With a new name and a new stadium, the Miami Marlins wasted no time trying to sign a new superstar, offering Albert Pujols a contract during his free-agent visit Friday, according to the Associated Press. He's the biggest prize on the market, but he's not Miami's only target: the team has reportedly made offers to shortstop Jose Reyes and pitcher Mark Buehrle, as well, and have interest in reliever Ryan Madson.
What happens if all four players decide to take their talents to South Beach? That's unlikely to happen, says Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman:
Marlins president David Samson admits the team has a preferred pecking order, but he didn't tip his hand as to who's the favorite. "It's a problem we never suspected could happen," Samson said, according to the AP. "It didn't even occur to me. We have a first choice, a 1A and a 1B after 1. This week did not happen by accident. We knew who we wanted to see, and when we wanted to see them."
The Marlins have gone through boom-and-bust periods in years past with their payroll, signing free agents one year and dumping contracts the next, but owner Jeffery Loria hopes the team's new stadium will ensure they remain competitive for the long haul.
"We're looking at everyone," Loria said, according to the AP. "We want to make this team as special as we can. We would be foolish not to entertain the possibility of some of these players. It's just one of those things that mean you're going forward. We've had our hands tied for a long time. With this new stadium we want to step into a new light."