More details of Albert Pujols’ contract with the Angels

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Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reported yesterday that Albert Pujols’ 10-year contract with the Angels is extremely backloaded, including salaries of $12 million in 2012 and $16 million in 2013 and jumping to $30 million at its conclusion. Now Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has some more details.

According to Heyman’s sources, Pujols is actually guaranteed $250 million from the Angels, not the $254 million sum that has been widely reported. This includes $10 million in “personal services” obligations to the Angels’ organization following his retirement, so he’ll be paid a total of $240 million from 2012-2021. It’s not clear whether the personal services contract will be counted toward the luxury tax.

Here’s the breakdown by year:

2012: $12 million
2013: $16 million
2014: $23 million
2015: $24 million
2016: $25 million
2017: $26 million
2018: $27 million
2019: $28 million
2020: $29 million
2021: $30 million

Per a report by Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports earlier this month, Pujols will get an additional $3 million from the Angels if he reaches 3,000 hits and $7 million if he tops Barry Bonds’ all-time record of 762 career home runs. While Heyman has the deal potentially topping out at $260 million, Crasnick reported yesterday that he could earn $265 million with additional incentives.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.

Yadier Molina will not enter contract negotiations during the 2017 season

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Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina is still open to extension talks during the last week of spring training. Once Opening Day rolls around, however, Molina has preemptively nixed any contract negotiations until the end of the 2017 season, when he’s scheduled to hit free agency.

Molina wants to stay with the Cardinals, or so he’s telling reporters, but he’s also “not afraid” to test the free agent market this fall should a deal fail to materialize. Via Goold:

I would love to stay, but at the same time I’m not afraid to go to free agency. I’ve still got many years in the tank. Believe me. I feel great. I feel like a 20-year-old kid. I’m not afraid to go to free agency.

The 34-year-old backstop is entering his final year under contract, though Goold points out that he has a $15 million option for 2018 that he can choose to decline in the event that it’s exercised by the team. He’s reportedly searching for a figure closer to those made by other top catchers like Buster Posey and Russell Martin.

The 2017 season will mark Molina’s 14th year in the Cardinals’ organization, building on a career that has spanned seven All-Star campaigns, nine postseason runs and two World Series championships in St. Louis. He batted .307/.360/.427 with eight home runs and a .787 OPS for the club in 2016.