J. Upton
RF Stanton
3B Bonifacio
C Buck
P Spot Rotation(JJ-Buehrle-Nolasco-Sanchez-Jackson)

ed stanton

Do not overpay, but push to get Pujols if within reason; Reyes does not add enough to chase after him; try to sign Cespedes; Buehrle would be nice pickup and try to get Javier back for another year


You do not overpay for any player. Not in this market. I was criticized on the previous article for "trying to rationalize by using common sense." It tells me alot about that individual without knowing who he/she is. Most recent examples Jason Werth and Carl Crawford with the difference being that Boston could absorb that contract and performance because no one in Boston is giving up their season tickets. That fan base and market is great. And why is everyone so high on Cespedes who no one here has ever seen other than in that scouting video. I would tread these waters lightly. The guy is 26 so it's not like you can send him to the farm to develop. He's supposedly major league ready. I assume they already told him not to stand at home plate when he hits a homerun. Otherwise, you would have paid a guy 30 million+ to sit because someone broke his ribs. What the front office said is they are going to spend money wisely. Paying any player over 20 million is not wise. It's just common sense. I don't know how to operate any other way.

Stan M

I was just looking over the stats from the Arizona Fall League. The Marlin's "non-prospect" Kevin Mattison was one of the best hitters there. He had excellent stats yet is not rated as a prospect by evaluators there either. He's supposed to be the fastest man in Marlin's organization but don't know if that includes Bono or not. He plays CF. He has a great handlebar moustache. He's too old to be a bonafide prospect; about Coghlan's age. But I hope they have him in Spring Training just to find out if he is better than the sum of his parts.


I say sign them ,lol.
I'm a big fan of Reyes and excited about this Cespedes guy. Trading Hanley is not too far fetched because of the value you could get for him.
I believe Stanton and LoMo will make huge strides next yr and Reyes and Cespedes does enough to put this offense over the top.
Signing Buerhle would be nice but Madson might be too pricey.
Who would you guys most prefer to play 2B
Infante or Bonifacio???


I also wanted to add that they may not be as serious as we thought. I mean they haven't done anything else other than stir the pot for a day or two; waiting for the pot to boil but it never did. Im not referring to Reyes, Pujols or Fielder. They have so many areas to adress and first base and shortstop was not on that list. Not on my list at least. Are they really going to wait for Cespedes papers to get fixed which I've read could happen until late December or January. We've seen the term laying all your eggs in one basket when referring to signing Pujols but he probably gives more of a chance at winning than Cespedes. Anyways, they need to start thinking of Plan B for the rotation and Center. Given the 3rd baseman options out there Boni or Dominguez will have to do if they wait too long.

Stan M

Just saw startling news that teams can test for HGH next Spring. If that's true, I'd never sign any player right now who exhibits unusual power for hitters or unusual speed for pitchers. In my mind, this changes all considerations of whom to sign. I wouldn't touch Pujols, or that Cuban guy. There is going to be huge buyer's remorse if some of these stars suddenly regress. Buhrle now looks like a definite player to go after and our own Vazquez ditto. I don't even know about Reyes now. This probably sounds like treason, but saving some of those funds for a year just might be a better long term goal. This new testing could change so much. Teams that feature power could be in for a big surprise. For example, I could see Uggla hitting less than 20 HRs next year and the sudden rise of CJ Wilson might be suspect. In my opinion, this is a whole new ballgame. What do you folks think?


Duz anone beleve pullhost come here haha no way


Stan M,
I don't know how long HGH works its magic after you stop taking it, and I don't know how long it's detectable in the blood after you last use it.
I suppose you could test players before signing them, and possibly include a provision that would make their contract null and void if they ever test positive for HGH. That would be one way to protect your investment. If the players union agrees that HGH should be banned, I think it would be hard for them to object to such a clause. Any "clean" player should willingly agree to that.
It's a problem all teams are going to have to wrestle with, but I think the Marlins need to find a way to deal with the issue rather than bypassing a great player just because he "might" be doing something illegal. If they get too skittish, the Fish will never be anything but not-so-loveable losers, and I don't know how much more of that this old man can stand.


