Marlins say their offer to Albert Pujols was “nowhere near” $275 million

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Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reported yesterday that the Marlins’ final offer to Albert Pujols was $210 million for 10 years, but then later Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported their top proposal as $275 million.

Today team president David Samson vehemently denied Nightengale’s report, telling Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that the Marlins’ best offer was “nowhere near” $275 million and just slightly more than $200 million.

There’s been some speculation that the $275 million figure was floated by Pujols’ agent in an attempt to make it seem like he turned down more money to sign with the Angels for $254 million.

Whatever the case, the Marlins at least are saying they offered considerably less than the Angels and perhaps less than the Cardinals as well.

Blue Jays release John Axford

John Axford
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The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.

Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.

Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.

Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.