Reports: Cubs after Albert Pujols

Updated: December 7, 2011, 10:17 AM ET
ESPNChicago.com

The Chicago Cubs have officially made their pitch to lure Albert Pujols, the star of the archrival Cardinals, to the North Side, according to reports.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch was the first to report that the Cubs spoke with Pujols' agent, Dan Lozano, on Monday and made a qualifying offer.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein was asked about meeting with Lozano.

"He also represents Rodrigo Lopez, so if you see somebody going into someone's room, it's not always to talk about the Big Kahuna," said Epstein, who admitted he was hoping to bring Lopez back to the team to add depth to a paper-thin starting rotation. "But yeah, we met with Danny."

Sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney on Tuesday that the Marlins made a 10-year offer to Pujols. The Marlins' offer to Pujols comes after they signed two All-Stars, shortstop Jose Reyes and closer Heath Bell, in anticipation of moving into a new downtown Miami ballpark.

Pujols turned down an offer, believed to be for nine years and around $200 million, from the Cardinals before last season, but St. Louis is still in the running for the slugger.

"I had a view of what he can do over the last six years and it's pretty impressive," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of Pujols. "He's definitely the best hitter in baseball right now. If he's not with us you hope he's in another division, there's no doubt about it."

Pujols batted .299 last season with 37 homers and 99 RBIs while battling an arm injury.

The Cubs have are also reportedly in the mix for Brewers slugger Prince Fielder, but Sveum discounted that pursuit.

"I don't really see that we've started any talks or anything like that [on Fielder]," Sveum said Tuesday. "I think if we ever get that far it would be a process but we are not in any process of talking to him or anything like that."

Information from ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine was used in this report.

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