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UPDATE: Albert Pujols likely to return to Cardinals, Marlins target Prince Fielder

Dec 7, 2011, 6:00 PM EDT

Albert Pujols AP

6:00 p.m. EST update: Agent Don Lozano called the Marlins and told them they’re out of the running for Pujols, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. He also reports that Pujols “continues to negotiate with clubs other than the Cardinals.”

4:40 p.m. EST update: Sources tell Bill Madden of the New York Daily News that Pujols and the Cardinals are “a few million dollars apart” on a 10-year contract. It’s worded as more of an encouraging report, than a discouraging one. While the Marlins haven’t given up publically, most everything indicates that they’ve moved on and are now pursuing C.J. Wilson, Mark Buehrle and maybe Prince Fielder.

3:15 p.m. EST update: Still no word from the Pujols camp, but ESPN’s Jim Bowden writes that the “Marlins have clearly moved on from Pujols.” MLB Network’s Tom Verducci says they’ve made a six-year offer to C.J. Wilson.

2:05 p.m. EST update: More from Heyman:

marlins already in pursuit of prince. Signs indicate cards likely to get pujols

1:45 p.m. EST update: While there’s still nothing official, the feeling around the lobby is that it will be St. Louis. Jon Heyman’s latest tweet sums it up:

There’s sense marlins best chance for pujols mighta been last nite. Bad sign when he gave no answer then took meeting w/ stl

///

Sources tell Andy Martino of the New York Daily News that Albert Pujols is likely heading back to the Cardinals and the Marlins have started to shift their attention towards Prince Fielder.

Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post wrote minutes earlier that the Marlins think they’re still in it and that they “gave it a major best shot.” Still, the pendulum does seem to have swung back the Cardinals way after where it was leaning last night.

There are also mixed messages on whether the Marlins would really pursue Fielder if they miss out on Pujols. Most believe they’d concentrate on pitching instead, with Mark Buehrle and C.J. Wilson topping their list. Jon Heyman, though, just tweeted that the Marlins will definitely talk to Fielder if they don’t get Pujols.

Both the Cardinals and Marlins are believed to be offering Pujols about $220 million over 10 years. One big difference: the Cardinals can guarantee him no-trade protection, while the Marlins won’t break team policy to do so. The Cubs have also made Pujols an offer, which is believed to include a significantly higher salary but to be only five or six years in length.

  1. El Bravo - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    Sounds about right…let’s talk Fielder, shall we? I was actually under the impression that if the Marlins didn’t get Albert that they’d shift toward starting pitching?

    • Old Gator - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:55 PM

      Oy. Another pendulum swing.

      Let Fatty* go, Scrooge. We need pitching and a real third baseman more than we needed Pujols anyway.

      *I was just thinking of that refrain by one of the psycho killers in Funny Games: “Stop calling me Fatty!”

      • El Bravo - Dec 7, 2011 at 3:43 PM

        ESPN is stating their plan B is starting pitching, not Prince Fielder. That has to be the only way to go for them. CJ already has an offer from the Marlins, so that seems to prove their plan B tactics. I actually think they’ll get Buerhle if anyone in the FA class. For some reason the Angels really really want CJ…so Buerhle can reunite with your favorite manager!!!

  2. uyf1950 - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    I’m pretty sure if the Miami Marlins offer Price Fielder the same deal they have on the table for Pujols 10yrs/$220MM Fielder will jump on it.

    • thefalcon123 - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:26 PM

      Not sure why they would do that…

      Prince Fielder’s top 3 seasons: 15.1 WAR
      Albert Pujols’ worst 3 seasons: 18.1 WAR

      Not a knock against Fielder…but the Pujols offer is nuts to begin with. It’s even more nuts to give it to a player who isn’t nearly as good and who is the “type” that does not age well (overweight, “old players skills”). He may end up being better than Albert over the next 10 years, but he’ll also certainly be cheaper.

      • stlouis1baseball - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:13 PM

        Same year Falcon. Why would they match that offer? As for as him ending up being better over the next 10 years? It’s not like he is 21 years old and new to the league. How is Prince (potentially) going to end up being better over the next 10 years? Even if A.P. nosedives during his last 3 years…I don’t see how it translates into Prince being better over the next 10 years.

  3. qcubed3 - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    Fielder makes more baseball sense, as the Marlins would not likely be burdened by the tail end of such a massive contract as Pujols’ would have been.

    • randygnyc - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:29 PM

      Huh? Sure, fielder has taken some decent swings on the MLB level over the last 5-6 years, but, he is MORBIDLY OBESE and is a textbook case of impending diabetes and heart disease. Not to mention the above average possibility of degenerative joint/spinal problems. It is probably a fair bet that fielder can NOT even fulfill a 10 year contract. And even if he still manages to suit up, it’s more than probable that his performance will greatly suffer.

