THE MIAMI Marlins have made a 10-year offer to free-agent slugger Albert Pujols, according to reports.
ESPN the Magazine reported that it wasn't clear how much the Marlins offered Pujols, who has spent his entire 11-year career with the St. Louis Cardinals.
But MLB.com reported the deal is believed to be worth more than $200 million. Prior to spring training, the Cardinals had reportedly offered the All-Star first baseman $195 million over 9 years.
But St. Louis, apparently, won't let Pujols go without a fight. According to MLB.com, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said last night that his team has tendered a new contract offer to Pujols. Mozeliak would not reveal specifics about the offer.
As if that weren't enough there are reports that a mystery team is also interested in signing Pujols.
The Marlins have already signed free-agent shortstop Jose Reyes to a 6-year, $106 million deal and free-agent closer Heath Bell to a 3-year, $27 million contract.
The front office is "working very hard, and they are showing people they're for real," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen told MLB.com. "This is not for marketing. They're for real. As a manager, you appreciate that."
In other news, Hanley Ramirez informed the Marlins that he doesn't want to move from shortstop to third base, according to a report. ESPNDeportes of Los Angeles, citing a source, reported that the three-time All-Star does not want to change positions to accommodate Reyes.
"Hanley doesn't want to play third base and the Marlins were informed of that," the source told the website.
Ramirez is under contract with Miami for the next 3 years.
Free-agent designated hitter David Ortiz is expected to return to Boston "one way or another," a Red Sox source told ESPNBoston.com. However, a league source told the website that the slugger has not made a decision on accepting arbitration. The deadline to do so is midnight tonight.
According to the website, the team source said he expects Ortiz to accept a 2-year deal - be it through arbitration or an offer by the team - worth between $18 and $25 million to stay in Boston. Ortiz is a Type A free agent, which means that if he were to sign elsewhere, the Red Sox would receive two draft picks as compensation.
In other Red Sox news, lefthander Andrew Miller agreed to a 1-year deal, avoiding salary arbitration.
Miller was 6-3 with a 5.54 ERA in 17 games (12 starts) last season.
* People familiar with the deals say the New York Mets made a series of transactions, trading centerfielder Angel Pagan to San Francisco and signing free-agent relievers Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch. Various sources said the Mets are getting outfielder Andres Torres and pitcher Ramon Ramirez for Pagan. Francisco is reportedly getting a $12 million, 2-year contract while Rauch is receiving a 1-year deal.
* The Chicago White Sox traded closer Sergio Santos to the Toronto Blue Jays for pitching prospect Nestor Molina. Santos, a righthander, had 30 saves for the White Sox last season. Molina excelled in the minors for the Blue Jays, going 27-7 overall with a 2.21 ERA.
* The Minnesota Twins traded winless pitcher Kevin Slowey to the Colorado Rockies for a player to be named. Slowey went 0-8 with a 6.67 ERA last season and was out from May to August because of an abdominal strain. He made eight starts and six relief appearances and the Twins went 0-14 in those games.
* A judge has refused to grant Lenny Dykstra a temporary restraining order against a man the former baseball player claims is threatening his finances and freedom.
An attorney for Dykstra sought the order against Pennsylvania resident Daniel Herman.
The filing accused Herman of trying to sabotage Dykstra's business interests and contact the judge handling the former Mets and Phillies outfielder's embezzlement case. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Carol Boas Goodson refused to grant the order, citing freedom of speech issues.
* The Baseball Writers' Association of America agreed to have the results for next season's Most Valuable Players, Cy Young Awards, Rookies of the Year and Managers of the Year broadcast on the MLB Network.
In other news, Toronto Sun columnist Bob Elliott has become the first Canadian to win the Hall of Fame's J.G. Taylor Spink Award for his work as a baseball writer. Daily News columnist Bill Conlin won the award last year.