We saw some big news this week, most notably that Albert Pujols and the Cardinals did not reach an extension prior to his Feb. 16 deadline. Let's take a look at the rest of the highlights:
- The Cardinals' reported offer to Pujols was incredibly low (relatively speaking of course) -- in the range of $19MM-$21MM per season. Despite not reaching an agreement, Pujols wants to play in St. Louis for his entire career. Here's some more reactions to Albertageddon.
- Jose Bautista mashed 54 homers last season, and the Blue Jays are believers. They locked the right fielder/third baseman up for the next five years with a $64MM contract. The Jays hold a $14MM option on a sixth year for Bautista.
- The Brewers signed Rickie Weeks to a four-year extension that guarantees the former #2 overall pick $38.5MM. Milwaukee also holds an option on Weeks that could bring the deal to $50MM.
- Elsewhere in the NL Central, the Cubs locked up their closer when they signed Carlos Marmol to a three-year deal worth $20MM. On a similar note, the Padres will discuss an extension with their own closer, Heath Bell, this Spring.
- The Rockies and Matt Belisle agreed to a two-year deal that will guarantee the setup man $6.125MM. Colorado also inked John Maine to a minor league deal that will pay him $3MM if he makes the club.
- The Rangers will discuss extending C.J. Wilson and other unnamed players. Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports speculated that Neftali Feliz and Elvis Andrus are candidates.
- In arbitration news, we saw Hunter Pence win his case against the Astros, while both Delmon Young and Kelly Johnson avoided hearings by agreeing to one-year deals. Young will make $5.375MM, while Johnson will be paid $5.85MM after a brilliant rebound season.
- C.C. Sabathia is expected to opt out of his contract following the 2011 season. It'd be a weak free agent class, and Sabathia would clearly be the top available arm. Another AL lefty, Mark Buehrle, said he's leaning toward playing after 2011 even though he's discussed retirement before.
- Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels both discussed their futures, with Oswalt undecided about pitching after 2011 and Hamels saying he wants to stay in Philadelphia long-term.
- Kosuke Fukudome wants to remain in Major League Baseball after his contract expires this season, preferably with the Cubs. The results on Fukudome have underwhelmed, but he does have a career .368 OBP in MLB.
- Scott Boras will serve as an adviser to potential #1 overall pick Anthony Rendon in 2011. Boras represented the past two number one picks -- Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.
- Ronald Belisario may miss the 2011 season as a result of visa issues.
- Notable minor league signings in addition to Maine's deal include Russell Branyan with the D'Backs and Scott Podsednik with the Blue Jays. Check our transactions section for more minor moves.
- Two of the game's elite sluggers for the better part of a decade officially retired this week. Jim Edmonds hung up the spikes, and Gary Sheffield officially filed his papers as well. Best of luck to both players.
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