Blog Entry

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Posted on: December 5, 2011 5:30 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2011 12:39 am
DALLAS -- Heath Bell, done. Jose Reyes, done.

Now owner Jeffrey Loria says the Marlins can add more, and you'd better believe it. The Marlins met twice with the agent for Albert Pujols on Monday, sources said late Monday night, boosting its nine-year offer in the process and giving the slugger even more to think about.

No decision was imminent as midnight approached, and one person with knowledge of the talks said they likely will play out more before a decision is reached. The Cardinals also met with Pujols' agent, Dan Lozano, on Monday, and so did the Cubs.

But it is the Marlins who have stolen the show early in these winter meetings, and it is their efforts for Pujols that have electrified the lobby here at the Hilton Anatole.

Pujols in the same lineup with Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Mike Stanton and others?

"That would be great," Bell told Monday. "I'm telling you right now, we definitely can win the NL East, even with just Reyes."

Imagine that. Even with just Reyes.

As in, gee, even if we don't sign Pujols, we've got an embarrassment of riches.

"I think we can win the division right now," Bell continued. "The Phillies, I think we can beat 'em.

"Ryan Howard is hurt. They might not be getting Jimmy Rollins back."

It is a tilting landscape and a bizarro world. As Rollins continued to frost out on the free agent market Thursday, sources said the Phillies were discussing free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez. Then they'd trade Placido Polanco, and maybe get a shortstop elsewhere

Whatever on the Phillies front. The Marlins are charging hard toward their new stadium and toward the top of the NL East.

Owner Jeffrey Loria would not speak directly about Pujols on Monday, but not because that's some crazy rumor.

"I don't want to talk about Albert," Loria said. "That's not the purpose of today. This is Heath's day."

Tuesday or, more likely, Wednesday will be Reyes' day, the day the Marlins introduce him formally here at the winter meetings.

Meantime, they're working hard toward another addition. The Pujols talks are serious. So are those for a starting pitcher. One person close to the Marlins suggested Monday night that free agent left-hander Mark Buehrle actually is above Pujols on the club's wish list. Loria has told people that the club's payroll, roughly $45 million last year, could zoom to the $100 million range in 2012.

When this winter started, that seemed like a bad joke.

Nobody, and I mean nobody, thinks the Marlins aren't serious now.

"I'm a serious guy," Loria said. "I don't know how many times I have to tell you guys that."

You cannot even begin to describe how different life is for the Marlins, whose executives arrived here about midday Monday. These are the guys -- Loria, president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest, general manager Michael Hill -- who sold their wares on the streets of the winter meetings in years past because they were so poor.

These are the guys who traded Miguel Cabrera to Detroit, Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to Boston. ...

"We had a plan a few years ago," Loria said. "That's the reason why Mike Stanton is here, the reason why Logan Morrison is here, the reason why Hanley Ramirez is here."

As Beinfest says, the Marlins plan always was to compete, they just had to find extra creative ways to do so.


"It's fun," Beinfest kept saying Monday. "It's fun to come in here and sign an All-Star closer. There's nothing wrong with that."

In a perfect Marlins world, they'd leave Dallas on Thursday with Bell, Reyes and Pujols or Buehrle all done. But as quickly as they're moving, there's still some uncertainty.

"We'd love to get things done as fast as possible and achieve our goals," Beinfest said. "But we don't control everything. It takes two to tango."

Sure does. But the Marlins have entered the free agent market with swagger and are causing some folks to dance as fast as they can. Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt said earlier Monday that he remains "hopeful" of signing Pujols.

"We're making every effort" to sign him, DeWitt said.

Well if they're serious, the Cardinals had better get moving. Because the Marlins are as serious as a spring breaker hell-bent on ravaging the Fort Lauderdale nightlife.

"We want to do more," Beinfest said. "We'd like to do more. There are some things we'd like to achieve.

"We're still in conversation with free agents and with clubs."

Every door is open, including trades -- with players both going and coming. Loria mostly remained tight-lipped regarding diva superstar Hanley Ramirez, who now must shove over to third base to make room for Reyes.

"Hanley is a super-professional," Loria said. "That's all I will say. We will work with him, make everything comfortable for him."

