UPDATE: Oh boy. A source close to the Pujols’ camp tells Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports that tonight’s report of an eight-year offer from the Cardinals is “inaccurate, reckless and outrageous.”
Ouch. Sounds a bit angry. Looks like that whole “negotiating behind closed doors” thing is officially out the window.
7:59 PM: Tick-tock, tick-tock…
It’s getting close to crunch time.
Albert Pujols plans to cut off all talks regarding a contract extension at noon eastern time tomorrow, but the Cardinals are still trying to hammer out a last-minute deal.
Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Cards have offered Pujols an eight-year contract. The juicy details aren’t yet known, but Heyman hears that it was for less than $30 million per season — or $240 million in total. Meanwhile, Pujols is reportedly seeking a 10-year deal, possibly in the range of $300 million. Heyman reports that there remains “little hope” for an agreement before Wednesday’s deadline.
One of the more interesting wrinkles of this story is that the Pujols’ camp asked for a piece of the team at one point in negotiations. Former commissioner Fay Vincent has raised this possibility in the past and while it’s technically possible, it would require a complicated agreement and approval from the player’s union. The Cardinals declined due to the potential complications involved.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.