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UPDATE: Angels, mystery team make run at Albert Pujols

Dec 8, 2011, 2:30 AM EDT

Albert Pujols AP

2:30 a.m. EST update: ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports that no decision from Pujols will come in before the Winter Meetings conclude Thursday. Again, if you missed it, Pujols is believed to be deciding on similar 10-year offers from the Angels and Cardinals, as well as a possible offer from a mystery team (perhaps the Cubs). The Angels and Cardinals are both believed to be in the $200 million-$220 million range.

12:27 a.m. EST update: According to Nightengale, the Angels made a 10-year offer to Pujols on Wednesday worth more than $210 million.

10:50 p.m. EST update: Rosenthal says he can’t confirm that the Cubs are the third team in with the Cardinals and Angels. The Cards are quiet, with GM John Mozeliak saying he has “nothing to share” and declining comment on all topics.

10:40 p.m. EST update: There was a lot of truth to Bob Nightengale’s report, apparently. FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal and Yahoo’s Tim Brown are reporting that the Angels are “in strong” on Pujols.

Rosenthal says there’s also a third unidentified club in the mix with the Cardinals and Angels. Since he doesn’t name the Cubs, it’s possible there’s another suitor.

7:20 p.m. EST update: Jon Heyman is feeling feisty tonight. He says that Pujols’ agent, Dan Lozano, “might have to come up with a new ‘mystery’ team to use against the Cardinals” if C.J. Wilson signs with the Angels as expected.

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Even though the Marlins pulled their 10-year proposal after being told they were out of the mix, Albert Pujols still has three offers worth $200 million or more on the table, USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale reports.

It contradicts a lot of the info that’s out there, but given that Nightengale has been on top of the Pujols saga since the first baseman and the Cardinals were negotiating last winter, his report is not to be taken lightly.

ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick is also reporting that Pujols is negotiating with clubs other than the Cardinals. And he did use the plural, so he doesn’t just mean the Cubs.

The consensus is that Pujols will return to the Cardinals, with Bill Madden reporting earlier that the two sides were merely “a few million dollars apart” on a 10-year contract. The general belief is that they’re offering $20 million-$22 million per year in their proposal. The Cubs may well be in the $25 million-$30 million range, but they weren’t wanting to commit for longer than five or six years.

If there’s a third big offer out there, it might have come from the Angels or Rangers. That’s just speculation, though.

  1. bigharold - Dec 7, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    “If there’s a third big offer out there, it might have come from the Angels or Rangers. ”

    Yankees. 8 Years 210 mil. Between 1B, 3B and DH there will be loads of playing time for all. Then the Yankee trade Montero to the A’s for Gio Gonzalez..

    • JBerardi - Dec 7, 2011 at 6:48 PM

      I hope so. A’s fans could use some good news.

    • lazlosother - Dec 7, 2011 at 7:07 PM

      Won’t happen. NY won’t turn Albert into a super utility player, and he doesn’t want to DH. This would be the most inane signing of the decade, and there have been a few (some by NY).

      NY is looking to get under the luxury tax in ’13, and paying yet another 30 something player 25 mil a year won’t do it. NY doesn’t need offense, they need pitching.

      • bigharold - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:55 PM

        They didn’t need Soriano last year or A-Rod in 2004 either but how’d that turn out?

        Also, it’s about star power as much as production. The Yankees need to sell those $1,200 seats, they need to be the must see attraction in a city full of them.

      • Ari Collins - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:23 PM

        With Soriano, I’d say, “Not well.”

      • bigharold - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:09 PM

        True but they did in fact go out and get a closer that they didn’t need AFTER the GM stated publicly that he neither needed nor wanted him.

        Did anybody really see A-Rod, Soriano or even Teixieria coming? If they were being honest the answer would be no. They Yankee can and frequently do things unexpected.

        I’m not saying signing Pujols is imminent , nor do I think it would be the best thing for the Yankees, Pujols or baseball in general. I think it is a very real possibility unless or until he signs elsewhere. The Yankees have the resources, the need and the history of this type of signing.

        Also, all the BS trying to trim salary to avoid future luxury tax while logical if considered in a void fails to recognize three tings; 1. the Yankees don’t have the financial constraints other teams have, 2. it ignores history with regard to past extravagant signings as well as their ability to throw caution o the wind for the right player and 3. this was a thesis proposed in the MY Post which should get it dismissed out of hand.

      • lazlosother - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:39 AM

        The Yanks have a lot of incentive to go under the luxury tax, courtesy of the new CB agreement. If they go under even once, the luxury tax would revert to 17.5% for their next “transgression”. If they don’t go under, they are at 50%. There is also considerable revenue sharing reductions if they go under the luxury threshhold.

        The luxury tax will be a 189 mil in 2014, not alot less than NY is spending on payroll now. this would be their best chance to save considerable amounts of cash. NY is the least constrained team in terms of spending limits, but they don’t have endless resources. Note that the payroll has been very consistent over the past three years, and there is no inidcation they are looking to up it this year.

        What should get dismissed out of hand is the notion that NY is looking to pay 200 million to upgrade Ewardo Nunez.

