Well, it’s official. We’ve now seen two ballplayers — closer Heath Bell and shortstop Jose Reyes — up close this week, wearing the new Miami Marlins uniforms, and it’s clear that it’s not the guy. Those uniforms are just plain ugly. We’re taking “Tin Cup” golf shirt ugly.
The Marlins finally introduced Reyes moments ago. The six-year, $102 million deal — with a seventh-year option — has been finalized.
But the ballclub’s fascinating offseason certainly is not. Reports say they’re still hot on Albert Pujols, having offered a 10-year deal worth around $220 million. He’s no lock to sign with them; the Cardinals, by all accounts, are remaining competitive. If Pujols doesn’t choose the Marlins, you can then expect the team to step up its pursuit for Prince Fielder.
Of course, if they sign either one, they’ll then be looking to trade first baseman Gaby Sanchez.
One possible move the Marlins seemed to put to rest today, however: the notion they’ll now look to trade All-Star Hanley Ramirez. There is speculation that he’s not thrilled to be moving to third base to accomodate Reyes, but ballclub brass reiterated today they still see him as a big part of their future.
“Hanley is a key to our team, he has been. He is a unique talent, we recognize that,” Marlins president Larry Beinfest said before today’s press conference, in hopes of keeping the focus of the questions on Reyes and not Ramirez. “We recognize his ability, we recognize his achievements already in a very young career.
“We have dealt with him respectfully and timely in our communications, and we have every intention of him being our third baseman alongside Jose, preparing to be, we think, the best left side of the infield in baseball.”
Be sure to check back with Covering the Bases, as Tony Paul blogs throughout the day Monday-Wednesday from the winter meetings.