Pujols 'not desperate to sign contract extension'

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According to the Associated Press, Albert Pujols said yesterday during an interview with a Dominican radio station that he’s “not desperate to sign a contract extension.”
Pujols confirmed that general manager John Mozeliak has approached him about a new deal, but added: “We have not yet sat down to talk about contracts. I still have a one-year contract in 2010 with a club option for 2011. The rest I leave in God’s hands.”
Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. indicated last week that Pujols had expressed a desire to work out a new contract extension this offseason, but if Wednesday’s statements are accurate the team is clearly more interested than the soon-to-be three-time MVP when it comes to actually getting something done.
Pujols will make $16 million next season with a $16 million option or $5 million buyout for 2011 as part of the seven-year, $100 million deal he signed in 2003, so he’s right that there’s no rush to work out a new pact.
Obviously the Cardinals would like to avoid any chance of Pujols even sniffing free agency, but there’s also plenty of risk in handing out an extension with two years remaining on the original deal, no matter how amazing the player. So far at least there’s no real reason for Cardinals fans to worry. At least not too much.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.