      • presidentmiraflores - Dec 8, 2011 at 9:05 AM

        “The Yankees have the resources, the need and the history of this type of signing.”

        The need for what, exactly? Last I checked, 1B and DH were pretty much spoken for.

        Is the need you mention the need to sell tickets? I’m pretty sure at this point the Yankees will need to go through a several-year stretch of mediocrity to dampen ticket sales, and I thought they still had a few stars. Also, just because this off-season’s FAs don’t match up well with what Cashman is looking to do doesn’t mean he won’t make a splash via trade and that the Yankees won’t pull down a top FA or two next year. With regard to the need to sell tickets and luxury boxes, you seem to have the Yankees confused with a team that didn’t win the World Series three years ago, doesn’t have Derek Jeter at short and Sabathia and Mo on the mound, and hasn’t owned the New York sports scene for many years.

    • randygnyc - Dec 8, 2011 at 12:12 AM

      He’s gotten the cards to budge from their insulting 10 for 200m. Now it’s 220. He’s won that moral victory. What exactly is AP looking to accomplish here? I have the feeling he’s going to listen to any teams offer, regardless if that team is a contender for the world series or not. Cubs aren’t projected as contender. Angels play in a weak division and will play over their abilities just to play 500 ball.

  2. JBerardi - Dec 7, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    Double secret mystery teams!

  3. ukcardsfan - Dec 7, 2011 at 6:57 PM

    If it was the Yanks, I think they’d have the upper hand…but I don’t see them being that interested. I’m amazed that with so many writers and ask of these ‘ sources’ though, that a mystery team has managed to stay a mystery for this long new…

    • hopespringseternal - Dec 7, 2011 at 7:02 PM

      HBT – Would it be possible to add a ? button, along with the thumbs up and down?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 7, 2011 at 7:10 PM

        Furthermore, there should be a “fuck you” button and an edit function.

      • ukcardsfan - Dec 7, 2011 at 7:58 PM

        Okay that last post of mine was a bit stricken by smart phone auto corrects..let’s try that again…

        If it was the Yanks, I think they’d have the upper hand…but I don’t see them being that interested. I’m amazed that with so many writers and ALL of these ‘ sources’ though, that a mystery team has managed to stay a mystery for this long NOW…

      • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:19 PM

        I hope you didn’t construe my comment above as an insult to your comment. It was in no way meant to criticize your comment or whatever. I realize that it might be taken that way but that was not my intent.

      • ukcardsfan - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:34 AM

        No worries, no offence taken. You’re actually right on an edit button though…would have saved some time…

  4. sknut - Dec 7, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    It’s almost like he doesn’t want to go back to the Cards, I mean once your at 20 million are you really worried about getting to 22 million? I still think thats where he ends up but he is dragging this out and letting the speculation run rampert.

    • cintiphil - Dec 7, 2011 at 7:06 PM

      Ya, you are right. What kind of comment that? He doesn’t want to go with the Cardinals. He want to sign with your team. Who ever that is. Please, lets not all raise hopes. For now, the redbirds are in the driver seat.

    • xmatt0926x - Dec 7, 2011 at 7:08 PM

      Yeah but I believe the thinking is that he has already taken a hometown discount on his last deal so he feels he should be legitimately paid as the best player in the game now. It’s just insane. 10 years for a 31 year old. Is Pujols dragging his feet or are teams wary of pulling the trigger?

      • sknut - Dec 7, 2011 at 7:23 PM

        Thats a good point, I was just thinking of going forward and not looking back. I am sure teams are wary of pulling the trigger and really would 2 million per year affect a teams budget all that much from a year to year thing. I still think he is going back to the Cards.

  5. Florio_Jr. - Dec 7, 2011 at 7:03 PM

    So I’m sure in the next..I’ll say half hour, another update will come around saying these mystery offers were hoaxes. Heard this song before.

    • CJ - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:20 PM

      tell that to Cliff Lee

  6. vanmorrissey - Dec 7, 2011 at 7:06 PM

    Mariners. No way.

  7. uyf1950 - Dec 7, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    I think it’s the Angels.

  8. cur68 - Dec 7, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    Things are certainly interesting over at the winter meetings. In fact so interesting people are falling into pools without provocation. Check this out,

    No word on if it was Craig yet. In the absence of a pipe emitting bubbles and a Braves bathrobe, I’m gonna go with Olney. Please let it be Buster!

    • umrguy42 - Dec 7, 2011 at 8:48 PM

      Wasn’t wearing a ballcap, ergo, it wasn’t Craig. That and Silva or Short would’ve totally tweeted that it was :p

      • bigharold - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:18 PM

        Too much hair, .. wasn’t Craig.

  9. pastortodd78 - Dec 7, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    He may well indeed return to the Cards but if it was a slam dunk the deal would be done. I think he may really feel disrespected and that is why it is taking so long for him to decide. It is like he keep trying to talk himself into going elsewhere. I still say Theo should go 6 years at $30 mil a year with 2 mutual option years added on to take it to 8 years $240 million with a full no trade clause.

