Blog Entry

Cardinals continue with company in Pujols talks

Posted on: December 8, 2011 1:53 am
DALLAS -- The skies seemed to clear ever so briefly for the Cardinals on Wednesday when they learned that the Marlins were out of the Albert Pujols talks. Then the Los Angeles Angels jumped in, according to sources, and the fog has moved back in.

Also in the mix are an unidentified team that reportedly has offered 10 years and more than $200 million, and a Chicago Cubs' offer believed to be shorter term -- four or five years.

It is not clear when Pujols will make a decision. But multiple sources familiar with the talks said the Angels, rumored to have been involved with Pujols 24 hours earlier when they really were not in the mix, entered the bidding aggressively and seriously Wednesday.

Question is, for how long? The Angels also were working feverishly Wednesday night to wrap up a deal with free agent starting pitcher C.J. Wilson. If they come to terms with the left-hander, that almost certainly will preclude them from being able to add Pujols as well.

The agent for Pujols, Dan Lozano, could not be reached for comment. USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported that the Angels made what is believed to be 10-year offer worth at least $210 million. On Tuesday, the Cardinals came in strong with their first new offer since last February, reportedly 10 years at $220 million.

Rookie Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto was evasive earlier Wednesday afternoon when asked directly about Pujols, saying "We're trying to improve our club in a variety of different ways. Speculation is what speculation is. Our net is spread wide, but that's not necessarily where our focus is."

Dipoto said the Angels would like to add a starting pitcher, bullpen depth and a bat that would make the Angels deeper and more versatile.

While deep in talks with Wilson on Wednesday night, the Angels added free agent setup man LaTroy Hawkins on Wednesday night, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $3 million.

Meantime, sources said, the Angels had the pedal to the metal with Wilson and were hard after Pujols.

"We'll continue to have parallel talks, and that's not solely limited to a starting pitcher," Dipoto said earlier in the day. "You have to have the ability to break off and move in a different direction."

The entry of the Angels and an unidentified club into the Pujols sweepstakes had to add to the Cardinals' frustration over not being able to close this deal.

Talks between the Pujols Camp and the Marlins ended sometime around midday Wednesday, which sent the Marlins successfully recruiting in the direction of free agent starter Mark Buehrle. It was around that time that it became publicly clear that the Marlins were out on Pujols, and maybe the Cardinals thought they were home free.

You would think maybe they should be. As the Prince Fielder negotiations proceed slowly, agent Scott Boras held an informal media briefing late Wednesday night in which he dismissed the idea that the Pujols negotiations in any way would affect what he is doing with Fielder.

"The reasons St. Louis are interested in Albert are unique to Albert Pujols," Boras said. "He's dynamic, he has a history there, he's a franchise player, he's a great player ... he's the kind of player [of which] you should probably build a statue while he's playing. He's that kind of guy. He's a really unique player."

Clearly looking to plant seeds for Fielder as well while paying tribute to Pujols, Boras argued that retaining franchise players such as these two first basemen provides value to a club beyond what the player himself does.

"Certainly, the retention of players, I know Matt Holliday came to St. Louis and stayed in St. Louis because Albert Pujols was there," Boras said. "And I know another client of mine, Kyle Lohse, a big reason he wanted to win and go to St. Louis is because Albert Pujols was there.

"So those are two great examples of my clients who were attracted to and stayed in St. Louis because of an iconic player."

In his first foray into free agency, the question remains whether that iconic player will stay in place or move to greener pastures -- or, at least, pastures filled with more greenbacks.

Since: Oct 24, 2010
Posted on: December 8, 2011 9:19 am

Cardinals continue with company in Pujols talks

Long time Cards fan here. At this point, Albert is just making himself look bad. How much more can he squezze out of them? How much is enuff? Now I almost hope he does go elsewhere; he's just going to hamstring the club financially.

