Jeff Passan of Yahoo! spoke with an MLB executive who says he’s “100 percent certain” Albert Pujols will re-sign with the Cardinals. The reason: no one else is really showing interest. At least no one with the kind of money to outbid St. Louis.
I’ve kinda assumed this for a while. It was just bad timing for Pujols to hit the market, with with the Yankees and Red Sox both committing to top-notch first basemen in recent years. That left the occasional-spenders out there. Texas. Los Angeles. Detroit. Washington. Maybe the Cubs. Those teams either have a first baseman already or just don’t seem to want to pony up this year.
Albert is going to stay with the Cardinals. He’ll still be very rich. His legacy will be much better for it. And the Cardinals will be a much better team for it, at least for the next several years.
Jon Heyman has been hot on the free agent trail today, reporting that the Padres have made offers both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. The offer to Machado is believed to be for eight years and about $250 million, while the offer to Harper is believed to be for more than that.
Heyman was reporting on Harper earlier, tweeting that the Phillies are the favorite to sign him. He added this evening that Harper has multiple long-term offers at more than $30 million annually. Regarding Machado, Heyman noted that while Machado was believed to have had a preference for the East coast, he will go for the best deal now, which puts the Padres firmly in the picture.
The Padres reportedly met with Machado last week. A late entrant into the sweepstakes, the club has shown the willingness to spend, signing Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million contract last year. If he goes to San Diego, Machado would be the full-time third baseman with Luis Urias handling shortstop.
Nothing appears close, but we’ll take anything resembling a spark to light the hot stove.