Earlier today, Albert Pujols signed a mammoth ten year, $254 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to take over their first base position forever and ever and ever. Almost immediately after that, it was confirmed that C.J. Wilson would also join the Angels by signing a five-year, $78 million deal. This officially eliminated two targets that the Marlins were working on feverishly.
Of course, there are always people that speculate that the Fish were never all that serious with these players. But according to Bob Nigthengale of USA Today says that the Marlins made offers that bested those of the Angels for both players.
Pujols rejected the Miami Marlins' offer of 10 years, $275 milllion a day earlier, according to two people familar with the offer but not authorized to discuss it due to the sensitive nature of the negotations.
With incentives and no state tax in Florida, the actual value of the deal could have been worth nearly $300 million.
Indeed, C.J. Wilson mentioned himself that "if it was about the money, I'd be a Marlin," which matches what was heard by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports regarding the Marlins' offer. Supposedly the Marlins offered six years and "at least $100 million."
Don't confuse the Marlins for a lack of effort in this case. If these figures are right (and I have a hard time believing they are completely correct, but they could easily be in the ballpark), then the front office did their due diligence to sign these players, and no Marlins fan should be disappointed with the staff that they did not come out ahead in these sweepstakes.
Indeed, based on evaluation by Dan Szymborski, founder of the ZiPS projection system, a ten-year deal for Albert Pujols could be in line for this sort of projection.
At his assumptions, Pujols would have been worth $203 million in those 10 years. At our assumptions that we have been using here at Fish Stripes, it would have been about the same. Either way you look at it, if the Marlins offered Pujols $275 million with the added money he would earn from not having state income tax, it was appealing enough to snag him. The fact that he did not should relieve Marlins fans rather than disappoint them, as this may have turned into a horrible deal according to ZiPS.For the Wilson contract, it was completely different. The money that he signed for was actually highly reasonable, as I pointed earlier this offseason. If C.J. Wilson wanted to sign a five-year deal worth somewhere close to $80 million, the Marlins would have been all over it. But the team gave six years and supposedly over $100 million to Wilson, and he found it more attractive to go home to California rather than down to south Florida. Hell, even Logan Morrison sang for him via Twitter.
The truth, if the information on the Marlins' offer was correct, was that the Fish would have had to offer above market value for Wilson to pass on a hometown discount from Los Angeles. I obviously like C.J. Wilson and think he should be very good starter for the next three seasons at least, but even with the Marlins' supposedly newfound cash flows, there is no way the Fish should overpay just because they want to acquire. Fiscal spending needs to remain intelligent.
And in the end, even though the Marlins missed out on two free agent targets, they came out of the Winter Meetings as relatively successful. Marlins fans should not fret for the team's more immediate lack of signings or their inability to pry away talent from the Angels' hands. The Fish signed three players in the last week, and two of the deals were solid acquisitions with decent chances to pay off and which will sorely help the team in the next two or three seasons. Sure, one other deal was a likely mistake, but it still is likely to improve the team in 2012, and the Marlins are throwing caution to the wind in order to improve in 2012 and prove to the fan base that they deserve to be watched at the new stadium.
We may not have landed the best pitcher and the best hitter available, but there is still time and even if the offseason shopping spree ended today, the Marlins came out pretty decently despite their uproar and the seemingly unending tide of hate from outside of the organization. Marlins fans should be happy with the moves made so far.