The Marlins offer to Pujols was less than $200 million

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We heard in the wee hours this morning that the Marlins had made a nine-year offer to Albert Pujols.  Shock! Dismay! Excitement!

And now we hear from Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald that the offer was for less than $200 million.  Which means that it was almost certainly less than the $22 million a year offer the Cardinals have long been thought to have on the table for Pujols.

Which makes me continue to think that with Jose Reyes, Albert Pujols and everyone else the Marlins talk to, the strategy is to be able to create the impression that they’re trying to do big things but that, in reality, they’re just screwing around. You’re not going to pry Pujols away from the Cardinals with comparable dollars. He’s comfortable there and can take advantage of all manner of opportunities and conveniences there that he will not be able to take advantage of if he joins a new team. You gotta make it worth his while, and a <$22M/year offer isn’t that.

When you’re the Marlins — coming off a losing season and looking  to build some credibility in the market — you gotta go big or go home.  Thus far, they don’t seem to be going big.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.