Sources: Marlins targeting Albert Pujols
Sources told ESPN.com on Sunday night that the Marlins still plan to make an aggressive run at Pujols, even after committing $106 million to Reyes over the next six years, and plan to meet with Pujols' agent, Dan Lozano, Monday or Tuesday at the winter meetings.
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Throughout much of this offseason, Marlins officials have downplayed the possibility that they could afford both Reyes and Pujols. However, one source who spoke with the Marlins' brass said Sunday that Reyes' contract was structured in a way that would enable them to sign one more prominent free agent -- and that Pujols was their No. 1 target.
The source said the Marlins plan to make a major push to sign Pujols over the next two days. The team met with Pujols in Miami before Thanksgiving, just days after a similar session with Reyes, and made the free-agent first baseman a nine-year offer for considerably less than the reported nine-year, $198-million offer from the Cardinals that Pujols turned down last winter.
But just as they increased their original offer to Reyes over the weekend in their attempts to get him signed, the Marlins now will turn their attention to Pujols -- and appear prepared to up their offer to him if they get indications he has sincere interest in coming to Miami.
Lozano is also tentatively scheduled to meet with the Cardinals about Pujols on Monday, sources said.
Jayson Stark is a senior baseball writer for ESPN.com.