Here is Florida the local media says the Marlins will throw out the welcome mat on Saturday to St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols.
The Marlins have been bringing in top free agents all week to tour their new ballpark in the hopes of improving their team at the same time they improve their venue.
Although the fish plan to increase their payroll from $57 million in 2011 to $82 million next year, I still don't see them as a fit for Pujols... If Albert was sincere about wanting to play for a team that has a chance to be a consistent winner. Even if the Cardinals hold the line on payroll at $110 million, they're head and shoulders above Miami in their commitment to the supporting cast. And other teams including the Cubs, Angels and Rangers could afford payrolls much higher than that. But none of those clubs can offer the resume of winning two World Series and three pennants in the last eight years or in five league championship series in the last 11.
Still, my optimism about the Cardinals re-signing Pujols is starting to crack. The team doesn't seem to be aggressive or urgent in any way. I don't know what it's saying to Pujols' agent. But I do know that the front office isn't telling the fans that it is intent or hopeful of trying to bring Albert back. Basically all they have done is let it leak that they're probably not willing to up their offer past the one Pujols rejected in spring training.
Maybe it's a negotiating ploy. But, as a fan, I am pretty disgusted by the way the Cardinals have painted themselves into a corner with their iconic player. This problem should have been resolved two years ago instead of letting Pujols hit the open market.