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: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 8:27 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Okay I have to disagree with one statement that keeps getting thrown out there. People keep saying the Phillies have one of the best rotations ever. I disagree, because right now they are not the best rotation in baseball and shouldn't be considered the best ever. If this was 2005 then I would say yeah Roy Oswalt, Cliff Lee, and Roy Halladay as your top 3 is lights out, because they were in their prime. This is 2011 folks, get over the past achievements, because Lee, Halladay, and Oswalt are well past their prime and are not as dominant as they used to be. Every team has at least one starter that would take the ace spot away from Lee and Oswalt, and about half the teams got a better #2 guy.

Marlins have Josh Johnson who is near equal to Halladay and Anibal Sanchez right now is better than Oswalt.
The Braves have Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens who are both better than Oswalt and almost on par with Cliff Lee.
Nationals have Stephen Strasburgh who appears to be better than both Oswalt and Lee. Give hime some time and he will be better than Halladay by 2013.
The Mets are a damn mess so I won't even mention them.

I am not talking about career stats. I am talking the here and now. So before anyone disagrees think bout the here and now. With Oswalt's playoff track record I really would not depend on him come post-season.

Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: December 6, 2011 6:04 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Even having "one of the best rotations" ever makes the Phils no lock. The pitching staff can't produce runs for them.

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 5:40 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

It's nice to see Bell has confidence and yeah, he's not going to say, "We don't stand a chance against the Phils and one of the best rotations ever!"  Howard won't miss much of the season and I have a strong feeling Rollins isn't going anywhere.

Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: December 6, 2011 5:01 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

As to Bell's comments, what do you want him to say? Yea we have no chance to beat the Phillies. Were just happy to be playing in a new stadium and we will probably lose every game we play to them. Gimme a break. The Marlins have been pretty competitive with a young roster, who knows what even adding a few pieces in Bell, Reyes will do? Hanley Ramirez should have a bounce back year, you have Gaby Sanchez, Logan Morrison, Mike Stanton.... my hunch is these Marlins are not done signing guys. When I said I am now a fan of the team, I didn't mean my fave team. Just a team who plays in the NL that I am going to follow. 

Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: December 6, 2011 4:54 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Winning championships is all that matters for a lot of clubs, your going to sit here and tell me when the Phillies picked up Oswalt, Halladay & Lee they didn't have there eyes on a championship? They didn't go out and acquire those guys to lose in the playoffs. Some teams are at a different pace, they are just trying to develop there talent and improve there club. Some others are built to win immediately, The Phillies fall into that category. With that payroll, with that rotation..they should be winning. 2nd place is meaning less, ask the Texas Rangers or the Buffalo Bills, or even my Vancouver Canucks. They had a very good regular season, but who cares? The Goal is to win championships.

Since: Oct 26, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 4:34 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

To Johnu11   I was in the new Cincy stadium 2 summers ago wed -day game Cards -Cincy love the stadium. Was on my way to Indy for the drum corp finals. Was in Indy this year too the same night the stage fell at the fair.But I was in Lucas oil Stadium sec 109 great seats for football got my ears blasted by all the drum corps Also got a 1012 super bowl shirt at the colts store in the mall. I already orderd my tickets for 2012 finals hopefully sitting in same area you have to get tickets a year in advance to sit where you wish  between the 2- 35 yard lines are best seats I'll be around the 45 yard line sec 109 great seats for anything lol.     &
;     &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;    Down the road in Cincy Joey Votto at 1st Billy Hamilton at 2d ZachCozart at ss and Yonder Alonso at 3d nice infield

Since: Oct 26, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 4:10 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

In a responce to my own post as a Yankee fan I wish for the yankees to trade one of their 3 young catchers to Cincy for Billy Hamilton put him in minors until Jeter says he's done bring up Hamilton and you set for another 10 years

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: December 6, 2011 4:06 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Reds interested in Jair Jurrgens ... could be. I could see them offering Chris Heisey, maybe Todd Frazier as well.

A note on Billy Hamilton. Small ball manager's dream ... intimidates pitchers and defenses -- in Class A ball.
If he learns to hit, he will be a find. Lots of range, average arm.
Would be fun to watch but he isn't even close to MLB-ready yet.

Since: Oct 30, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 4:03 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

LMAOOO!!! HEATH BELL IS A MORON!!  lol rollins or ramirez either or would be studs, and not to mention 3 of the top 7 pitchers in baseball against josh johnson and bums

Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 3:56 pm

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

It all looks good until Reyes blows his hammy again and it is discovered that Albert is in fact 49 years old.

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