I think it would be a HUGE mistake to move Infante from second base. He's comfortable there and he's one of the best second basemen in baseball, so why in the world would you move him? I don't understand this "plug and play" mentality where fans think we should shuffle guys all over the playing field just for the hell of it. If you're going to do that crap, do it in the minor leagues while they're still learning the game. Once a big league player is comfortable in a position and plays it well, I say leave him alone unless a change is absolutely necessary.


I would make the Reyes splash as it will be cheaper than Pujhols, who we dont need. Signing Pujhols through the age of 41 at $25m would be irresponsible. Spend lots on pitching! Get a closer and two starters. Volstad can be traded to help replenish prospects. As much as I hate to let Bonifacio go, it might make sense to trade him after his great season last year. Im not sure he will be as consistent in future years and you might be able get a starter for him, Dominguez and Volstad. I would also like to keep Dobbs in the short term. Oswalt for an expensive short term contract is ok. Don't overspend on Burhle as he is getting old.

St Louis Post Dispatch

Marlins offer to Pujhols not even equal to Cardinals offer ...just a ploy to sell tickets.


Very true. Most of the Mlb stories in other cities say the Marlins are just trying to sell tickets and Mlb executives are laughing at their press releases.


I suggest to go slow and don't get too excited with the new stadium. Don't tie the money with long contracts and with players prone to get hurt. I like to get the lefty from Oakland (Gio....). If "Cristal" Ramirez doesn't perform properly this season, trade him for player(s) that do.
The Marlins are just a few players to be OK. Please do not trade Morrison.

Flav C

i was reading an article by craig calcaterra on msnbc which led me to this other article:

Guess some of us here in this blog were not that far off, right?


"It's going to take a little bit of time to get used to it, but people are going to like it just give it a little bit of time," said Andrew Miller, who celebrated his birthday by lining up to buy merchandise.
Just noticed the above quote from an MSNBC story about the unveiling of the Marlins' new uniform. I wondered what ever happened to that guy.


Flav C,
Thanks for the link. That's very tantalizing stuff and I hope the Fish can pull it off — depending on what they have to give up, of course.
Why doesn't something happen? I keep checking back with the Herald almost hourly, hoping that Clark and Manny will have struck a deal for us. If they don't come up with something soon, I'm going to propose that we trade them for an Oakland Tribune sports writer, and maybe an assistant city editor as a throw-in, since A.C.E.s are a dime a dozen anyway.

Clark Spencer

Hi gang,

Figure I ought to jump in here. While the Marlins have spoken to the A's about Gio Gonzalez, the two teams are not close to a deal. The A's are asking for one of the Marlins' two corner outfielders -- Logan Morrison or Mike Stanton -- and that isn't happening. Unless the A's lower their demands, it appears that Gio won't be coming home to pitch in South Florida. On another front, I am hearing that free agent lefty C.J. Wilson plans to visit the Marlins in South Florida after the Thanksgiving holiday.

-- Clark


Sign Reyes, then give 'em Hanley for Gio and Faustino De Los Santos.


In order to get a player of value, you have to give a player of value back. Since the Marlins dont have many players of value they're willing to give up,guess they wont be getting any back via trade...looks like they'll have to overpay for a FA or two,to upgrade the roster.

Philly Phil

Phillies have signed 4 players already ....Marlins are just talking about it...talk is cheap and so are the Marlins..Marlins fans will be pissed when all the talk leads to nothing..


Just can't get over how gay our new logo and colors are. And by gay I mean happy...like a double rainbow!


Well Philly Phil has a point. I'm starting to question their intentions. As for Gio I think it would be stupid not to trade for him if he's available. I don't know how else to stress the fact that pitching is key. Nolasco and Sanchez are fifth starters on a good pitching staff. Less pressure to perform may improve their actual performance. Innings eaters as they are so commonly reffered to. The fish aren't going to outslug their way past the Phils but they can certainly pitch their way past them. Johnson, Gonzalez and Buehrle matches up to Halladay, Lee and Hamels. For all the Lomo sympathizers, this wouldn't be an issue if we talent down in the farm. Someone is going to have to be sacrificed from the big league team to acquire top notch talent. Lomo has the most upside so teams are going to go for the jugular.

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