We heard yesterday that the Cardinals and Albert Pujols have given themselves until Wednesday at 11am CDT to reach a deal. If Pujols doesn't sign an extension, he'll hit free agency after the season and the Cardinals will have to outbid rival teams to keep their best player. The sides don't appear to be nearing an agreement with a day to go. Here's the latest on Pujols:
- "There is zero momentum toward a deal," sources tell Scott Miller of CBS Sports, and it appears as though the deadline will pass without a new contract for Pujols.
- The talks between the two sides still have "a pulse," a source tells Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In another tweet, Strauss says the Cards are deciding between offering a guaranteed eighth year or offering a shorter deal that carries a greater average annual value.
- A source close to the Pujols team says the news of the Cardinals' alleged offer to Pujols today is "inaccurate, reckless and outrageous," according to Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown. (Twitter link)
- The Cardinals have offered Pujols an eight-year contract worth "south of" $30MM per season, reports SI.com's Jon Heyman (Twitter links). Despite the offer, Heyman says there is "very little hope" that the two sides will reach an agreement before Wednesday's deadline.
- Heyman also tweets that Pujols' representation asked for an ownership share in the Cardinals, who turned down the request due to the complicated nature of the process.
- La Russa's comments were misguided, according to MLBPA director Michael Weiner, who told Yahoo's Jeff Passan that "we have had no conversations with Albert or [agent] Dan Lozano." (all Twitter links). "No pressure," Weiner said. "Not even any conversations. Our concern is that players make an informed decision. Knowing Albert [and] knowing Danny, a very sophisticated player and representative, they're going to make well-considered decisions."
- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa says Pujols is feeling pressure from the Players Association to sign a massive deal, according to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark (on Twitter). La Russa says it's more than arm-twisting. He argues that the union is "dropping an anvil on [Pujols'] back through [the] roof of his house."
- GM John Mozeliak says he's in "regular" contact with agent Dan Lozano, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Pujols went to high school and college in Kansas City and the Royals have freed up payroll, but one club official told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star that the Royals aren't likely to sign Pujols if he hits free agency. "For us to get a guy like that, he’d really have to want to come here," the official said. "We couldn’t win a bidding war.” Royals owner David Glass told Dutton that he would not sign a player to a $300MM deal. "You might as well give them the franchise,” Glass said.