You bet they will. They're making everything comfortable for Bell, Reyes and others as they go. Loria anticipates attendance bumping up to somewhere between 2.8 and 3 million in 2012. They drew an NL-low 1.5 million last year.

They win like Bell says they can, maybe there really, finally, will be a buzz around the Marlins.

Said Beinfest: "It's time for this organization to play October baseball."


Since: Nov 4, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 12:08 am

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Careful what you wish for malins fans. Jose Reyes has averaged 98 games played over the last 3 seasons including 2 more injuries to his legs  this past season. I'm a long time mets fan and feel good about spending that kind of money on a few very good players that may actually stay on the field. Thanks for the thrills Jose, it sure was fun watching you play.....even if you didn't play all that often

Since: Oct 13, 2010
Posted on: December 6, 2011 12:05 am

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

if they sign pujols theyre for real. but until then im not convinced. hanley ramirez has tons  of talent but hes a lazy dude, and didnt play well at all last year. reyes is a guy who abandoned his team for the batting title, whether it mattered or not thats a scummy move. i predict a slow start definitley, as they try and make chemistry with the team but maybe if hanley is playin good and reyes isnt injured they can challenge for a WILD CARD spot. (thats without pujols, who i think will resign with st louis)

Since: Dec 31, 2006
Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:57 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Last year Phillies have all the talent player they have and not even closed to winning the World Series. Next year the Marlins will win the division champ and the choke Phillies will finished 3rd behind the Braves. LOL

Since: Sep 10, 2007
Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:34 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

It's amazing that a city with so little fan support can get so many superstars.  I mean Lebron james, chris bosh, Dwyane wade, Albert pujols, jose reyes.  I mean they have more superstars than fans in miami.

Since: Jun 4, 2010
Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:17 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

from a phillies fan...your right on i am the same way on how they develop talent.. some of the best and they know how to handel them.. and for the phils. there chemisty is unbelivable!! i never meet( yes met) a club house full of guys that were so tight with each other. i find that the reason for their winnings also that they are treated right from a organization standpoint. if you do well they reward you plaina and simple. and if you dont mesh with the players around you then your gone( pat the bat and myers). its going to be a great season with the marlins this year it is deff going to be fun to watch. and dont count out your braves either there so young and are only going to get better from here.

Since: Sep 6, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2011 10:59 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

A line up with Reyes, Hanley, Stanton, and Pujols would rival any in baseball. The question will be starting pitching for them. If they can put that together .. I don't think it's silly to imagine them winning the NL East. This is coming from a Braves fan.

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: December 5, 2011 10:53 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Talk is cheap....

The Marlins CAN'T win ? Don't bet on it. They've always been good at finding pitching, and even though no MLB team can match the Phillies rotation, it wasn't quite enough, was it ? 

The Marlins have holes- all teams do...but they've got arguably a better manager (Guillen) than the Phillies (Manuel) and the Braves (Gonzalez), and as much or more offense as either team, if Howard and Rollins are a no go, Chipper can't get off the DL and the Braves can't trade for another power hitter.

Stranger things have happened.  

Since: Sep 18, 2007
Posted on: December 5, 2011 10:51 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

They'll be raking in the cash with all the latino talent. They still need some quality starters though instead of blowing it all on one aging amazing hitter.

Since: Oct 26, 2006
Posted on: December 5, 2011 10:20 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Sure it is a point against them, its like Monta Ellis scoring 40+, or Vince Young throwing for 400 against the Patriots in a 20+ point loss.... these scrubs, Reyes included, can't and won't produce when it matters(love the confidence he "won" the batting title with)....his "pretty" good year hitting .337 is the first time he hit over .300 since 2006(ironically in another contract year for Jose) and only the third time he ever does he hit in the post season-bout .250......if he helped his Mets get there more than maybe those stats improve, however during the 2008 collapse Jose went 0-13 versus the phillies in the three september games and in 2007 he went 4 for 27 against the Fightins down the stretch, New York fans know he is a baby, Phillies fans know he is a baby, Now everybody in baseball knows he is a $100 million dollar baby.....bottom line he just got paid, can't wait to see him produce in 2017.

Since: May 11, 2008
Posted on: December 5, 2011 10:19 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Did Bell just call "Dream Team"?

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