Bob Nightengale has a fantastic story up at USA Today that provides a timeline of the negotiations involving Albert Pujols and a handful of clubs at the Winter Meetings. The must-read piece includes word that Pujols' contract could be worth as much as $280MM with incentives. Here are the other highlights:
- When Dodgers manager Don Mattingly spoke to Pujols last weekend, he sensed Pujols wasn't entirely happy with the Cardinals: "You could just sense something was wrong. He was getting frustrated by it."
- The Marlins were "relentless," increasing their offer to Pujols multiple times until it reached $275MM. They expected to leave Dallas having signed Pujols, but never offered the no-trade clause he wanted.
- A mystery team (not the Angels) stepped in on Monday and offered Pujols ten years and $225MM. This mystery club "refuses to be publicly identified," writes Nightengale.
- On Tuesday, the Cardinals offered a nine-year, $210MM deal with a tenth-year vesting option. At around this time, the Marlins were eliminated from the mix (whether by Pujols or the team), narrowing the decision to the Cards and the mystery team.
- Late Tuesday, Angels GM Jerry Dipoto called agent Dan Lozano to talk Pujols. Early Wednesday morning, the Halos offered a ten-year deal worth about $250MM.
- As of Wednesday night, Lozano expected Pujols to mull the decision for a few days, but the slugger called him early this morning to accept the Angels' offer.