Something's fishy _ Marlins become big players

December 5, 2011 - 8:11 PM
Marlins Bell Baseball

FILE - In this Feb. 23, 2011 file photo, Heath Bell of the San Diego Padres baseball team is shown. A person familiar with the negotiations tells The Associated Press that All-Star closer Bell has agreed to a $27 million, three-year contract with the Miami Marlins _ their first free-agent deal since beginning courtships last month with several top players. The person spoke Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not yet been announced. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

DALLAS (AP) — Jeffrey Loria watched the news conference from the second row, beaming like a proud parent as Heath Bell talked about his new love for the Miami Marlins and reuniting with Jose Reyes.

Trying to make a quick getaway, the owner was surrounded by reporters in the corridor who wanted to know who else would be migrating to South Florida: Albert Pujols, C.J. Wilson, Mark Buehrle?

Instead of trading away their stars, the Marlins have become the biggest player in the offseason market, the riches from their new ballpark a free-agent attraction.