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.

MLB crowds jump from ’21, still below pre-pandemic levels

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PHOENIX — Even with the homer heroics of sluggers like Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball wasn’t able to coax fans to ballparks at pre-pandemic levels this season, though attendance did jump substantially from the COVID-19 affected campaign in 2021.

The 30 MLB teams drew nearly 64.6 million fans for the regular season that ended Wednesday, which is up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to baseball-reference.com. This year’s numbers are still down from the 68.5 million who attended games in 2019, which was the last season that wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 3.86 million fans flocking to Dodger Stadium for an average of 47,672 per contest. The Oakland Athletics – who lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are the constant subject of relocation rumors – finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of less than 10,000 per game.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, drawing 3.32 million fans. They were followed by the Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champion Braves (3.13 million) and Padres (2.99 million).

The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest jump in attendance, rising from 805,901 fans to about 2.65 million. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, and Mets, which all drew more than a million fans more than in 2021.

The Rangers and Reds were the only teams to draw fewer fans than in 2021.

Only the Rangers started the 2021 season at full capacity and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July. No fans were allowed to attend regular season games in 2020.

MLB attendance had been declining slowly for years – even before the pandemic – after hitting its high mark of 79.4 million in 2007. This year’s 64.6 million fans is the fewest in a non-COVID-19 season since the sport expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

The lost attendance has been balanced in some ways by higher viewership on the sport’s MLB.TV streaming service. Viewers watched 11.5 billion minutes of content in 2022, which was a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.