When the clock on Albert Pujols’ contract negotiation deadline struck midnight last spring, it cued up chatter across the league on who might pursue him once he became an unrestricted free agent. The big players – Yankees, Sox, Phillies – were out. Dodgers and Mets were in financial trouble. So it left just a handful of logical suitors, including the Cubs, Rangers and Angels as the most frequently mentioned.
One thing seemed certain, there was no way some of the low budget teams were going to hop into this $200+ million circus. Or would they?
Well, according to the report that first surfaced from MLB.com’s Matthew Leach last night, Pujols will be sitting down to chat with the
Florida Miami Marlins as early as this weekend. The same Marlins who had exactly one player making over $10 million last year (Hanley Ramirez), whose overall payroll was only $27 million more than what Pujols is supposedly requesting for himself (total payroll $57.2 mill), whose attendance was a measly 1.47 mill, good for last in the National League and whose record explained why no one cared to see them (72-90).
Sure, they’re looking for a splash signing moving into their new stadium this year, but ponying up for Albert Pujols? Please.
While there’s certainly no guarantee that it will amount to anything more than a free lunch for Pujols and his agent, Dan Lozano, it suddenly dawned on us that, perhaps that man we had mocked earlier in the season at Busch Stadium was some sort of…a prophet. The Marlins had come to town for their only series in St. Louis and this time traveler walked into our city preaching to the non-believers that this is what Pujols’ uniform would look like in 2012…
We scoffed. We took pictures of him. Some snarky sports bloggers that will remain nameless described his fashion statement as “the equivalent of paying to have the name “Santa Claus” sewn onto a jersey.” Yet, here we are in November and Albert Pujols is set to hold his first meeting as a free agent with the Marlins.
Let’s just all hope his next one Albert takes doesn’t turn this guy into a genius.