Easily my favorite topic of the off-season so far (other than the interesting and somewhat divergent dilemmas for the Red Sox and Cubs), the Miami Marlins remain THE team making the most noise in pursuit of the biggest-name free agents. Take nearly any sane person's free agent ranking (some order of Pujols, Fielder, Wilson, Buehrle, Reyes) and the Marlins have had rumors surrounding, been connected to, or have already hosted and wooed each of them.
Cynicism runs deep, though, as we're all seeing the speculation that Miami is only splashing around with offers just big enough to look serious, supposedly with the intent to prove to their fanbase that they're serious this time. I'm not sure if it's the logic of the cynicism or the logic of what Miami might allegedly be doing that bothers me more. If Miami really is doing this for attention, don't they run the risk of being dismissed by serious players? And what of the fans? Certainly nobody thinks the team can sing "we're pullin' out all the stops!" and be taken seriously when nothing comes of it?
For me, I'm guessing there's a little of both. Miami certainly has a lot to gain by highlighting their efforts to acquire talent after conning tax payers to support a new stadium, but they'd have even more to gain by winning. And that might mean signing a few of these guys.
Here's the latest:
- Expect Albert Pujols in Jupiter this spring, but not with Marlins - Fish Tank blog
"The Marlins still hope to sign Jose Reyes and either Mark Buehrle or C.J. Wilson — and it’s also possible they’ll try to sign both left-handed pitchers."
- A Low Cost Gio Gonzalez Alternative - FanGraphs Baseball
"Last week, reports began to surface that the Marlins were interested in acquiring Gio Gonzalez from the A’s. Depending on how much credibility you put in various rumors, the A’s have asked for the likes of Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison in discussions, and no matter who you believe, they’re clearly not going to sell Gonzalez on the cheap."
- Miami Marlins court free agent left-hander C.J. Wilson - Palm Beach Post
"Over lunch at Joe's Stone Crab and during a visit to their new stadium, the Marlins told left-hander C.J. Wilson that they want him in their starting rotation next year."
- C.J. Wilson meeting with Miami Marlins, source says - ESPN Dallas
"Wilson was offered arbitration by the Rangers, but is expected to decline it in pursuit of a bigger deal as a free agent. Should Wilson sign with another club, the Rangers would get two draft picks as compensation. Wilson has until next Wednesday night at 11 p.m. CT to decide."