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Marlins make monster offer to Pujols
After landing shortstop Jose Reyes, the Miami Marlins moved toward an even bigger free-agent splash by offering a 10-year contract to slugger Albert Pujols. The offer to Pujols is valued at over $200 million, a source confirmed.
The money apparently is acceptable to Pujols, as a source said the two sides are trying to work through no-trade issues.
Late Tuesday, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, team president David Samson and GM Michael Hill met with Dan Halem of the commissioner's office and were later joined by the team's president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest. They could have been discussing any number of contractual issues; they may have been checking to make sure a possible Pujols contract would be in accordance with the new CBA.
Asked if the decision was in Pujols' hands, Loria said, "I wouldn't say that," without offering further comment. Loria later said the meeting had nothing to do with Pujols, but sources confirm it was, indeed, about matters realating to possible Pujols contract.
Pujols, who spent his first 11 major league seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, wants no-trade protection for first five years. Then he would regain his 10/5 rights. The Marlins will not relent completely on a no-trade clause for Pujols, a source said. A compromise is possible, but Pujols will likely want a significant deterrent.
Asked if Tuesday evening's meeting was regarding a no-trade clause, Samson replied, "We don't do no-trade clauses."
The Cardinals were expected to talk again with Pujols' camp Tuesday, and the Angels also are pursuing Pujols. One major-league source with close knowledge of the Cardinals’ plans said the team has not ruled out making a 10-year offer of their own. “It depends on the AAV (average annual value),” the source said.
The source added that the talks remain “very fluid” with both the Cardinals and Marlins and “could go either way.”
On Tuesday in Dallas, Cardinals President Bill DeWitt Jr. said the Cards have placed no deadline on their latest Pujols offer, but would not say if they matched the Marlins' 10-year offer.
DeWitt went on to say: "I'm hopeful but I don't like to use the word 'optimistic.' We're realistic about the fact that it may not happen." He declined to say whether chances of the Cards re-signing Pujos are better than 50-50. "I don't quote odds," he said.
Pujols, who turns 32 in January, has led the Cardinals to two World Series titles, including this season. He has a career batting average of .328 with 445 home run and a 1.037 OPS. He was below his career norms last season but still batted .299 with 37 home runs and 99 RBI.
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