Wednesday meetings update: Is today the day?
UPDATE, 1:03: The Marlins introduced Reyes, but nothing on Pujols yet. Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said several times there was "more to come" and to "stay tuned" but team president David Samson said the final move of their planned three-part splash could come via trade. That could be a sign Pujols is staying in St. Louis.
BREAKING: Today is the last full day of the winter meetings, which makes it most likely for big news.
Nationally, the stage appears set for a decision by Albert Pujols, who has been weighing 10-year offers reportedly in excess of $200-million to move to the Marlins or to return to the Cardinals. Pujols' reps met late into the night with the Marlins, and are said to be in talks this morning with the Cardinals.
If Pujols stays in St. Louis - which seems likely unless the Marlins offer is for significantly more - the Marlins are expected to remain aggressive, perhaps jumping into the competition for Prince Fielder, and also being more aggressive in their pursuit of free-agent starters such as C.J. Wilson and Mark Buehrle.
Their actions can impact the Rays in a number of ways: If they sign Pujols, or Fielder, they are expected to trade All-Star 1B Gaby Sanchez, who could be a good fit for the Rays, possibly in a deal for Wade Davis or one of their other starters; if they don't sign either 1B and fill their need for starting pitching via free agency, they could end up competing with the Rays to make a deal for other hitters.
The Rays have talked with a number of teams, and while every conversation sparks speculation and reports of pending deals, as of late Tuesday they were not close to completing anything.
Executive VP Andrew Friedman freely admits that he uses the meetings more for information gathering and processing, though obviously things can line up for a deal. Also, he puts a premium on keeping their plans secret and is proud of the fact that most of the rumors about them are not true and most of the moves they do make are not forecast.
One official bit of business this morning was the election of veteran TV analyst Tim McCarver to the Hall of Fame as winner of the Frick award.