Here are some notes from the busy NL East:
- According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Miami Marlins have made “substantial” offers to two of the biggest fish of the free agent market: Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes.
- Jon Heyman of SI reported that the Marlins are also interested in former Phillies closer Ryan Madson. It looked like Madson was going to re-sign with the Phillies, but ownership and higher brass were clearly not comfortable giving Madson the four-year, $44MM deal that was on the table, and negotiations fell apart after that.
- Heyman also reported that the Marlins have also made an offer to starting pitcher Mark Buehrle.
- Lastly, the Phillies have agreed to a four-year, $50MM deal with Jonathan Paplebon, pending a physical. In case you missed it, this contract has a vesting option for the fifth year, which depends on games finished. Sound Familiar?
It wasn’t very surprising that the Marlins would try to sign one, or possibly two big free agents, but I don’t think anybody thought they would try this. If they sign any two of the four free agents they have made offers to, watch out, because they would be a dangerous team. By no means, are any of these players close to signing, but the aggressiveness of the Marlins so far is astounding. According to Cot’s Contracts, the Marlins have just under $50MM committed towards next year, so the big question will be: how many of these players can they actually sign?
The Paplebon move for the Phillies, was clearly made out of desperation. They let Ryan Madson get away, and they felt they needed to make a move before anyone else. Personally, I think they overpaid for Paplebon. The deal is not one that will work out for them at all. Yes, Paplebon is one of the best closers in baseball. He strikes out over 10 batters per nine innings consistently, has saved more than 30 games six years in a row, and has a stellar career ERA of 2.33. However, Paplebon is 30 years old. At the end of this four-year deal, there is a vesting option for the fifth year which, like K-Rod’s vesting option for the Mets, could put a strain on the Phillies down the road.