Since: Mar 19, 2008
Posted on: December 8, 2011 9:15 am

Cardinals continue with company in Pujols talks

Money is no longer the issue with 220/10 already on the table ... unless someone comes in with an absurdly higher offer, which isn't going to happen.  Albert will remain a Cardinal.

Since: Dec 1, 2008
Posted on: December 8, 2011 9:13 am

Cardinals continue with company in Pujols talks

Here is what I think is going to happen with Pujols over the next couple of years (not that anyone asked).  He is going to sign a 10-year contract for over $20million per year (of course).  Within a couple of years, someone will find proof that he is actually a couple of years older than what he is, and then the team he is on will sue him to cancel the remainer of the contract.  I believe that this huge contract will be the beginning of the decline of a great player.  Because he is gettting so much money and it is being so publicly discussed, people will start hating him because of it.  Nobody hates Ryan Howard for making $25million per year because his contract was done quietly.  Can anyone say Labron James?

Since: Apr 9, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 9:12 am

Cardinals continue with company in Pujols talks

Boy would I love it if that mystery team were my Cleveland Indians! They need a true power hitter. With that said, I doubt they would be able to afford Albert Pujols.

Since: Apr 26, 2009
Posted on: December 8, 2011 9:07 am

Cardinals continue with company in Pujols talks

Here's hoping that mystery team is the Cubs.  Blue is Albert's true color!!!  Go Cubbies!

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: December 8, 2011 9:03 am

Cardinals continue with company in Pujols talks

Is Albert gonna "Take his talents to souf beech" or stay in St. Louis? Maybe LeBron can tell him how it feels to be a complete sell out and join the list of players from all sports who destroy franchises and leave the fans and citys in their wake of greed and selfishness?......nope, not a Cleveland fan or a Cardinals fan just a sports fan tired of all this nonsense. 

Since: Sep 15, 2007
Posted on: December 8, 2011 8:51 am

Cardinals continue with company in Pujols talks

It's all going to come down to Pujols wanting to relocate or not.

My bet? He stays in St Louis, just like I predicted before.

Since: Aug 9, 2010
Posted on: December 8, 2011 8:48 am

Cardinals continue with company in Pujols talks

Well Mr Puljols it's time to see where your loyalty lies, the Cards up there offer so yes you affectively used the Marlins as levarage to get more money. I'm a fan of the Cardinals and Puljols and really can't see him leaving over 10-20 million extra some where else, look at the team they have in St.Loius if it's really about "winning" then sign the contract already so we can move on.

As for people on these forums still going on about players being over paid, enough is enough already, we all know these guys make huge amounts of money for playing a sport they love and who really cares, has it stopped you from watching or talking sports? NO it hasn't so enough is enough.

Since: Dec 5, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 8:27 am

Cardinals continue with company in Pujols talks

What's there to think about ????
The Cardinals offered $220 million vs the Angels $ 210 Million.
It's a no brainer.
Perhaps I missed something. 

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: December 8, 2011 8:12 am

Cardinals continue with company in Pujols talks

I don't think it's nonsense at all to wish an athlete would be willing to take lower pay.  I don't think it will happen, but it's not nonsense in the least.  If an athlete like Pujols were more committed to winning more World Series is it possible he would get paid less so the team could get more quality players, then load his contract with incentives for winning the WS? Is it possible for an athlete to put in his contract that he will take $50M less and the team ownership has to use that extra money to help more lower to middle income people actually get into the ballpark?  If it's all about winning and all about the fans I don't think it's ridiculous at all for an athlete to intentionally take less money.

As for giving money to charity, what's the difference between "throwing money" at a charity you yourself started and anoter charity with a good reputation?  Why is one for publicity and the other one not?  Couldn't it be just as publicity driven to give it to your own charity since your name will always be on the good works done?

Who exactly is the "we" that is pumping money into baseball so these guys can be overpaid?  The owners certainly know because they keep adding more tax-exempt luxury suites!  I have yet to get an exemption on my taxes for taking my son to a baseball game a couple of times a year and sitting in the cheapest seats I can find!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or