Some have wondered whether the Cardinals would consider trading Albert Pujols if they are unable to work out a contract extension prior to spring training. Yeah, you can scratch that idea.
Sources tell Buster Olney of ESPN.com that Pujols will not accept any trade proposal. And with his 10 and 5 rights, he has every right to do so. There’s always the chance he could change his mind, but we should probably assume that he’ll be a Cardinal this season no matter what.
This leaves only two real possibilities moving forward. Either the Cardinals will sign Pujols to a massive contract extension sometime in the next three weeks or he will become a free agent after the season. Simple as that. I can’t even imagine what the Cardinals will say to their fans if they can’t get something done.
Rangers GM Jon Daniels said he doesn’t expect the club to make a $17.9 million qualifying offer to free agent third baseman Adrián Beltré, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports. Daniels has been in touch with the 39-year-old, who may retire.
Beltré battled hip and hamstring issues throughout the past season, limiting him to 119 games. He hit .273/.328/.434 with 15 home runs and 65 RBI in 481 plate appearances. Going by adjusted OPS, his mark of 98 — 100 is average — was his lowest in a season since 2009 with the Mariners. Beltré’s career average is 116 and he put up a 132 in 2017 and 128 in ’16.
Beltré appears to have some stuff left in the tank. He may not be an All-Star-caliber player anymore, but he can still hit at an average level and he is still an above-average defender. It’s just a matter of his body holding up to allow him to do what he needs to do. If Beltré does decide to re-up with the Rangers for 2019, the club will be prepared to move Isiah Kiner-Falefa or Jurickson Profar over to the hot corner as they did in 2018 in the event Beltré gets bitten by the injury bug.