The Cardinals have yet to make an offer to Pujols. Does this mean anything?

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Well, they haven’t made a “concrete offer,” anyway. That according to Tim Brown of Yahoo!, who sets the scene a week from the start of Spring Training and the promised cutoff of negotiations.

As Brown notes, Pujols has issued a virtual fatwah on negotiations through the media.  The Cardinals have said a bit more here and there. But this news — no offer made — doesn’t exactly help the Cardinals in the court of public opinion, so I question whether that would have come from them. It might help Pujols though. Probably would, actually, if fans get mad because they think the team isn’t making a hard push to lock up the best player most of them have ever cheered for.

Makes me wonder if Pujols — or his agent —  has changed tactics and is starting to leak a bit.  And if so, does that mean that the conversations between the sides have gotten rough?

Padres sign Aaron Loup to a one-year deal

Aaron Loup
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Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.

Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.

Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.