Some have wondered whether the Cardinals would consider trading Albert Pujols if they are unable to work out a contract extension prior to spring training. Yeah, you can scratch that idea.
Sources tell Buster Olney of ESPN.com that Pujols will not accept any trade proposal. And with his 10 and 5 rights, he has every right to do so. There’s always the chance he could change his mind, but we should probably assume that he’ll be a Cardinal this season no matter what.
This leaves only two real possibilities moving forward. Either the Cardinals will sign Pujols to a massive contract extension sometime in the next three weeks or he will become a free agent after the season. Simple as that. I can’t even imagine what the Cardinals will say to their fans if they can’t get something done.
Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.
Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.
The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.
In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.