Albert Pujols arrived in south Florida a day earlier than expected, touring the Marlins' new ballpark before heading back to St. Louis.
And when he left, the Cardinals' slugging first baseman had a contract offer in hand.
Watching Pujols be wined and dined by other teams is sort of like having your wife tell you after 11 years of marriage that she wants to try going on a few dates with other people just to see if she feels like staying married to you...
I'm not sure what the Marlins have in mind. According to reports, Pujols didn't get the only offer. The newly re-named Miami club also is said to have extended offers to Mets free agent shortstop Jose Reyes and White Sox hurler Mark Buehrle. If the Fish inked all three players, they'd almost certainly double their $57 million payroll. Projections were that the team would raise it to $80-85 million for 2012.
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A report Friday night on the Miami Herald's website said that the Marlins are serious in their intent to land Pujols and that they plan to make a "competitive offer." But the first commenter remarked that it didn't make any difference weather the team signed Pujols because ownership would deal him for prospects within a year.
Such is the history of the Marlins who built an all-star team in their early days and rode it to the World Series championship before selling it off auction style the following off-season.
It's interesting if the Marlins think they can support a $110-million payroll in their new ballpark. In the past, Miami has been lucky to see half the attendance the Cardinals draw at Busch Stadium. So, either the Redbirds are being cheap in the payroll department or else Miami is being a little wreckless with their budget when no one really knows what their attendance will be two or three years down the road in their new stadium.
A new ballpark hasn't been the magic bullet to solve the attendance problems of the Pittsburgh Pirates.