Albert Pujols and the Cardinals have “resumed” contract negotiations, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Strauss reports that general manager John Mozeliak and agent Dan Lozano agreed last month “to keep talks confidential,” but quotes “several sources familiar with the process” as saying the talks have a “positive” tone.
Pujols will become a free agent after this year and has indicated he won’t negotiate once the season starts, so Strauss writes that “the Cardinals are attaching significantly more urgency to negotiating a potential record extension” compared to their unsuccessful talks last winter.
UPDATE: According to Greg Johns of MLB.com, the Mariners and Brendan Ryan have not officially agreed to a new contract, though a deal is believed to be close.
3:45 PM: Three weeks after acquiring Brendan Ryan from the Cardinals for pitching prospect Maikel Cleto the Mariners have avoided arbitration with the infielder by agreeing to a two-year, $2.75 million deal, according to the Associated Press.
Ryan will reportedly earn $1 million this season and $1.75 million in 2012.
He fell out of favor in St. Louis last season by hitting just .223 with a measly .573 OPS and clashing with manager Tony LaRussa, but Ryan is among the elite defensive middle infielders in all of baseball and the Mariners will hope his hitting can bounce back to his .279/.333/.373 line prior to 2010.
Assistant general manager John Abbamondi has left the Cardinals to become a vice president with the Padres, making him the second prominent member of St. Louis’ front office to depart this winter after manager of professional scouting Matt Carroll took a job with the Braves.
Abbamondi had been with the Cardinals for three years, but general manager John Mozeliak indicated that he wanted to change roles from baseball to business and his official title with the Padres will be vice president for strategy and business analysis.
In addition to the pair of prominent departures Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that “Cardinals executives reorganized the front office” in September, including reassigning several members of Mozeliak’s staff and “shifting Jeff Luhnow back to amateur scouting/player procurement and promoting John Vuch to farm director.”