With $191MM committed to Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and Heath Bell, Marlins fans can't complain about their offseason so far. Only one of the 5,020 entrants in MLBTR's free agent prediction contest, Matthew Lazear, correctly guessed in November that the Marlins would sign all three. However, it's interesting to note that the Marlins also made the highest bids on top free agents Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, who ultimately went to the Angels today.
Pujols received ten years and $254MM from the Angels, but Bob Nightengale of USA Today says the Marlins offered ten years and $275MM. That would have tied Alex Rodriguez for the largest contract guarantee in baseball history. Nightengale says that with incentives and Florida's lack of a state income tax, the deal could have been worth nearly $300MM.
Wilson signed a five-year, $77.5MM deal with the Halos, but agent Bob Garber told Ken Rosenthal Wilson could "easily" have gotten $100MM, and the Marlins "would not let it go." Said Wilson: "But if it were just about money I'd be a Marlin, straight up, because they offered more money, they have a great situation."
The Marlins reportedly stuck to their policy of not including a no-trade clause for either player, which may have been a factor in their decisions.