Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Miami Marlins have signed Mark Buehrle to a four-year, $58 million deal (whew!). Finally, a major move at the Winter Meetings. (Jose Reyes signed on Sunday.)

The signing is relevant ’round here for any number of reasons, but they include:

(1) The Cubs were briefly in on Buehrle;

(2) The Marlins are less likely to need another starter like Carlos Zambrano now; and

(3) The Marlins are probably out on Albert Pujols (as was already believed to be the case).

The move could start a domino effect on other free agents, including CJ Wilson.

Buehrle, who was sitting on a few three-year offers, was clearly waiting on a four-year offer before signing. Once the Marlins scaled back their pursuit of Albert Pujols, they tacked on the fourth year, and nabbed Buehrle.

The deal is considerable, but, given the number of pursuers, it’s not outrageous. I’d be surprised if it isn’t heavily backloaded, like Jose Reyes’ deal was.



UPDATE: A thought on number two above. It occurs to me that signing Buehrle doesn’t necessarily take Zambrano off the table for the Marlins. Consider this: Ricky Nolasco is scheduled to make $9 million in 2012 and another $11.5 million in 2013. Might the Marlins look to move him in order to save some salary? If so, they might look to pick up someone like Z, whom they could theoretically get for a very low salary (i.e., with the Cubs eating a substantial portion of the $18 million he’s owed).




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