MONDAY, 11:36am: At a press conference today, La Russa confirmed he's returning on a one-year deal with a mutual option for 2011. He also confirmed the hiring of McGwire as the Cards' hitting coach. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has quotes from La Russa.
SUNDAY, 8:07pm: Buster Olney of ESPN reports that La Russa, like Braves skipper Bobby Cox, may only manage for one more year. Olney writes that La Russa's new deal is for one year, plus a mutual option for 2011, giving either party the ability to cut ties after this year.
5:33pm: Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the Cardinals will announce that La Russa will return next season at a press conference Monday morning.
3:13pm: According to an ESPN report, while Olney's sources say a deal is in place, La Russa himself has not yet confirmed:
"We're getting closer," La Russa, who has managed the team for 14 years, said earlier Sunday. "But nothing has been decided. I can't tell you anything yet."
Both chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. and general manager John Mozeliak would like La Russa to return. His current two-year, $8.5MM contract expires at the end of the month.
2:35pm: ESPN's Buster Olney has informed MLBTR, via email, that Tony La Russa has signed a new multi-year contract to return as the Cardinals manager. La Russa's coaching staff will look different though, as the Cards have fired hitting coach Hal McRae. The leading candidate to replace him? According to Olney, it's former Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire.