What comes first:
The Marlins’ announcement that Mark Buehrle has agreed to a four-year deal worth, $58 million, according to ESPN.com.
Or the announcement that hte Marlins’ will charge $1,800 for a bleacher ticket in 2012.
The crazy spending spree continued today as the Marlins locked up another one of their targets: Buehrle, the free-agent lefty who will reunite with his former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen in South Beach.
If you’re counting at home, that’s closer Heath Bell, shorstop Jose Reyes and now Buehrle for the Marlins. That’s nearly $200 million in contracts, in the span of the three days of winter meetings. By comparison, the Tigers have spent $5.2 million on free agents this offseason.
The Buehrle deal gives the Marlins a durable, veteran presence in the rotation. He was perhaps the best pitcher in White Sox history, going 161-119 in 12 seasons.
The Buehrle deal also could have significant ramifications on the upcoming hours. By the Marlins signing him, you’d think (they with this team, you can’t be sure) they were out on another left-hander, C.J. Wilson, who now might jump at the chance to go home to California and pitch for the Angels. The Buehrle deal also might signal that the Marlins realized they missed out on first baseman Albert Pujols, despite their 10-year, $220 million offer. I expect him to remain a Cardinal very soon.
It’s not a stretch to see all these signings done by the team execs leave Dallas tomorrow after the Rule 5 draft.
That would leave Prince Fielder as the biggest free agent left on the market. The Marlins probably still will make a run at the slugger — apparently they’re growing Benjamins, not oranges, on trees down there now — but the Rangers might also get involved, seeing as they appear to have missed out keeping Wilson and signing Buehrle.
In another development to keep an eye on, Fox Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi said middle reliever Octavio Dotel is deciding between two unidentified teams and should pick soon. The Tigers have a void there — with the health uncertainty of Al Alburquerque, and the performance uncertainty of Ryan Perry and David Pauley — and have been linked to him.