MLB exec "100% certain" Pujols will stay
Post-Thanksgiving free-agent feeding frenzy begins - MLB - Yahoo! Sports
1. Albert Pujols(notes) shouldn’t panic. Yet. It’s just that unless he’s ready to pull a Cliff Lee(notes) and keep his dalliances with a mystery team secret throughout the entirety of his free agency, the interest in Pujols has been surprisingly quiet.
Whether that equates to a paucity of teams going after him is unclear, though three executives last week suggested the number of landing spots for Pujols is frighteningly thin. A team-by-team rundown with those executives placed the St. Louis Cardinals as heavy, heavy favorites – “I’m 100 percent certain he’s going back there,” one said – with … well, there’s the rub: They had trouble identifying another team Pujols seriously would consider.
The Florida Marlins don’t qualify despite their offer to Pujols, which was for less than the Cardinals proposed nine months ago. They’re using Pujols for publicity just as he tried to use them for leverage. Theirs is a marriage that never will consummate.
The Washington Nationals fit because they’re sitting on a gold mine, have room for a first baseman and have a chance to be a contender. And the Texas Rangers make sense, too, even if they’re privately pooh-poohing their chances.
Maybe the new CBA motivates the Chicago Cubs to spend or the Los Angeles Angels to splurge like their markets should allow them or another team – the San Francisco Giants or Los Angeles Dodgers or New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox – to change their tack mid-winter. Probably not.
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