Miami Marlins tried to replace Gaby Sanchez but there's no hard feelings

The hardest part for Gaby Sanchez wasn't so much the Marlins trying to replace him with Albert Pujols.

It wasn't the prospect of losing his dream job with his hometown team to a future Hall of Fame first baseman.

Instead, it was those few days in early December when his cell phone nearly blew up as those Pujols rumors raged.

"It just got annoying with the phone calls and the texts," Sanchez said during the Marlins Caravan this week in preparation for spring training. "People were like, 'I can't believe they're doing this,' and, 'Oh, what are you going to do now?' "

On those rare occasions when Sanchez did answer the phone or hit the reply key, his responses were pretty much what you'd expect from the unassuming all-star.

Angry at the Marlins? No way.

Even if they never got around to giving him a heads-up about their plans.

"There was no tipoff," Sanchez said. "But if you looked at any type of media, if you looked at SportsCenter one time, you knew the Marlins were going after him. I knew it. Everybody else knew it. It wasn't a shock to me."

This isn't Hanley Ramirez struggling to accept a position move 50 feet to his right.

Sanchez, the former University of Miami standout, completely understood the Marlins' rationale.

"You're talking about one of the best players in baseball," Sanchez said. "If I was running the Marlins, I would have done the same thing. I would have gone after Pujols also."

For a few days there, it appeared the Marlins might actually stuff Phat Albert into their overflowing basket.

It was looking like the two-time World Series champion might have just two choices for his services: a surprisingly modest offer from the Cardinals and a 10-year, $201 million offer from the Marlins.

As the winter meetings unfolded and the constant updates came rolling out of Dallas, Sanchez was left to ponder his future.

He figured he would have a job somewhere in 2012. He just didn't know where.

Maybe it would be St. Louis, where he'd have the unenviable challenge of following a legend.

Maybe the Cubs. Or the Nationals.

It wasn't like Sanchez would have much say. The Marlins still held his rights, so when it came time to flip him, the 28-year-old would just have to accept his new workplace.

"I just had to realize it's a business," Sanchez said. "The Marlins are going to go after who they feel is going to help the team win and who is going to be more beneficial than what I can do."

What Sanchez can do is pretty good in its own right.

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