Report: Albert Pujols believed to have nine-year offer on the table from the Marlins

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When we woke up Tuesday morning, we learned that the Marlins reportedly made a six-year, $90 million offer for Jose Reyes. Well, their offer for Albert Pujols almost certainly blows that one out of the water.

According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, the Marlins’ offer to Pujols “is believed to be” for nine years.

Unfortunately Brown’s report doesn’t tell us anything about the proposed dollar amount, but what we do know is that Pujols turned down a nine-year offer from the Cardinals in February. We’ve been under the impression that Pujols was offered approximately $210 million (or $23.3 million per season) at the time, but Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reported Tuesday night that the Cardinals didn’t even top $200 million.

Jon Heyman of SI.com reported over the weekend that the Cardinals weren’t going to improve the offer their previous offer unless forced to do so by a competing bid. We’ve regularly wondered where that bid would come from since the Yankees and Red Sox are presumed to be out of the mix. The Marlins are clearly trying to create some buzz for their new ballpark, so even if Pujols wants to stay in St. Louis, his agent Dan Lozano may have found the perfect leverage here.

Must-Click Link: “Skunk in the Outfield”

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Sam Miller of ESPN has an amazingly fantastic story today. It’s about a high school tournament baseball game in Rhode Island in 2006. It’s not your typical game story or oral history or look-to-the-past-to-see-the-future kind of thing. The only nod to such conventionality is mention of the fact that former Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland played in the game. That’s mostly a footnote.

No, the article is about a trick play — “skunk in the outfield” — concocted by one of the coaches. About how it played out and what went into it before, during and after it happened. Along the way Miller talks about the nature of trick plays and offers a good three dozen amazing insights into the psychology of young baseball players and the strategy of baseball as it unfolds in real time.

Each of these observations could anchor its own story but here they form a grand mosaic. And that’s only mild hyperbole, if in fact it’s hyperbole at all. Indeed, most treatments of such a play would be some video clip with a “wow, look what happened here!” sort of couching. Miller gives a more than ten-year-old trick play an epic treatment that is every bit as enlightening as it is entertaining.

Set some time aside to read this today.

Rubby De La Rosa to undergo a second Tommy John Surgery

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This is unfortunate: Diamondbacks reliever Rubby De La Rosa will undergo Tommy John surgery. This will be the second Tommy John procedure of his career, the first coming back in 2011.

De La Rosa has had elbow  issues for his entire career. Last year his UCL was barking again and he underwent stem cell therapy to try to avoid a second surgery, but it obviously hasn’t worked out. He’s pitched in only nine games this year, allowing four earned runs in seven and two-thirds innings, striking out 12.

I first saw De La Rosa in spring training in 2011. I thought his stuff was pretty phenomenal and figured he’d be a good one. Great stuff is often a function of heavy strain on an elbow, however, and pitchers breaking is, unfortunately, the rule in baseball far more than the exception.

He’ll miss a year at least. We likely won’t see him until spring of 2019, most likely on a minor league deal.