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: Sep 9, 2007
Posted on: December 6, 2011 10:26 am

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Pujols isn't going anywhere. Like any smart businessman, he is weighing his options and will use them as leverage to maximize his best alternative which is stayin in St. Louis, entering the Hall of Fame as a Cardinal and getting a statue right next to Stan the Man.  When you are talking about this kind of money the intangibles come into play and El Hombre is no fool.  Rather than be one of a million  stars and starlets he stays put and is the supernova....

Since: Nov 18, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 10:23 am

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Come on "cowboyjim" learn how to spell or talk english or whatever you are trying to speak. The all caps things is way stupid too. Get a grip tool.

Since: Jul 30, 2008
Posted on: December 6, 2011 10:18 am

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

We have waited for many years for the New Marlins Ballpark even though we have won a couple world series. All of us in Florida were always wondering if Loria would let go of his money when we got the new stadium....well he hasn't disapointed us. We have actually had some pretty good players from our farm clubs all we needed was Pitching to me that's more important however to pack the Stadium always Pujols would be the Ticket even I would go just so you will know the Stadium really is Awesome! I'm stoked for the season to begin!

Since: Nov 8, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 10:15 am

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Looks like anothe team from Miami is getting all the superstars to get a championship just like . . .

Since: Oct 26, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 10:08 am

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Florida can challenge if Josh Johnson can stay healthy all year . if the Phillies go after Cuddyer and Aramis Ramierez they would be hard to beat I just hope Florida sticks with it if they get rings down the road and not dump all the money later like they did before So far the Phillies havent done anyting to keep it going 3rd base ss are needs where are they?

Since: Jul 6, 2007
Posted on: December 6, 2011 10:07 am

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Pujols or not, the Marlins are still the same old crappy Florida Marlins theyll do better but the phillies and braves will still stomp them

Since: Oct 26, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 9:59 am

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies


Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 9:50 am

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

First off I am a very outspoken Boston Red Sox fans but as we Red Sox have learned you can't just have the best players and win the World Series.  Almost everyone during the preseason had the Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies penciled in as ALCS and NLCS champions. Neither even made it to the World Series and the Red Sox just had a huge colapse and didn't even make it into the playoffs.

The Tampa Bay Rays have continued to win with one of the lowest payrolls in the game. If you don't have team chemistry then you will win a lot of games with a bunch of studs on your team but you aren't gonna go far into the playoffs if you even make it into the playoffs.

If the Miami Marlins sign Pujols, the biggest effect will be against the St.Louis Cardinals who would have a huge hole to fill. They'll have a hard time winning with Matt Holiday being the centerpiece of the team. Because he's always injured. I don't think the New York Mets will be as hurt by losing Jose Reyes as a lot think. Jose Reyes has been lucky to play half a season each year for the past 3 years. If the Mets can find someone who can even put up half his numbers and can stay healthy, they'll be fine. As for the San Diego Padres, relievers are always replaceable and just because a guy is an ace for a few years doesn't mean he won't stay that way. The question is with Mike Adams and Heath Bell gone, who are the Padres gonna turn to? Luke Gregerson?

The Marlins have issues in the team. You have guys like Hanley Ramirez and Logan Morrison as well as Mike Stanton all with huge egos and all have caused some issues already with the team. I can't see that changing adding in 3 more studs, if anything it could make things worse.

Since: Oct 16, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 9:38 am

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

As an Eagles fan I'n sick and tired of the media and non-Eagle fans using the "Dream Team" moniker against them.  The statement wasn't made by anybody relevant to the organization past or present.  It was made by a backup QB who was elated that a team with a recent 12 year history of being one of the top teams in the league picking him up off the scrap pile.  The Eagles brought in a large amount of new talent including coaches and needed an off season to learn the new schemes and to gel with each other as a team.  This unfortunately didn't happen and the results are showing on the field.  It has nothing to do with egos (minus DeSean Jackson) or being overhyped.  Giva Andy Reid a full off season to evaluate his team and I believe the results will be much better next year.  You can't have a 13 year track record like Reid and all of a sudden lose it in a half of a year.

Since: Nov 6, 2007
Posted on: December 6, 2011 9:37 am

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

yes heath bell and the philadelphia eagles are the dream team

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or