      • dlevalley - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:34 PM

        No one thinks (except maybe you) that Fielder is going to get a 10 year deal. Field might, at best, get 7 years. I think qcubed3’s (and others’) point is that getting Fielder for ages 28-34 is probably a safer bet than Albert from ages 31-41, even if they make similar aav (which they won’t).

      • bchsom16 - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:03 PM

        Didn’t know that an athletic 5’11” 275 lb vegetarian is considered morbidly obese. Prince has noticeably slimmed down from last season. Its not like he sits on the couch eating potato chips all day, he works out and plays every game of the season. Prince will still be raking 6-7 years from now.

      • mojosmagic - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:14 PM

        Spoken like a true Brewer fan. Dr. Randy tells us Fielder at 27 won’t make it. Moron.

      • paperlions - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:14 PM

        Yeah, because the history of athletic fat guys raking past the age of 32 is awesome, they never ever ever suffer from premature declines in skills…..ever.

      • randygnyc - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:27 PM

        Brewer fan? Even my name has NYC in it. As a Yankee fan for over 45 years, I could care less what happens to fielder. I have no skin in this game. But there will be a team out there who’s going to need to install a defribulator and oxygen tank in their dug out.

      • cur68 - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:28 PM

        His BMI is about 38. Anything over 30 indicates morbid obesity. The trouble with that definition is that it works with height & weight alone. Fails to differentiate muscle from fat, LDL/HDL ratio, cardiovascular health & other lifestyle factors. Fielder might only qualify as MO by the height/weight metric alone. Before a responsible person calls him MO they should state what metric for the definition they are using.

      • Old Gator - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:41 PM

        I have to agree with Randy, but from a baseball standpoint it’s not his heart or pancreas that concerns me – it’s his ligaments, tendons and muscles. His build is just begging for his legs, hips and knees to start malfunctioning – and once they start, you know it’s going to be all downhill. He’ll make Jose Reyes look like Cal Ripken once the cartilage starts fraying, the hamstrings start pulling and the ligaments stop ligging. Although I’m not going to second-guess our resident medico Cur on a non-paleontological anatomical issue, I think it’s safe to say that that is not a favorable muscle-to-fat ratio hanging over his belt and that his cheeks aren’t full of acorns. The guy outweighs Judge Holden and he’s half his height. And I will take major odds against his sporting an innie in a Speedo.

      • cur68 - Dec 7, 2011 at 3:13 PM

        I’m more cautious about the term “morbidly obese”. That gets thrown around too much without taking other factors into account. There’s more than one way to judge body mass index than plain old height/weight. Without question, thin healthy people outlive fat healthy people, and yeah, you can be fat and still healthy, providing you define “health” as “free of disease or malfunctioning organs or systems”.

        Fielder’s arguably “fat healthy” BUT his joints and ligaments are under much more strain than a guy of his height (5’11”) who weighs 30 pounds less. If he loses significant weight, and I mean more than 30 pounds, then he’s probably just fine joint health-wise in for the next 3 or so years (certainly at no more risk than any other power hitting 1st basemen). As he is now? Probably he’ll begin to show signs of breaking down from the knees up in under 2 years.

      • paulsdamnblog - Dec 7, 2011 at 4:18 PM

        When did this go from Hard Ball Talk, to Prince Fielders Health and Well Being Talk?

      • spudchukar - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:43 PM

        First off, I kinda like Fielder, despite his obvious misnomer of a name. But as has been illustrated by Gator, Cur et al, the word agile will not be used to describe the current Milwaukee First Baseman. That said, some American League team should be all in to lure him to their respective confines. Sure soon he will be a DH, but he is tolerable as a First Baseman, and is not just a slugger, AKA, Adam Dunn.

        Whether it be Seattle, Baltimore or Toronto, the American League is the more apt domicile for Cecil’s kid. Here is to hoping he chooses one of those deserving teams.

  4. cup0pizza - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    Fielder is sloppy seconds.

    • CJ - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:40 PM

      that may be the best post I’ve ever seen from you. Not sure many others get the NHL reference though.

    • stlouis1baseball - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:09 PM

      Pizza: He was always going to be 2nd. I wouldn’t call it what you did as high school is over.
      But regardless…Prince was always going to be dealt with afterwards.

      • stex52 - Dec 7, 2011 at 3:18 PM

        Same problem Lance Berkman has had for years. Being a really great first baseman whose career intersected that of Albert. You could name a couple of others.

  5. whatthehellisansky - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    Man oh man the way this all played out makes me wish the Yanks had let A-rod walk a few years back. I know the economic state of baseball may have changed a bit, but I cant imagine he would have gotten anything close to the 10yrs/ $275m he got

    • paperlions - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:47 PM

      I think everyone realizes that ARod got about $100M more than anyone else would have offered him. If the Yankees were bidding for Pujols, I wouldn’t be surprised if the numbers being talked about were around the $300M mark.

