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Could Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes Join Forces In NL East?

For as long as Braves Country can remember, the Florida Marlins were always a cheap organization that traded away their expensive, talented players instead of building around them. They dealt Dan Uggla to Atlanta because of his steep price tag and sent Miguel Cabrera to Detroit because of the eight-figure contract he was going to demand.

With the franchise officially changing its name to the Miami Marlins, they are looking to make a splash -- no pun intended -- in the free agent market. That potentially means Albert Pujols or Jose Reyes.

According to this story, Pujols has received a substantial offer from the Marlins and they will be serious contenders in the sweepstakes for the best player in baseball. Reports came out late Sunday evening that Reyes was closing in on a deal with Miami, but those have since been put to rest.

All of this speculation has to worry Braves fans at least a little bit. Why?

The Phillies are already one of the best teams in baseball. They may be aging, but they will remain in the upper-echelon of the division because of their financial flexibility.

The Nationals are improving each season and they have one of the best farm systems in the Minor Leagues. They will not remain at the bottom of the NL East for long.

The Mets have a lot to work to do, but they have ridden their front office of those who got them in trouble and are on the right path back to glory. They remain heavily involved in the chase for Reyes, as well.

And here are the Marlins, determined to land a star free agent as they open their new ballpark in April. The addition of Albert Pujols would be an incredible signing for them and could propel the club to the top of the division if other parts are added.

The AL East is currently the toughest division in baseball, but that could definitely change in the coming months. The NL East is going to be brutal for years to come.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.