USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale has an excellent article on what’s happened to date and what’s still to come in Albert Pujols’ contract negotiations with the Cardinals. A couple of the highlights:
– Two sources told Nightengale that the Cards’ offer to Pujols last winter was for $195 million over nine years, not the $220 million-$230 million originally reported. That seems awfully low for baseball’s best player.
– Pujols’ agent, Dan Lozano, and Cards GM John Mozeliak have spoken just twice since the two sides agreed to shelve talks in spring training.
Also, there’s this quote from Tony La Russa:
Look, we’ve got a great organization. You got a great player. Albert wants to stay. They want him to stay. If there’s any way to work it, they’ll work it.
But the reality is that this is a different climate than it used to be. I don’t know if they can work out a deal or not.
The whole article is worth reading, so check it out.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.