MLB Trade Rumors: Marlins "Serious" About Signing Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes?

Today, we heard that the Marlins will be meeting with free agent first baseman Albert Pujols, and Clark Spencer from the Miami Herald has more on the Marlins interest:

The Marlins aren't playing games with Albert Pujols. According to a Major League source, the Marlins are serious about signing the free agent first baseman and intend to make a competitive offer.

Pujols is the big prize in this year's free agent class and has reportedly received a nine-year, $200 million offer from the Cardinals to remain in St. Louis. Sources say that Loria, in particular, covets Pujols and envisions him at first base when the Marlins open their new stadium on April 4 -- against the World Series champion Cardinals, no less.

In addition to a lucrative contract offer, the Marlins will certainly use location in trying to reel in Pujols, a native of the Dominican Republic. When speaking about the Marlins' interest in Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes,  Marlins president David Samson said: "We think we're a great fit because we're Miami and we are a natural destination for any Cuban player, any Latin American player. We are the gateway to the Americas."

You can be sure Pujols heard those same words.

Should the Marlins sign Pujols this offseason? Well, if they do they will have to decide what to do with current first baseman Gaby Sanchez. Sanchez would obviously become trade bait and I am not sure what the Marlins could get in return for him, probably not much. Sanchez is not your typical major league first baseman as he doesn't have much power.

More on Pujols to the Marlins possibility after the jump, including a tweet from Foxsports Ken Rosenthal:

I wrote about Pujols a few weeks ago asking whether we were seeing the beginning of his decline, and here are his year by year stats, per Baseball-Reference:

2000 STL-min 133 490 74 41 19 96 4 .314 .378 .543 .920
2001 STL 161 590 112 47 37 130 1 .329 .403 .610 1.013
2002 STL 157 590 118 40 34 127 2 .314 .394 .561 .955
2003 STL 157 591 137 51 43 124 5 .359 .439 .667 1.106
2004 STL 154 592 133 51 46 123 5 .331 .415 .657 1.072
2005 STL 161 591 129 38 41 117 16 .330 .430 .609 1.039
2006 STL 143 535 119 33 49 137 7 .331 .431 .671 1.102
2007 STL 158 565 99 38 32 103 2 .327 .429 .568 .997
2008 STL 148 524 100 44 37 116 7 .357 .462 .653 1.114
2009 STL 160 568 124 45 47 135 16 .327 .443 .658 1.101
2010 STL 159 587 115 39 42 118 14 .312 .414 .596 1.011
2011 STL 147 579 105 29 37 99 9 .299 .366 .541 .906
11 Seasons 1705 6312 1291 455 445 1329 84 .328 .420 .617 1.037
162 Game Avg. 162 600 123 43 42 126 8 .328 .420 .617 1.037

Provided by View Original Table
Generated 11/11/2011.
I see Pujols in the beginning of a decline in performance at the plate, but very well could be wrong. But the trend of his power stats, as seen in the B-R table above, are telling. I won't rehash my thoughts here, but Pujols' performance could begin to level off before declining, ala Alex Rodriguez.
The fact that Marlins owner "covets" Pujols and wants him at first base when they open their new stadium in 2012 definitly indicates the team is serious about signing Pujols. I don't see Pujols signing real soon, unless, of course, he gets an ARod sized offer this weekend, but I don't see that happening.
Last week, we heard the Marlins were courting free agent shortstop Jose Reyes, with Marlins president David Samson saying that Reyes was their #1 priority. Either he had not spoken to owner Jeffrey Loria yet, or their focus has changed in a week, because Loria appears to really want Pujols. 
New manager Ozzie Guillen might be getting his wish and maybe he got Loria's ear last week when he said he wanted one of Prince Fielder and Pujols this offseason. And, it is obvious Loria covets Guillen as he traded two prospects for the rights to him this offseason, after almost dealing for him in 2010. 
Can you imagine the middle of the Marlins order if they sign Albert? We could see a 3-4-5 of Hanley Ramirez-Albert Pujols-Mike Stanton. And who knows, maybe Loria goes all Ruben Amaro Jr. on us and signs Jose Reyes to play shortstop as well. 
One thing is for sure, the Marlins are going to be talked about a lot this offseason.
UPDATE: It appears the Marlins are REALLY serious, if this tweet from Foxsports Ken Rosenthal is true:
Sources:  have made substantial offers to both Reyes and Pujols.   
Like I said, the Marlins are going to make this offseason real interesting.

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