pujols grimace

Agent tells Marlins they’re out, Albert Pujols “will not be going to Florida”


By signing Mark Buehrle to a four-year, $58 million deal the Marlins made it pretty clear that they were no longer holding out much hope of reeling in Albert Pujols, and sure enough Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that Pujols’ agent has informed Miami that they’re out of the running.

Or as Crasnick put it: “Albert Pujols will not be going to Florida.”

That obviously makes the Cardinals overwhelming favorites to re-sign Pujols, which has been the consensus coming from reporters at the winter meetings most of the day, but a source told Crasnick that Pujols “continues to negotiate with clubs other than the Cardinals.”

If the Cubs are one of those “clubs other than the Cardinals” team president Theo Epstein certainly isn’t leaving any hints, telling Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune that there’s “nothing big we’re close to.”

UPDATE: Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports that the Marlins have officially withdrawn their offer to Pujols.

Estrada in Game 3, Dickey in Game 4 for Blue Jays

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/Kathy Willens
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It’s already been established that the Blue Jays would throw deadline acquisition David Price in Game 1 of their ALDS matchup against the Rangers and fast-rising right-hander Marcus Stroman in Game 2.

Now we know how they’ll fill out the rest of their rotation for the best-of-five round …

John Lott of the National Post notes that R.A. Dickey threw a simulated game on Tuesday afternoon at Rogers Centre, which lines him up for a potential ALDS Game 4 next Monday in Texas. Marco Estrada will take Game 3 on Sunday night in Arlington.

Mark Buehrle retired after his final regular-season start, so he’s obviously out of the mix.

Toronto is the World Series favorite to many as the postseason gets underway.

Yasiel Puig might be more of a bench guy in the NLDS

Yasiel Puig
AP Photo/Danny Moloshok
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Yasiel Puig appeared in just 79 games during the regular season and missed all of September with a right hamstring strain. He returned on October 3 and appeared in the Dodgers’ final two regular-season games, but that doesn’t mean he is anywhere close to 100 percent heading into the NLDS.

Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles says the Dodgers are unlikely to start Puig over Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford against right-handers in the best-of-five Division Series. And the Mets are scheduled to throw three righties in the first three games: Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Matt Harvey. The only left-hander in the Mets’ postseason rotation is Steven Matz, and he is somewhat questionable with a back injury.

Would it make sense to leave Puig off the NLDS roster entirely? If he does aggravate the hamstring injury, which seems possible even in a limited role, that would put him out of the mix for the NLCS.

They could send Puig to Arizona and have him face live pitching for the next 8-10 days.

But that’s just a suggestion. It doesn’t sound like it’s actually a consideration.