Posted on: February 16, 2011 4:46 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:30 pm

Videos: Pujols fallout

CBSSports.com was in Jupiter, Florida, on Tuesday as Albert Pujols' extension deadline came and went with no deal. Here are some reactions, starting with a breakdown by our own Scott Miller and Mark Morgan:

Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt talks about the team's perspective:

General manager John Mozeliak says no bridges were burned and the doors of communication remain open:

Manager Tony La Russa weighs in:

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: February 16, 2011 10:51 am
Edited on: February 16, 2011 2:49 pm

Report: Pujols talks already over

Negotiations between Albert Pujols and the Cardinals have ceased, and the deadline to reach a deal before Pujols reports for spring training will pass with no activity, sources tell Buster Olney of ESPN.com. It has been at least four days since any proposals were exchanged.

Pujols set the deadline so there would be no contract-talk distractions once he started focusing on baseball for the season. He might not let it distract him, but this situation will be a profound distraction for the team and its fans all season. Every time the Cardinals go to Chicago, people will talk about what he might look like in a Cubs uniform next season. Busch Stadium will feature countless signs begging Pujols to stay. The distractions haven't stopped, they've only just started.

UPDATE: A source tells Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com that the Cardinals' offer would have made Pujols about the 10th-highest paid player in the game on annual value, which would be about $21 million a year. If they weren't willing to go 10 years, as reported, that would make the offer something like 8/168 or 9/189. There's no way Pujols is going to sign for that. If that's the Cardinals' ceiling, Pujols is almost certainly gone after the season.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: February 16, 2011 9:52 am
Edited on: February 16, 2011 10:03 am

Morning Pepper: Albertageddon is here

Albert Pujols
* Happy Albertageddon Day! The deadline for Pujols to sign an extension or report to spring training with extension talks tabled for the year is noon today. Sources tell CBSSports.com senior writer Scott Miller there's not much chance this thing gets done. The Cardinals may or may not have made Pujols an eight-year offer, depending on who you believe.

* There are only three arbitration-eligible players left: Jose Bautista, Rickie Weeks and Hunter Pence. The Twins and Delmon Young have settled on a one-year, $5.375 million deal, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. That was a little below the midpoint between the two sides' arbitration filings. Bautista and Weeks have been reported as being in serious talks about multi-year deals, with Bautista's arbitration hearing having been delayed.

* The Nationals have designated for assignment right-hander Luis Atilano, who started 16 games for them last season. They needed roster room after Adam LaRoche's contract was finally made official.

* Frank McCourt tells the Los Angeles Times that fans shouldn't worry about his financial troubles. So feel free to let that go and worry about other things. Like the bullpen.

* Also in the Times, the story of how Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal helped get his Dominican hometown its first firetruck.

* Jeff Wilpon tells reporters that selling controlling interest in the Mets is "not on the table."

* Right-hander John Maine still doesn't have a job, but could end up in Philly.

* A Mets beat writer pretty much cheated in fulfilling a promise to cover spring training in a Speedo if Cliff Lee ended up in Philadelphia.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: February 15, 2011 7:52 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2011 9:45 pm

Cardinals make eight-year offer to Pujols

PujolsThe Cardinals have offered Albert Pujols an eight-year deal, as SI.com's Jon Heyman reports.

There's "still very little hope for agreement by Wednesday deadline," Heyman writes. This isn't surprising, as it appears Pujols is looking for a deal commensurate with Alex Rodriguez's 10-year, $275 million pact with the Yankees.

The exact figure of the offer isn't known yet, but Heyman did confirm that the deal would be for less than $30 million annually. While it's unknown if Pujols is seeking an annual figure of $30 million, it is possible he could reach that mark in free agency.

At one point, Heyman reveals, Pujols' camp asked the Cardinals to build in partial ownership of the Cardinals. That can be done, but St. Louis opted to say no because it would have been far too complicated to pull off.

UPDATE: A source "close" to the Pujols camp told Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports that reports of any offer to Pujols Tuesday was "inaccurate, reckless and outrageous." 

Inaccurate... OK, fair enough. Reckless? Outrageous? Someone's taking this a bit too personally.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: February 15, 2011 1:40 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2011 2:27 pm

La Russa blasts union over Pujols

Albert Pujols
Say what you want about Tony La Russa, but the man doesn't lack for opinions. And he wasn't shy about one Tuesday, railing on what he perceives as pressure Albert Pujols is getting from the players' union to push for the biggest possible contract regardless of what he'd prefer personally.

"I know what he's going through with the union, and to some extent, his representatives,'' La Russa told reporters.  "His representatives are getting beat up by the union. 'Set the bar. Set the bar.'

"That's bull[expletive]. Purely and truly. You've got to deal with it, but that's not the way it should be.

"It should be, 'Look at all the factors.' Values, loyalty, maybe there's a better opportunity someplace else. Maybe there's a better opportunity than here. All that stuff. But it shouldn't be the most money, the most money, the most money.

"I just know those forces are in place. I don't ask them about it. It's not my place to ask. I don't know much he's going to listen to it or is listening to it. But those are powerful forces."

Does the union apply direct pressure to players to reject any offer but the biggest? It's not really clear, but the concern is common among club executives and some fans. The union's interest is keeping salary levels up for its members. But does Pujols getting $260 million or $290 million really affect the bottom line of the average union member? And isn't what's best for the health of baseball and its individual teams ultimately best for the players?

UPDATE: Union chief Michael Weiner, contacted by ESPN.com, denied that anyone from the union had been involved in the Pujols situation.

"The truth is we've had no conversations with Albert or Danny (Lozano, Pujols' agent) or anybody on Albert's behalf about the numbers in this negotiation. None. It's never been the union's policy to pressure players and certainly it's never been the union's policy to pressure players because they have to set the bar for other players."

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: February 14, 2011 1:50 pm

Are you ready for 'Albertageddon'?

In case you've missed it, the Albert Pujols contract saga has a catchword: "Albertageddon." It was coined by Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and has caught on quickly.

Now the gang at St. Louis sports talk station KFNS has created the poster for the movie version of the cataclysmic event. The tagline: "When he leaves, the world will end. Guaranteed."

Nice work.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

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