The official deadline was to be 11AM, but Buster Olney just tweeted the following:
Pujols contract talks are over. Deadline will pass without a deal. Have not been proposals swapped in last 100 hours or so.
And it wouldn’t have been that big a deal if Pujols hadn’t gone and set a deadline. Not that it necessarily matters to him or should — the guy should do what he wants to — but the frenzy that has been built up among the Cardinals fans and the media covering this deadline thing is a pretty artificial creation.
Pujols will show up in camp tomorrow. He’ll give a few no comments. Then he’ll go out and start abusing baseballs. Barring the absolutely ridiculous, he will be a St. Louis Cardinal all year. When the year ends the press of a legitimate deadline — his free agency — will likely make more happen than anything that could have been expected in these past few weeks.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.