“I hope that before the season begins I get an extension.”
— Albert Pujols, speaking today at a news conference in the Dominican Republic.
We can talk about Derek Jeter, Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford or anyone else. But the biggest personnel move this winter involves Pujols, a guy who isn’t a free agent until next year.
Pujols won’t negotiate once spring training starts, in all likelihood, and if it gets to this time next year, he’d be silly not to let Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Angels or anyone else who has the means to bid his numbers up like crazy, even if he does ultimately stay in St. Louis.
The Cardinals have to know this. They had better move this winter. Their franchise player — and maybe even the franchise — is at stake if they don’t.