  6. pastortodd78 - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    Cubs should go 5-6 years at $28.5-30 mil a year with full no trade rights. Put the pressure on Pujols who has said to value the money per year more than the length.

  7. mojosmagic - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    It’s all about putting Hispanic @sses in colorful seats because Prince Fielder being 5 years younger and LH made 10 times more sense then Pujos. The Marlins must draw from the local Hispanic community because of the new stadium location and that skewers their thinking.

  8. Chris Fiorentino - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    “Both the Cardinals and Marlins are believed to be offering Pujols about $220 million over 10 years. One big difference: the Cardinals will likely include a no-trade clause, while the Marlins won’t break team policy to do so.”

    I could be mistaken, but the Cardinals do not have to put in a no-trade clause, because of his 10 and 5 rights, Albert is already untradeable by St Louis, correct?

    • Old Gator - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:45 PM

      Correct. He wanted parity from the Feesh. They wouldn’t give it to him.

      I’m not all that sorry about not signing him. I’d rather see the Feesh go out and get themselves a couple of effective starters and find themselves a real third baseman. The Hanster is going to be a fiasco at third – if he doesn’t mope and sulk his way out of here.

  9. danielcp0303 - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    So you’re saying the Marlins were used as leverage?? No way, I can’t believe it. Everyone saw this coming. He was never going to Florida. I think Fielder is actually a better get for anyone. Comments above show how close he is to Pujols, while being significantly cheaper.

    • stlouis1baseball - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:23 PM

      Hahahaha! You can’t possibly be serious Daniel. Not only is he not “close” career wise…you expect Prince to still be active (and productive)…until he is 38.

      • Old Gator - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:46 PM

        I would be delighted if that avatar of avoirdupois was even still alive at 38.

  10. Lukehart80 - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    The Cardinals don’t have to offer a no-trade clause, Pujols will automatically have that right as a 5 and 10 player in St. Louis.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:32 PM

      Correct. That was written badly. Rewritten now.

      • thekcubrats - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:26 PM

        Badly.

    • dannymac17 - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:43 PM

      You just stumped the Schwab bro

  11. brucewaynewins - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    Personally either way this is a win for fans of other teams in the NL Central. Either Pujols leaves or the Cardinals are about to pay a ton for them leaving them likely cash strapped.

  12. djpostl - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    bchsom16 – Dec 7, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    “Didn’t know that an athletic 5’11″ 275 lb vegetarian is considered morbidly obese. ”

    Lol, well now you do. His BMI is 38.4 and 30 plus is considered obese. So yeah, he is morbidly obese by medical standards.

    • sportsdrenched.com - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:43 PM

      Using BMI to measure health is about as useful as tits on a bull. (can you tell I live in Kansas?)

      BMI is wrong for about 40% of the population. We’ll never get our hands on real health indicators of professional athletes like Resting HR, BP, & VO2 Max.

      I’m not going to argue that Fielder appears to be in the same shape as Albert Pujols. But after all, going by AP’s H/W on rotoworld his BMI is 28.7 which is “over-weight”.

      • kpow55 - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:52 PM

        Agreed, by that antiquated standard 1/2 NFL LBs are obese…. go tell one of them they are overwight.

        Although, I agree Fielder is more Mo Vaughn, Cecil Fielder than Pujols, Cobb

      • stlouis1baseball - Dec 7, 2011 at 3:05 PM

        Sportsdrenched: LOL! I have never heard “bull” used in this context.
        I have always heard worthless as “tits on a boar.”
        Nevertheless…I am gonna start throwing “bull” in every now and then. Thanks.

      • Old Gator - Dec 7, 2011 at 3:33 PM

        stlouis1: you’ve just been living on the wrong kind of farm.

      • stlouis1baseball - Dec 7, 2011 at 4:54 PM

        Gator: No farm. Just what I refer to as “Country Slang.”

  13. ndrocks2 - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    Good for you Albert you pimped every dollar out of a medium sized market by playing another team against YOUR team. I’m sure the PR machine will spin it but bottom line you took them for every dime you could get. I’m sure when this is done we will hear about the “home team” discount you really gave all things considered and you really didn’t want to leave, you had to do it, you know for the principal of the thing. I hope they are still loving them some Albert when they have to make some difficult decisions in the coming years in St Louis.

    • thefalcon123 - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:39 PM

      Yeah, what a jerk. The Cardinals should have offered him the league minimum and that ungrateful son of a bitch should have taken it.

      I’ve always found it funny that the millionaire baseball player is viewed as greedy and the billionaire owner isn’t…

      • Old Gator - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:50 PM

        Gotta agree with the tercel here. Fielder has been playing on a bargain contract for years now considering his production; he gave them legendary-status performance and the Cardinals showed their appreciation by trying to lowball him. Good for him for taking them by the ankles and shaking their pockets out. They deserved it.

