The competition for the biggest prize on the free agent market doesn't appear to be the two-horse race we expected. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (via Twitter) that the Angels are also pursuing Albert Pujols. Joel Sherman of the New York Post adds that an AL official insisted to him today that the Angels were in on Pujols, though an official with the Halos denied it (Twitter links).
In today's mammoth recap of Pujols rumors, we heard that three teams have extended offers of ten years and at least $200MM to Pujols — the Marlins, the Cardinals, and a mystery team. While the Cubs were also reported to still be interested, the Angels may represent that mystery club. Here are the latest updates on Pujols, with the newest on top:
- Yahoo's Tim Brown tweets that the Angels are "definitely not in on Pujols," but that the Cubs have made contact.
- The Marlins offer to Pujols includes provisions that would link Pujols to the Marlins beyond his playing career as a way to show their long-term commitment without including no-trade protection, writes Stark.
- Pujols' future "won't be decided tonight," tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark.
- Juan C. Rodriguez of the Miami Sun-Sentinel tweets that a Marlins source told him they're not expecting an answer tonight.
- The Marlins haven't given Pujols a deadline or ultimatum, says Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post (on Twitter). A decision may come before sunrise, and Capozzi hears the Marlins are "very confident" (Twitter link).
- Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio and ESPN.com hears from a source that Pujols is down to the Marlins and Cardinals, "period" (Twitter link).
- Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi have a complete story up at FOX Sports on the status of the Pujols negotiations, including the Angels' interest. Within the piece, the FOX scribes say the dollar figure the Marlins are offering is acceptable to Pujols, but the two sides are "trying to work through no-trade issues."
- Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times spoke to an AL GM who said "no way" to the Angels' rumored interest, while Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says the Cubs are "definitely not" in on Pujols (Twitter links). Whether or not those two clubs are involved, the Cardinals and Marlins still appear to be the favorites.
- Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (Twitter link) spoke to two Angels people who were "shocked" to hear they were considered the mystery team for Pujols. However, Danny Knobler of CBS Sports and Jon Heyman of MLB Network are both hearing that it is, in fact, the Angels (Twitter links).
- Joe Frisaro of MLB.com tweets that the Marlins were hoping for resolution on Pujols soon, but it's looking less likely it will happen tonight.