The two sides met for about a half-hour Monday afternoon, and a source familiar with the meeting said that session was "very positive, very upbeat." There was no indication of whether the Marlins increased their original nine-year offer in the first meeting. But one NL executive who spoke with the team said they scheduled a second meeting to try to get a clear picture of Pujols' sincere level of interest in coming to Miami and hope to know soon "one way or the other."
Clubs that have talked with the Marlins at the winter meetings have come away with the clear impression they are pressing to sign Pujols quickly. And in a public appearance following the team's official announcement of the signing of new closer Heath Bell, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria did nothing to discourage talk that they have payroll room to sign Pujols, even after reeling in Bell and shortstop Jose Reyes.
Loria said the club still has "the possibility of (adding) another player or two." When asked if the Marlins' pursuit of more big-name players was serious, Loria replied: "I'm a serious guy."
Jayson Stark is a senior baseball writer for ESPN.com.