If you think of yourself as a baseball fan and you haven’t heard about the Marlins courting of Albert Pujols, you better start rethinking whether or not you are a true baseball fan. The marlins unveiled their new logo, name, and unappetizing look last night and ESPN put it perfectly, “if you built it, thy will come.”
The “they” ESPN is referring to is not only baseball fans in Florida but also, all star players. The Miami Marlins have recently given tours of their grand new stadium to three this year’s top free agents: Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes, and none other than Albert Pujols.
Well not only did they give the three all-stars tours, they also gave them contract offers. While the offers probably won’t be accepted, it shows that the Marlins will no longer be the butt of jokes as owner Jeff Loria claims that 30,000 fans every night, he believes, will be a common thing.
The famous baseball movie which I hope every “baseball fan” has seen, Field of Dreams, first coined the phrase “if you build it they will come.” Well it seems as those Loria is trying to apply this phrase to his team as he pursues Pujols. If he prevails, whoa nelly, the Marlins will immediately be referred to as a top playoff contender. Imagine Hanley Ramirez back on his feet batting in front of Pujols. Forget about Braun and Fielder this past year because Hanley and Albert would probably be the most lethal 3, 4 power hitters combination in baseball in a long time. While the Marlins have never truly been big spenders during the offseason, I wouldn’t be surprised if they take the risk with a couple big names. They have a glamorous new stadium located just outside of downtown Miami and are determined to win now with their current young core. These are all reasons as to why they could sign and need to sign Pujols.
Now onto Reyes. The Marlins already have a legitimate shortstop in Hanley Ramirez, however, I don’t think that will stop them from doing what the Phillies did a few year’s ago when they signed gold glove second baseman Placido Polanco to play third base because of Chase Utley at second. The Marlins have holes essentially all over the infield except for shortstop which could allow them to move Hanley if they sign Reyes. Reyes could end up being a better sign for them over Pujols because he costs less money, he has speed, and he has the ability to hit for some power. Reyes could end up being another Hanley however with more speed and fewer home runs. With a strong pair up the middle or on the left side of the infield with Hanley and Jose, and the rest of the Marlins young offensive core in the outfield, the Marlins would immediately turn into a very good team.
The Marlins’ pitching staff could use some work and while Buehrle would provide them with the Veteran possible ace they need, he wouldn’t help them a lot without Reyes or Pujols. Buehrle would be a nice addition however at the same time the Marlins would have to add a few other starters with good resumes to their rotation to truly be contenders. The Marlins can’t thrive simply with Buehrle and their proven ace Josh Johnson, and because of that, they must sign Reyes and or Pujols to be true contenders during the 2012 season.
So here we go. The hot stove is burning. Now we have to just wait and see if the newly renovated Miami Marlins can take advantage, and make a splash.