Talks and bids for free agent first baseman Albert Pujols have been heating up since the start of the MLB Winter Meetings on Monday. Front office members of the Chicago Cubs, Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals all met Pujols' agent, Dan Lazano, on Monday, and each team has submitted a formal offer to Pujols. The Cardinals have yet to up their offer from the nine-year, $198 million bid Pujols rejected back in January, the Cubs have submitted a confirmed offer for the slugger, and the Marlins upped their offer to a ten-year deal worth over $200 million, all according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The fact that the Cardinals and Marlins are willing to offer Pujols nine and ten year deals, respectively, might be enough to push the Cubs out of the market for the 31-year old power hitter, as noted by Jon Heyman of MLB Network via Twitter:
So if the Cubs are out on Pujols, what happens next? If the Marlins win the bid for his services, the Cubs are expected to pursue Marlins' first baseman Gabby Sanchez, who would obviously be displaced by the addition of Pujols. Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune notes that the 28-year old Sanchez may fit better into the long-term plan of the Cubs:
More should become known over the next few days of the Winter Meetings.
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