MIAMI — A surprising visit by Albert Pujols is sending the message: The Miami Marlins will be a much different franchise than the Florida Marlins.
Pujols began his free-agent tour Friday when he was courted in Miami by the Marlins, only hours before they officially changed their name during a ceremony at their new ballpark. Pujols had lunch with team officials, checked out the stadium and received a contract offer.
The notoriously thrifty franchise, suddenly in the mood for a spending spree, declined to disclose details of the proposal. Free agents Jose Reyes and left-hander Mark Buehrle also received offers after taking ballpark tours earlier this week.
The 31-year-old Pujols is a free agent for the first time after spending his first 11 major league seasons with St. Louis.