      • stex52 - Dec 7, 2011 at 3:23 PM

        Same old argument. I don’t blame him a bit for going for everything he can. But 100 MM$ in, it is hard to characterize Albert as a victim.

    • umrguy42 - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:50 PM

      ndrocks, normally I hate to pick on grammar mistakes, but you made one that was so apropos it’s good – it’s totally about the principal of the thing – that “principal” (e.g., the main amount of money) is ~$220 million! ;D

    • stlouis1baseball - Dec 7, 2011 at 3:10 PM

      ND: Your post literally made me laugh out loud. Initally…I assumed you were a Marlins fan. Then I noticed the ND reference in your handle. So…I am going to go out on a limb here and guess you are a Notre Dame fan who lives in Illinois, Northwest Indiana OR Southwest Michigan. Cubs fan huh? Oh…and you can take it to the bank…if he resigns with St. Louis we will still be “loving us some Albert” while reflecting on the World Series Titles.

      • ndrocks2 - Dec 7, 2011 at 3:21 PM

        talk to me in five years when he is gimping around with a bad back, love the fact he is a cardinal and will be loving it every year for years to come.

      • stlouis1baseball - Dec 7, 2011 at 3:49 PM

        ND: I hear you. You never confirmed. Be honest…Cubs fan?

    • cintiphil - Dec 7, 2011 at 4:01 PM

      That’s what agents do dummy. His agent must get the best deal for him, not the Cards or St.Louis. He doesn’t have to “play fair”, or consider what others think. He is out of the best deal Albert can get.

  14. jscruisen - Dec 7, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    This whole Theatrical play Pujols has been scamming people with has been a joke. He never had any intention on leaving the Cardinals. He just used the fool Marlins into leverage against the bigger fool Cardinals. Any team that signs him for this amount of money and for ten years has to be classified as the Stooges Of Baseball! Larry, Curly, & Moe would be impressed!

  15. davenstl - Dec 7, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    I find it hilarious that people who have never played in one professional game are criticizing a premier player for being morbidly obese. Bravo.

    • stex52 - Dec 7, 2011 at 3:27 PM

      Criticizing might be the wrong word. Showing concern for how long he can play effectively might be closer. MO is more an observation than an insult. And I think they have history and statistics on their side.

    • Old Gator - Dec 7, 2011 at 3:31 PM

      Go ahead and laugh. But a guy built like the Goodyear Blimp who is nearly 100 pounds overweight for his height is obese whether he plays baseball or sumo wrestles.

  16. umrguy42 - Dec 7, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    Bob Nightengale says Marlins are still in it, though: http://twitter.com/#!/BNightengale/status/144504773595508736

  17. stlouis1baseball - Dec 7, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    It’s kinda’ comical. When it appeared to be a forgone conclusion that A.P. was headed to Miami it was hooooorah for the “Feesh”….hooooorah for Albert and shame on the Cardinals for not paying the Man for overperforming his contracts thus far. Now that the Cardinals are still in the game….A.P. is greedy…they are gonna’ be cash strapped…he held them hostage…how they gonna’ compete…what are they gonna’ do when he is 38 and hitting a buck o’ seven.
    Sounds like we have some hurt feelings.

    • cintiphil - Dec 7, 2011 at 4:04 PM

      I have to admit, I wanted the “Feesh” to win this one, but I always doubted it would happen. You guys in Fla, had to be dreaming.

      • umrguy42 - Dec 7, 2011 at 4:20 PM

        Phil, you at least have been consistent in your hopes that AP left based on your Reds rooting interest. I, personally, respect you (even if I often disagree with your opinions ;D)

      • cintiphil - Dec 7, 2011 at 4:29 PM

        Well, that is the way it goes. I don’t hold out too much hope for the Reds even though Spring Training hasn’t even started, but the Cards seem to have all of the aces in the lineup, especially with Wainwright and now, Albert, (my favorite player of all time, except for Bench), now in the line up. We have little hope that Rolen will be able to even play, and Cordero will even sign, and we just lost Ramon Hernandez. All of our pitchers must come through, or we are toast here. I like the young players, especially Yonder, but there are too many if’s on this team.

  18. SOBEIT - Dec 7, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    Pujols may have just lost his leverage with only 2 teams in the hunt and now one of those teams have moved on.

  19. shrimpking55 - Dec 7, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    “Lozano called the Marlins and told them they were out of the running”, what he didn’t know is that Pujols was out of our plans already! I’m glad he stayed in St. Louis. Marlins are better off longterm without him.

  20. whittle79 - Dec 7, 2011 at 6:57 PM

    He wants 10 yrs I want proof how old he is.

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