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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 CBSSports.com 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.

Now?

"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."



Comments

Since: May 14, 2007
Posted on: December 6, 2011 3:08 am
 

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

The attendance will be there. Close to downtown and the Brickell corridor where there's tons of money and Latin flavor who will find the state-of-the-art facility comfortable and convenient. Attendance will definitely grow. The signing of Pujols alone would guarantee 3 million visitors.Catching a game after work will be much simpler. No rain-outs and easy to get to. Catching a game after work will be easy.

I hope that the Marlins can land pitcher Geo Gonzalez and/or Mark Buehrle to round out a potent pitching staff. The Phillies are trending downward as many of their position players are getting up in age and fighting recurring injuries. Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Placido Polanco are a year older and more prone to injuries. Ryan Howard suffered an Achilles injury that may impact him negatively in 2012. He is in the middle of rehablitation from surgery and will miss significant time. He may not return until the middle of June. It is not certain if Chase Utley will be 100%. Without these sluggers being healthy, runs will be at a premium for the Phillies. They still need a shortstop after parting ways with Jimmy Rollins. Not good for them. Great for the Marlins.

It is the time for Marlins to win the NL East. The offense will score runs. A healthy Josh Johnson and a good bull-pen will be key. Marlins will be the National League Eastern Division champs.

I can't wait to see the Marlins in the new ballpark.



Since: Feb 27, 2008
Posted on: December 6, 2011 3:03 am
 

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Wow, a florida baseball team willing to open their wallets for success.  Crazy.



Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: December 6, 2011 3:01 am
 

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

That's funny. Had no idea I posted my first post, hit a button on the laptop and thought I lost a good well thought out post, so I had to re-write it... LOL.... glad the first one posted up, some good jabs in there. lol.



Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:59 am
 

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

well Noles506... Id say something to you but I'd be too afraid you'd go and burn down your own car... Vancouver fans never really make much sense... nor do their fair weather little lickspittles that pretend they love the dolphins/notre dame/toronto/conn/and vancouver... must be hard to see all your favorite sports teams (considering there thousands of miles apart...  seriously dude what do you just pick logos you like or something?   
What does that have to do with this article? So according to you, I have to live in Vancouver to like the Canucks? How do the actions of a small number of people translate to an entire fanbase? You seemed to have taken your time trolling my profile on here, did you happen to see where I live? A place with no professional teams to speak of, besides the QMJHL. I live on the East Coast, so does that mean I have to like The Habs, Sens or Leafs? I like The Raptors & Jays, the only Canadian teams in those two leagues. Canada does not have an NFL team. We don't participate in the NCAA. Understand? You like Illinois based teams, then the Gators, so what?

Ahh yes proving once again, in sports there are fans, and then there are "fans" (noles506)
There are fans, then there are Cubs Fans. Losing and loving it for a 103 years.Cry

Do you have a Hanie jersey yet? Cry

Also noles506 how stupid are you the Phils have two pennants and a world series in the last ten years... jesus I'm not even a phils fan and I know that!  Are you retarded?  WTF?  
I in fact said that the Phillies have won twice in there existence, so obviously I understand they have won a recent world series. That was four years ago. I am talking about the hyped rotation of Hallday, Lee, Oswalt & Hamels. The present. It has gotten them nothing but regular season success. I think before you call people retarded you should for one look in the mirror, and for two..learn how to read. So "WTF" yourself. 


What an idiot. I would take you more serious without the childish name calling, do not address me again you have been proven to be incompetent. Stick to the article at hand. Not me.


 



Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:47 am
 

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

well Noles506... Id say something to you but I'd be too afraid you'd go and burn down your own car... Vancouver fans never really make much sense... nor do their fair weather little lickspittles that pretend they love the dolphins/notre dame/toronto/conn/and vancouver... must be hard to see all your favorite sports teams (considering there thousands of miles apart...  seriously dude what do you just pick logos you like or something?   
I don't live in Vancouver pal. Since when do the actions of a few thousand people somehow mean that every one who is a fan of The Canucks would do the things those select few did? What does that, or you asking me what teams I like have to do with the Marlins or The Phillies? If you had the talk time to troll my damn profile take note of where I live. Saint John, New Brunswick. A place with no professional teams of any sort, besides the QMJHL. You are an idiot, if your going to attack someone do your homework. Canada does not have an NFL team.There are no NCCA basektball teams here. I like the Canucks, but live on the East Coast, so what? I have to like the Leafs, Habs or Senators because of where I live? I like the Jays and The Raptors who happen to be the sole Canadian entries in the two respective leagues.

How does it feel to be a Cubs fan and A LOSER for a 103 YEARS? 

 Ahh yes proving once again, in sports there are fans, and then there are "fans" (noles506)
There are fans, then there are Cubs fans. Who blame a loss on a man in the stands. 

 Also noles506 how stupid are you the Phils have two pennants and a world series in the last ten years... jesus I'm not even a phils fan and I know that!  Are you retarded?  WTF?  
We are taking about recent history, are you retarded? Then someone took a jab at my Jays when this article has nothing to do with them, so I responded. The Phillies have just about as bad a history as your loveable losers Cubs. Difference is they have won twice. Pennants don't matter. 2nd place does not matter. Being number 1 does. Ask the Bills about that one. Or The Texas R



Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:38 am
 

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

GatorCubfan, the Phillies also have better starters than the Marlins.  I know the Phillies have had their problems with offense come playoff time but one has to believe that things will swing with a few changes.  I'm a huge Marlins fan but have seen the Phillies do themselves in by pretending that Rollins can be a lead off hitter and that an old closer will do the trick (I'm not sold on Papelbon).



Since: May 12, 2009
Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:27 am
 

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Also noles506 how stupid are you the Phils have two pennants and a world series in the last ten years... jesus I'm not even a phils fan and I know that!  Are you retarded?  WTF?  



Since: May 12, 2009
Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:21 am
 

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

Ahh yes proving once again, in sports there are fans, and then there are "fans" (noles506)



Since: May 12, 2009
Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:18 am
 

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

well Noles506... Id say something to you but I'd be too afraid you'd go and burn down your own car... Vancouver fans never really make much sense... nor do their fair weather little lickspittles that pretend they love the dolphins/notre dame/toronto/conn/and vancouver... must be hard to see all your favorite sports teams (considering there thousands of miles apart...  seriously dude what do you just pick logos you like or something?   



Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:17 am
 

New Marlin Bell: We can beat the Phillies

I think if the money is close the Cardinals will definitely be keeping him.  It's never about the fans sadly enough, these guys are pro athletes looking to get alot of money because once they walk away from the game they won't have any other income except investment income.  The Cardinals probably have better marketing potential so they would offer up a little more knowing that Albert allows them to be more marketable.  I honestly believe the Marlins will back down from offering more to Albert now that Reyes has officially signed.  I think Beinfest had intentions all along to throw out lower end offers first to all these high priced free agents as a means to test the market.  Reyes came up $10 million more than what was initially reported as the Marlins offer so I think Pujols might command about $20 mill more than what the Fish came up with (1st reports said $220 mill offer for the Fish but another report said its south of $200 mill and I'm arbitrarily going with the 2nd offer).  Reyes fit more of the team's need for a lead off hitter and they can get cheap production out of Stanton at the clean up spot (Stanton will hit for more HRs than Pujols although less in average) and also cover him with Gaby Sanchez at the 5 spot who had a nice 2011 season (also cheap).  I think the need for Pujols (as Beinfest sees it) will be more out of a concern for Hanley who somehow had issues with his production in 2011 because of mechanical issues (very troublesome).


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