- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Middle Eastern firm’s deal to manage U.S. cargo port raises security concerns
- Bob McDonnell’s defense: Lonely wife developed ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House Republicans unveil bill to speed deportations of border children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
Cardinals GM mum on Pujols contract talks
Question of the Day
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Albert Pujols will sign autographs for $175 a pop on Sunday at the St. Louis Cardinals‘ Winter Warmup. The team has until the start of spring training to get the three-time NL MVP to sign a new contract.
General manager John Mozeliak confirmed the deadline set by Pujols, but declined Saturday to characterize negotiations. The Cardinals exercised a $16 million option for next season on Pujols‘ contract in October.
Both sides want to keep the negotiations private. Pujols‘ two-hour autograph session, which will raise funds for Cardinal Care, is sold out.
“Really, we don’t want to sit here and handicap or guess or kind of give any type of gut feel where this thing is headed right now,” Mozeliak said. “Hopefully in the near future it’s something we can talk more about, but right now I’m not prepared to.”
Mozeliak also declined to discuss negotiations at a fan forum, where he requested the topic not come up, saying, “I have no idea.”
Although Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt expressed confidence earlier this winter that the team could keep Pujols beyond 2011, Mozeliak said: “I don’t think it’s going to benefit anybody for me to weigh in at this point.”
The 30-year-old Pujols led the National League with 42 homers and 118 RBIs last season. He topped 400 career homers and set a franchise record with his 39th multihomer game.
“Obviously, Albert is the face of this organization and the face of this city,” pitcher Chris Carpenter said. “He’s the best player in baseball. You’re talking about huge dollars and huge commitments.
“But my job is to get myself prepared to pitch the best I can and give my team a chance to win.”
Carpenter, 35, also can become a free agent after this season. He said he wouldn’t worry about it.
“It’s been brought up, talked about,” Carpenter said. “But I have no concerns, I have no extra pressure. If they want to keep me, they can keep me.
“If they don’t, I guess I’ll have to get another place to play.”
The Cardinals got one deal out of the way, avoiding arbitration and signing setup man Kyle McClellan to a one-year contract. Mozeliak said a long-term deal was discussed but “never gained any traction to this point.”
The 26-year-old right-hander appeared in 68 games last season, going 1-4 with a career-best 2.27 ERA and two saves.
McClellan was the only Cardinals player who filed for arbitration. He’s been durable in all three of his major league seasons with St. Louis, totaling 202 appearances.
“Obviously, avoiding the hearing room was something that we felt was very important,” Mozeliak said. “I’m pleased we were able to work this out.
“Certainly, he’s accomplished a lot over the last three years.”
Mozeliak expected McClellan to remain in his setup role next season, given the Cardinals have a set rotation of Adam Wainwright, Carpenter, Jake Westbrook, Jaime Garcia and Kyle Lohse. St. Louis added backup options on Friday, signing right-handers Miguel Batista and Ian Snell to minor league contracts with invitations to spring training.
St. Louis also signed 34-year-old middle infielder Ramon Vazquez to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training.
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- McCLAUGHRY: Finish off the "Islamic State" quickly and cheaply
- New York Times reporter Carol Vogel accused of plagiarism
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- ISIL destroys key bridge leading to Baghdad; suicide truck bomb severed supply line
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world