UPDATE: Oh boy. A source close to the Pujols’ camp tells Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports that tonight’s report of an eight-year offer from the Cardinals is “inaccurate, reckless and outrageous.”
Ouch. Sounds a bit angry. Looks like that whole “negotiating behind closed doors” thing is officially out the window.
7:59 PM: Tick-tock, tick-tock…
It’s getting close to crunch time.
Albert Pujols plans to cut off all talks regarding a contract extension at noon eastern time tomorrow, but the Cardinals are still trying to hammer out a last-minute deal.
Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Cards have offered Pujols an eight-year contract. The juicy details aren’t yet known, but Heyman hears that it was for less than $30 million per season — or $240 million in total. Meanwhile, Pujols is reportedly seeking a 10-year deal, possibly in the range of $300 million. Heyman reports that there remains “little hope” for an agreement before Wednesday’s deadline.
One of the more interesting wrinkles of this story is that the Pujols’ camp asked for a piece of the team at one point in negotiations. Former commissioner Fay Vincent has raised this possibility in the past and while it’s technically possible, it would require a complicated agreement and approval from the player’s union. The Cardinals declined due to the potential complications involved.
The Red Sox, who won the AL East last season with a 93-69 record, have under-performed so far this season, entering Wednesday’s action with just two more wins than losses at 23-21. The club hasn’t had a winning streak of more than two games since April 15-18. As a result, manager John Farrell may be on the hot seat, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Tuesday.
Beyond the mediocre record, Rosenthal cites two incidents that happened this season that caused Farrell’s stock to drop. The first was the brouhaha with the Orioles when Manny Machado slid into Dustin Pedroia at second base, causing Pedroia to suffer an injury. When reliever Matt Barnes intentionally threw a fastball at Machado, Pedroia was seen telling Machado, “It wasn’t me. It’s them.” The word “them,” of course, would ostensibly be referring to Barnes and Farrell.
The second incident happened last week when pitcher Drew Pomeranz challenged Farrell in the dugout after being removed with a pitch count of 97. Rosenthal suggests that some of Farrell’s players aren’t on the same page as the skipper.
Rosenthal also mentions that Farrell didn’t have the entire backing of the Red Sox clubhouse in 2013, when the club won the World Series. So the issues this year may not be unique; they may be part of a larger trend.
The biggest impediment in making a managerial change for the Red Sox is having a good candidate. After letting Torey Lovullo leave after last season to manage the Diamondbacks, the team’s two most likely interim candidates would be bench coach Gary DiSarcina and third base coach Brian Butterfield. DiSarcina has one year of managing experience above Single-A (Triple-A Pawtucket in 2013). Butterfield hasn’t managed in 15 years.