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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: May 7, 2009
Posted on: December 8, 2011 8:06 am

Cardinals continue with company in Pujols talks

Hey Dan "the Man".. Ever hear of a guy named Cliff Lee? Yeah, he left about 30 million on the table last year to go to a team he wanted to play for, so yes, player DO take less money on occasion. Get your head out of your ass, douche bag.

Since: Jan 15, 2008
Posted on: December 8, 2011 8:00 am

Cardinals continue with company in Pujols talks

I'm with you on this one.  They're haggling over the difference between $200M and $220M while I can no longer afford to take my family to a game.  All the while corporations get their luxury suites tax-exempt.  Get rid of the tax-exempt status of the luxury suites at ballparks and lets see where these players' salaries go!  This isn't a political rant and I don't think it's necessarily greed as much as it is pride.  I don't think these players look around with greed and think about how much money they can spend.  I think they look around with pride and think about who is making more or less than they are.

Since: May 8, 2007
Posted on: December 8, 2011 7:57 am

Cardinals continue with company in Pujols talks

It would be refreshing to see an athlete take less or donate more of his overpaid salary to worthy cause.

Take less or donate to a worthy cause?

First off, there is not a CHANCE you would take less money EVER.  Period.  Saying this on a forum is just nonsense.  I would like to see you go into your office and tell your boss, "Hey, this year can you lower my pay 5%?  Why?  No reason, I think I should just earn less."  That's just ridiculous.

Donate to a worthy cause?  How many of these athletes have their OWN charities?  Not just throw money at a charity and get publicity.  These guys actually pay a group of people to run a charity in which they donate to as well.

Beat it with that talk.  I'm sick of the argument that atheltes are overpaid.  They are overpaid because we continue to pump money into the sport but supporting it.  Stop watching it and they don't get paid as much, plain and simple. 

Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: December 8, 2011 7:56 am

Cardinals continue with company in Pujols talks

Albert will still be treated like a king no matter what team he goes too assuming he keeps his numbers up.  I think he will remain with the Cardinals though.  Honestly did anyone think that the Marlins would get him?

Since: Apr 22, 2009
Posted on: December 8, 2011 7:52 am

Cardinals continue with company in Pujols talks

Hey Boras, you are a great agent, YOUR client has to wait until Albert is signed! haha

Since: Nov 8, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 7:08 am

Cardinals continue with company in Pujols talks

Is anyone else sick of this story?  What's the difference between $200M or $220M?  Or even $150M or $100M?  To me the difference is probably a buck more for a warm draft and no chance of taking my family of 5 to a game unless I take out a small loan.  It would be refreshing to see an athlete take less or donate more of his overpaid salary to worthy cause.

Since: Oct 19, 2006
Posted on: December 8, 2011 4:36 am

Cardinals continue with company in Pujols talks

If the reports of an increased offer from the Cardinals are true than it is almost a no-brainer for Albert to resign with the home team.  The offer from the Marlins was really the only other one that made any sense for him to jump ship for.  His connection with the Hispanic Community and the Marlins desire to specificallly target those fans had this Albert fan worried for a while there.  I'm glad the Marlins overspent on Mark Buehrle and instantly pulled themselves out of the Pujols Sweepstakes. 

Now that Albert and his seedy agent were able to secure another 20+ million from the Cardinals it would be logical to consider it a victory and sign the deal.  A championship-caliber team (with Holliday signed to a longterm deal) and a host of great young players is every sluggers dream.  Adam Wainwright returning from injury only improves the odds of a back-to-back World Series team once The Machine puts pen to paper and ends the drama. 

Since: Feb 5, 2007
Posted on: December 8, 2011 3:09 am

Cardinals continue with company in Pujols talks

So what RAMS is basically saying is that if Pujols leaves St. Louis he's a dumb jagbag.

Since: Jan 10, 2010
Posted on: December 8, 2011 2:40 am

Cardinals continue with company in Pujols talks

the choice is easy....take the 220 million and stay in st. louis, a championship caliber team. pujols would be treated like a king no matter what happens for the rest of his career if he stays in st. louis.

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