Marlins Sign Reyes, Still Seeking Pujols?

by Ben Cook on December 4, 2011

The Miami Marlins haven’t let a little thing like an SEC investigation stop their spending spree.

After landing free-closer Heath Bell, the Marlins have reportedly signed short-stop Jose Reyes to a six year deal worth over $100 million.

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The 28 year old Reyes gives the Marlins the super star they were seeking this off season to make as big a splash as possible when opening their brand new stadium next spring. The fact that Reyes hails from the Dominican Republic should help excite Miami’s Latin fan base as well.

Reyes had been the spark at the top of the Mets lineup for the last 9 years when healthy posting a career high .337 batting average last year while scoring 101 runs and swiping 39 bases.

The Mets and Brewers were both reportedly been interested in Reyes and had plans to meet with his agent during the winter meetings but the Marlins beat them to the punch by offering a guaranteed 6th year and topping $100M, something neither of the other suitors seemed likely to do.

According to Jason Stark of ESPN, the Reyes deal does NOT end the Marlins’ pursuit of free-agent slugger Albert Pujols.

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Given that the Marlins have already shelled out $140M and are still pursuing pitcher Mark Buehrle, it seems highly unlikely they’d be prepared to top the St. Louis Cardinals’ standing offer to Pujols of 9 years $200M. I wouldn’t be surprised if Stark’s source on this story were Pujols’ agent Dan Lozano continuing to try and stir up a market for his star client.

It would appear St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Joe Strauss doesn’t buy the idea that the Marlins are still in on Pujols either.

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It seems St. Louis Cardinals beat-writer Derrick Gould doesn’t share his colleagues skepticism saying the Marlins’ payroll could “zoom” past $100M per year.

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