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.
In another thrilling round of the 2018 Home Run Derby, Kyle Schwarber walked off to defeat Rhys Hoskins and advance to the finals in the 2018 Home Run Derby. Hoskins hit 20 — surpassing his first-round total of 17 — but Schwarber was able to do him one better in regulation time.
For most of the round, Schwarber was “only” on pace to hit 17 or 18, but he got on a roll after using his time-out. He mashed about five home runs in the span of 30 seconds. With just a couple of seconds left on the clock, Schwarber hit his 21st home run to send Rhys to the showers. Of course, Schwarber had unlocked 30 seconds of bonus time since he hit two home runs that went at least 440 feet, so it was a formality. But to do it in regulation in buzzer-beater fashion was more fun than opening bonus time with the send-off.
Still an impressive showing by Hoskins. He became the first player to hit 20 home runs in the semifinals of the Derby, per ESPN Stats & Info. His 37 total homers are the second-most by a Phillies player in the Derby. Bobby Abreu hit 41 home runs en route to winning in 2005.
In the finals, Schwarber will face the winner of the Max Muncy–Bryce Harper showdown.