- Jim Bowden, ESPN Insider
At the time of this posting, the Albert Pujols mega-bidding war reached its zenith just past midnight early Wednesday morning. The Miami Marlins made a 10-year offer that was so complicated it required the attention of Dan Halem, MLB's senior vice president and general counsel, for his sign-off on some new concepts the Marlins engineered in the “special covenants” portion of the offer.
• The St. Louis Cardinals, facing the possibility of losing Pujols, increased their offer from last January. It is believed to match the 10-year length of the Marlins' offer but at substantially less money. The Pujols situation has a pretty good chance of getting resolved sometime Wednesday morning, with the Cardinals remaining the favorite for Pujols’ services.
• Mark Buehrle narrowed his list from 14 to five teams; the Rangers, Nationals and Marlins are acknowledged as three of those teams. The Cardinals could also be one of the teams if they lose Pujols to the Marlins. It is believed the Washington Nationals will try to separate themselves by giving in on a fourth year either as an option or a guaranteed year. The Rangers quietly believe they have a real shot at Buehrle if C.J. Wilson decides to leave them. The Marlins are not willing to include a no-trade clause for Buehrle, and that could end up being a deal buster.