Just like last year, the Marlins are being aggressive early in the offseason. But this time instead of quickly signing John Buck and Javier Vazquez and shipping out Dan Uggla, Cameron Maybin, and Andrew Miller, the new Miami Marlins are wooing top free agents. The latest:
- Marlins president David Samson said on the Dan Le Batard show on 790 the Ticket that the team hasn't reached out to Prince Fielder (Twitter links via MLB.com's Joe Frisaro).
- Samson wouldn't comment on Albert Pujols, but he confirmed that Reyes is one of the Marlins' "priorities."
- Mark Buehrle toured the Marlins' new ballpark and caught up with his former manager Ozzie Guillen in a daylong visit yesterday, reports Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post. Ace Josh Johnson commented, "It would be great for the team as a whole. He's a leader in the clubhouse and would really help out the rotation."
- Buehrle is a better bet to perform over the course of a free agent deal than C.J. Wilson, according to team executives who responded to a poll question posed by ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. Responders voted 14 to 8 in favor of Buehrle. A GM told Crasnick, "I know C.J. Wilson is a great story, and he's obviously pitched well. But I don't see knockout stuff, and his arm action concerns me a little bit. Buehrle quietly has been pretty rock-solid for a long time. He works fast and throws with no effort. His recipe seems built to last."
- Marlins president David Samson appeared on MLB Network Radio this morning with Jim Duquette and Kevin Kennedy, and Capozzi has a transcript. In regard to free-agent-to-be Yoenis Cespedes, Samson said, "Obviously he is a special guy. We’ve had some guys seeing him. We’re going to see him again. It’s not too often you can get an impact player like that as a free agent but again in our market at a position like center field with a bat that he has, that would seem like a good fit." The Marlins are sending a contingent to the Dominican Republic for a private workout with the Cuban center fielder tomorrow, in fact.
- Guillen has been very helpful in recruiting free agents, according to Samson. The Marlins are meeting with Jose Reyes today, and one Mets person told John Harper of the New York Daily News the Marlins plan to offer Reyes a high-salary, three-year deal. Personally, I don't think the Marlins will limit their offers to three years.
- I heard today that while Japan's Yomiuri Giants inquired on free agent and former Marlins top prospect Jeremy Hermida, he's looking to stay in MLB.