I've been told by a few people that they heard a rumor a couple of days ago that Albert Pujols' signing with the Marlins was imminent.
I'm not sure where this came from because I have never seen a single story on that subject. And that's odd because you can ususally find at least one or two half-baked stories on the internet about any subject you wish...
But let me say that if Pujols signs with Miami the word "shocked" wouldn't cover it. I think it would be more accurate to say "outraged." Because, if the Pujols signs with an upstart team that gives no reason to make people believe its anywhere near as close to the 2012 World Series as the Cardinals are, it's because the St. Louis front office either blew the negotions -- or they didn't really even try to re-sign the franchise player.
As we entered the free agent fray, my fear was that some club like the Angels, Cubs or Rangers would uncork a 10-year, $300-million deal that would blow the Cardinals out of the water. The Marlins, by all accounts, aren't offering anywhere near that much. Depending on who you believe, they either offered a great deal less or slightly more than the Birds offered in their pre-spring training "effort" to resign Pujols.
The Cardinals are in even better position now to sign Pujols than they were in the spring thanks to the unexpected cash that playing two National League Division Series, three National League Championship Series and four World Series games at Busch Stadium provided. Use some of that cash to get through the first season of the deal, then shift some of the cash that Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook accounted for in the payroll to Albert in 2013 and replace those pricey, ineffective pitchers with younger candates from a pool that will include Mark Rzepczynski, Lance Lynn and Shelby Miller.