Albert Pujols hit Cardinals training camp today and met the press. By all reports he was calm, cool and collected. He said that he’s not just about the money and that he wants to be a Cardinal for life. He said that he has no ill will with the Cardinals over negotiations and that it will be business as usual this season. He also commented on that report that was floating around yesterday that the Cardinals lowballed him:
Pujols said he hopes to remain a Cardinal forever. Also said he and his agent and the Cardinals laughed at reported contract numbers.
If it was just he and his agent laughing I suppose there could be some ambiguity there regarding whether it was laughable because it was a bad report or that the reported low offer was itself laughable. But if the Cardinals were laughing too, it suggests that the notion that they truly tried to offer Pujols a relative pittance compared to his value is a false one and that the report was off the mark. It may have been low — and there are multiple reports saying that it was below Alex Rodriguez-money — but that “not even in the top ten stuff” that was being discussed yesterday is looking less plausible.
And really: if he was really saying that the Cardinals’ offer was laughable, it would have flown in the face of all the good vibes Pujols tried to send out this morning.
Our old friend Joe Posnanski tackles a venerable topic over at MLB.com: guys you totally forgot played for a given team. Mostly superstars who had brief stops at non-signature stations at the end of their careers. Or guys, like Mike Piazza and Reggie Jackson, who were with a team for a blink of an eye in between more famous way stations.
We’ve all had this conversation before: remember Willie Mays with the Mets? Doc Gooden with the Astros? John Smoltz with the Cardinals? Heck, I had forgotten about Smoltz with the Cardinals and he was a star on my favorite team once upon a time.
Posnanski calls them “Irony Jerseys.” That’s pretty appropriate, as one can totally imagine someone buying, say, that Dale Murphy Rockies jersey in the name of obscurity. Whatever you call it, it’s a good read.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to get my Ted Simmons Braves jersey for a party at some place uptown that you’ve probably never heard of.
The Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals have made a minor trade. Seattle has acquired lefty Marco Gonzales from the Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Tyler O’Neill.
Gonzales, the Cardinals’ first round pick out of Gonzaga back in 2013, is in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. It’s been a good season, in which he has posted a 2.78 ERA and 64/17 K/BB ratio over 74.1 innings across two minor league levels. He’s pitched one game for St. Louis this year and got shelled, but we’ll leave that go.
O’Neill is a third rounder from 2013. He has hit .269/.344/.505 in five minor league seasons. He’s holding his own in Triple-A this year, smacking 19 homers in 93 games.