Cardinals exercise $16 million option on Albert Pujols for 2011

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In the least surprising news since I said yes when offered a donut yesterday the Cardinals just officially exercised their 2011 option on Albert Pujols.
Instead of buying him out for $5 million (ha!) they’ll pay the best hitter in baseball $16 million while praying that he decides to remain in St. Louis for the long haul at some point before hitting the open market 13 months from now.
Because the Cardinals missed the playoffs Pujols is unlikely to garner a ton of MVP support from voters, but he hit .312/.414/.596 while leading the league with 42 homers, 118 RBIs, and 115 runs. He also ranked second to Joey Votto in OPS. In other words, he had another MVP-caliber season.

Texas Rangers ink free-agent ace Jacob deGrom to 5-year deal

Jacob deGrom
USA Today
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Free-agent ace Jacob deGrom and the Texas Rangers agreed to a $185 million, five-year contract Friday.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner leaves the New York Mets after nine seasons – the past two shortened by injuries.

After making his first start last season in early August, deGrom went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 11 outings. He helped the Mets reach the playoffs, then opted out of his contract to become a free agent.

Texas announced the signing Friday night after the 34-year-old deGrom passed his physical. A person with direct knowledge of the deal disclosed the financial terms to The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the club did not announce those details.

“We are thrilled that Jacob deGrom has decided to become a Texas Ranger,” executive vice president and general manager Chris Young said in a statement. “Over a number of seasons, Jacob has been a standout major league pitcher, and he gives us a dominant performer at the top of our rotation. One of our primary goals this offseason is to strengthen our starting pitching, and we are adding one of the best.”

Texas went 68-94 last season and then hired Bruce Bochy as its new manager. The Rangers’ six straight losing seasons are their worst skid since the franchise moved from Washington in 1972.

The Rangers were big spenders in free agency last offseason, signing Corey Seager ($325 million, 10 years) and second baseman Marcus Semien ($175 million, seven years).