Your daily Albert Pujols digest:

  • Pujols’ self-imposed deadline first was yesterday before being extended by agreement with the Cardinals (which remains profoundly bizarre – what, if Pujols wants to discuss a new deal on Friday, the Cardinals are going to say “sorry, we agreed to a Wednesday deadline”?), and now runs until noon EST today.
  • Pujols says he won’t report to camp until tomorrow, but today’s deadline is firm.
  • SI’s Jon Heyman says the Cardinals offered Pujols an 8-year deal worth over $200 million (the annual amount uncertain, but presumably more than the $25 million Ryan Howard got from the Phillies), but the deal was rejected. The Cardinals, for their part, have denied the report.
  • Jayson Stark reported this morning on Sportscenter that, barring a miraculous turn of events, no deal will be reached today.
  • If that proves true, Tony La Russa will probably blame the MLB Players Union. La Russa says the Union is “beating up” on Pujols, pressuring him to hold out for the most money possible (on the theory that doing so helps all players). The Union, of course, denies the allegation – Director Michael Weiner (tee hee) says the Union has had no discussions with Pujols or his agent, and has no policy about pressuring players about contracts. But, like, come on. Of course the Union has a strong interest in the Pujols deal, and of course the Union would prefer he not give the Cardinals a sweetheart deal. I don’t like him, but I’m with La Russa on this one.
  • If Pujols does become a free agent, expect a season-long soap opera almost on par with the LeBron James saga. Speaking of which, enjoy our take on the Pujols “Decision.”
  • philoe beddoe

    Sorry Cardfan, but as stated before LaRussa is a tool. HIs comments blaming the union were so ridiculous and self-serving…his whole “shouldn’t just be about the money with Albert” stuff. What a croc…I love how Pujols is considered greedy, but when owners cry poor and cut payroll(like our team did) its OK….its always about the money!

    Tony…you are a great manager , albeit with the same glasses you wore in 1979, but this is the wrong road to take if you want your best player back.

    Which he will be…all this panic and hype…he won’t leave. It’s so you really think a noon deadline on February 16th means anything?

    • Ace

      I think La Russa’s Union comments were probably accurate. Just sayin’.

  • Cardfan

    I don’t know how self-serving it is to call out a union for its tactics. I think he was probably right, as well. I am just surprised he said it – I guess those lawyerin’ days are long gone…

    As for the AP mess – what a waste. This will be a HUGE distraction, regardless of everyone’s insistence that they don’t want to discuss during the season because it will be a distraction. We’ve already seen how distracting silence is.

    • philoe beddoe

      Pujols will sign with the Cards sooner than later…..I only meant it is as “self-serving” in that I felt he was trying to couch his want for getting his best player back as concern for Albert…

      he’s going nowhere..

      anyone else here a report yesterday about the Cards being very concerned about his actual age?…guys here talking at work heard that he may be 5 years older…

      • Cardfan

        I believe you are right, however it will be at the end of the season. The conjecture will get out of hand and runs the possibility of becoming and self-fulfilling prophecy – that is what concerns me.

        As much as I hate being in this position, I can completely see, from the organizations perspective, that it is good business in their willingness to wait. By doing so, they get another year to look at their future investment (potential for injuries, etc.), the fans will “well with appreciation”, further establishing his affinity for St. Louis and the franchise, and everyone will be laughing at the Phillies for signing Howard to such an undeserved contract.

        Should be an interesting time when he visits Wrigley this year!

        • Bric

          I see Pujols re-signing for a bunch of money too, but don’t share the reasoning or opinions that most evryone else has. First, I don’t want to see him in a Cubs uniform from traditional rivalry motives anymore than it wanted to see Sosa in Cards colors. The traditionalist in me says the team that brung you to the dance deserves to go home with you out of respect. But more importantly, he’s just not worth it. I confess to have little knowledge of WAR, OPS, and the other sexy stats used by most fantasy b-ball players these days. But I took a masters level stats class and understand you can make numbers look anyway you want. You can make them blue, you can show scatter plots, you can make ’em look like a hat, etc. They’re all based on feeling. My feeling is he will continue to put up good numbers but his average, clutch hitting, and HRs will continue to decline. Whomever signs him will be regretting it in three years. So his contract isn’t 30 mil a year for 8 or 10 years, its 100 mil a year for three. Good luck digging yourself out of that hole. And we thought we were screwed with Soriano.

  • eryk

    Pujols to Cubs, Its Gonna Happen

    • marc

      For some reason i see him signing with the angels

  • eryk

    Any way we trade Soriano with out getting a more terrible contact back?