February 16, 2011 by staff
Albert Pujols, The All-Star first baseman, whose contract expires after the World Series in 2011, is seeking an extension that would make him one of baseball players never paid. Pujols, who has spent his entire career with the Cardinals, is seeking an agreement on equal footing with the 10-year and 275 million Alex Rodriguez? Guez negotiated with the New York Yankees. (CP) – Ski-Albert Pujols was stored Wednesday morning with a red jersey, four pairs of pants baseball white and gray, his pass for parking at spring training and many other items.
Still Missing: A new contract for the St. Louis Cardinals, and the window is closing fast to get there. With a deadline of noon Eastern for a new deal imminent, Pujols was not in camp with the Cardinals on Wednesday. Several of his teammates were, including a handful of position players who were at work earlier than expected. Pujols is expected to join them Thursday whether or not the three-time NL MVP has signed a contract made for his taste.
“It does not really matter to us,” said Cardinals pitcher and the union representing Kyle McClellan. “It’s not our business. Is not anybody’s business? … The truth is, I’ve never been on the mound and thought of Albert Pujols contract. ”
St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said Tuesday he believes Pujols feels the pressure of the union to “raise the bar” with this agreement, which some expect could exceed Alex Rodriguez and $ 275 million, 10-year pact with New York Yankees.
On Wednesday, La Russa insisted he had already said too much.
“It was kind of failed. I said if I ran the union or part of the union, I’m not sure I would handle it different,” said La Russa, about two hours before the date limit noon. “I checked with some of our veteran coaches. It strains credibility a bit to think that there has been no contact or a citation. It is too important.”
Union officials have refused pressure Pujols or his agent, Danny Lozano. And McClellan said comments La Russa has not created an embarrassing situation for him, even if the union representative in the Cardinals clubhouse, he had taken a position quite different from his manager.
“It was not really anything to do with me. I come to represent the players,” McClellan said. “All I can do is get the facts as I know, that the union is working to ensure that players and agents are informed. They’re not going to overstep the limits and tell anyone what it must be done. Everyone is a grown man. They can decide for themselves. ”
La Russa has often said Wednesday morning that its focus is on spring training and the NL Central, not what will or will not happen with the slugger.
“We do not want to get our minds cluttered with a team,” said La Russa. “There’s plenty to do. … Competition in the Centre and the National League has received attention. And that’s exactly what we think. You can choose what you think. That’s what we think. ”
General manager John Mozeliak said it is not necessary that an agreement be signed by Wednesday noon, but the sides would need to have accepted the terms. Mozeliak had intended to speak of negotiations Wednesday afternoon, team officials said.
Pujols, a nine-time All-Star, is the only player in major league history to hit 30 or more home runs each of his first 10 seasons – all coming with the Cardinals, the franchise he has said in the past, he wants to stay with for the rest of his career.
He has a career batting average and 0331 on average 41 homers and 123 RBIs. He also won six Silver Slugger award and two gold gloves.
Last year he batted .312 with 42 homers and 118 RBIs and finished second in MVP voting.
“I do not think there’s a better guy for us to have the team,” Cardinals second baseman Skip Schumaker said. “He is the face of the franchise. You respect both sides of it. You respect what the Cardinals do, you respect the management and what the agent is Albert. This is a situation difficult, as everyone knows. It is an iconic player. ”
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