  10. crankyfrankie - Dec 7, 2011 at 7:47 PM

    Last year everyone was certain that it was the Yankees or the Rangers for Lee. The “mystery team” was mocked long and hard by most. Some of the time when you least expect it a team actually keeps its mouth shut and surprises you. I think Albert feels very underpaid for the last couple of years and is going for all he can get as this is his only chance.

  11. msuwebmanager - Dec 7, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    I’ve been a Cards fan since I was old enough to know what baseball is. Albert’s a great guy, the greatest player in the game, deserves everything he can get….But…meanwhile I see moves being made, good players being snatched up, and we’re waiting for Albert to get off the pot. At this point, I just want him to make up his mind so we can get a *team* together. He’s not going to be at every position, after all.

  12. fhuizar - Dec 7, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    Any big name the angels have been linked too the last couple off seasons have been complete BS, I wont believe any angel news until the player actually signs, so im not believing pujols or the Wilson rumors until otherwise

  13. buffalomafia - Dec 7, 2011 at 8:35 PM

    The yankees!

  14. imaduffer - Dec 7, 2011 at 8:35 PM

    I thought baseball was a team sport. Did Albert win the MVP award for either the season or the World Series? He is not worth 200 million to the Cards. Cardinal fans will show up because it doesn’t matter who’s playing first base.

  15. revansrevenant - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:26 PM

    This farce has taken up the entire media focus from the winter meetings. Granted, I’m sure there’s not much else to be talked about, and it IS interesting, but you almost want to think he’s dragging it out to see his name in print as much as possible.

  16. tonyc920 - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:45 PM

    Who ever signs him, if it’s for that kind of cash, 200+ mil and 10 years ????? It will be a very big mistake. Sure he’ll be awesome for another 3 – 5 years but after that, that contract will be a boat anchor for the Cards. Look what the Carlos Lee contract is doing for the Astros and no one will take him off thier hands. They’re stuck with him and his $15mil/yr contract.

    Best news a Brewers fan could hear.

  17. sfm073 - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:09 PM

    He’s going to the cards and he was always going to. All of this is just one more way for his agent to squeeze every last dollar out of the cardinals.

  18. Chris Fiorentino - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    It would be nice if the mystery team on Pujols is the same mystery team that was on Lee… :)

  19. goawaydog - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:15 PM

    I am no Cardinals fan but i hate to see a team get played like this and wirh every passing hour I think the Red Birds should pull a million dollars off the table until Lozano and Pujols make a decision.

    • thefalcon123 - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:26 PM

      Agreed. You’ve already thrown up (probably) 10 years, $220 million dollars. If someone else wants to go be beyond that, fine, it’s their funeral. Sign a shortstop and “suffer” Berkman at first and Craig in right.

      At some point, you’ve made your best offer and you just have to stop playing. I think 10 years, $220 million is beyond reasonable. Why budge?

      • narrabeen23 - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:34 PM

        TLR retiring threw a monkey wrench in Pujol’s intentions I bet. Def didn’t help the Cards

      • goawaydog - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:42 PM

        You could have put a period after “you’ve already thrown up” and i still would have agreed with you too.

    • ironhawk - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:04 AM

      If they want respect they shouldn’t have lowballed him. He should stretch this out as long as possible just to stick it to them.

  20. spudchukar - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:25 PM

    Just an agent, albeit, a sleezy one, doin’ his job.

  21. narrabeen23 - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:33 PM

    it would be absolutely insane, but is there a chance Phils are the mystery team and Amaro is thinking Pujols at 3B?

    The words “mystery team” reminds me of only two things: scooby doo and the Philadelphia Phillies.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:45 PM

      I wish, but I don’t think Pujols wants to play 3B. I would back-load a big contract to Pujols though…so he gets like 18 the first 5 years and 28 the last 5…that would be around $230 over 10 years, and the big amounts would not kick in until Howard’s contract is up. So after the big man is done in 5 years, Pujols moves over to first for his twilight years.

      ***wakes up and smells what the Rock is cooking

      • narrabeen23 - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:51 PM

        if you’re the Phils you just have to be sick to your stomach. Let’s set aside the fact that they gave a .270 hitter $25 mil a year, the opportunity to get the best hitter in the game for a 25% discount of what A-Rod is making? talk about misreading the market…

      • CJ - Dec 8, 2011 at 2:08 AM

        or are they just smarter than everyone else and will sign Pujols…play him at first mostly but some at third once Howard gets back and until he proves he’s healthy, and then ship Howard off to his hometown at the deadline. I hear they’ll have an opening at the position.

  22. shep2837 - Dec 8, 2011 at 2:17 AM

    Its the Lakers I know it

  23. cur68 - Dec 8, 2011 at 3:12 AM

    Watch Cashman, s’all I’m sayin’. Keep that guy under close obs.

  24. isaiahforreal - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:35 AM

    I hate Cashman

  25. Florio_Jr. - Dec 8, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    Ha! I friggin knew it. There was going to be an update for a mystery team. Boy, I remember when a few days ago I was intrigued by this. Now I just sit back watch MLBN or load this up on my iPad on class and I anticipate it. Lozano is trying to weasel more $$$ from STL b/c he’s counting on it to make ends meet, the rat bastard.

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