According to MLB.com’s Matthew Leach, the St. Louis Cardinals may have jumped ahead of the Miami Marlins in the all out pursuit of Albert Pujols. It was reported that the Marlins have come to an agreement with free-agent starting pitcher Mark Buehrle on a four-year/$58 million contract. At the time, sources noted that this did not preclude the Marlins from still being in the Pujols derby.
But, shortly thereafter ESPN.com’s Jerry Cransick tweeted that Pujols’ agent Dan Lozano has contacted the Marlins to tell them they are out of the running. He further stated in another tweet that team Pujols is still speaking with other “clubs”.
Both the Marlins and the Cardinals had recently gone to ten years in their latest offers and it is being suggested that the Cardinals could go to $220 million. The offer that the Cardinals made was the first since the end of the season.
The Marlins worked quickly after the season ended to get Pujols to visit the facilities of their new ballpark in Miami. The Marlins knew that any offer they made needed to be substantially larger in salary given Pujols’ long tenure with the Cardinals. It seems that whatever that offer was, it was not enough to keep them in the running.
This should be good news for the Cardinals since no one seems to know who the other “clubs” are or if they exist. The Cardinals know that Pujols is more than just the best hitter in the game but the cornerstone to the organization. Also, make no bones about it, Pujols knows his legacy is directly tied to the Cardinals. More is sure to come.