Albert Pujols Marlins – Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt and General Manager John Mozeliak met on Monday with Pujols’s agent, Dan Lozano, who also met with the Miami Marlins and the Chicago Cubs. The Marlins have given the impression here that they are serious about signing Pujols after signing star shortstop Jose Reyes on Monday..
“You don’t replace an Albert Pujols,” DeWitt said. “Sure, we have depth. But we’re a far better club with Albert than without him.”
“We’ll see,” said the Marlins’ owner, Jeffrey Loria. “We’re going to talk some more.” It is believed the Marlins have already offered the first baseman a deal for nine years
The Cardinals offered Pujols a nine-year, $198 million extension in January, and the price presumably rose after Pujols helped them win another World Series. He finished among the top five in voting for the National League Most Valuable Player award for the 10th time in his 11 seasons.
Pujols has played for only St. Louis, and losing him would be devastating for many Cardinals fans. Losing him to the rival Cubs might be the worst-case scenario.
The Cubs’ new president, Theo Epstein, was coy about his team’s interest, noting that Lozano also represents Cubs pitcher Rodrigo Lopez.
“We’ve been honest from Day 1,” Epstein said when asked about meeting Lozano. “The first priority is to build this thing the right way for the long haul. The second priority is doing everything we can to make the 2012 team as competitive as possible. If there is a move that conflicts with those two priorities butting up against one another, we’re going to serve the first priority. Because there are no shortcuts. We’re going to try and do this the right way.”
Albert won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 2001, and has since been selected as an All-Star nine times, and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award three times. He has also twice won the National League Hank Aaron Award, and has two World Series rings from the Cardinals’ 2006 and 2011 titles.
At the end of the 2011 season, he led all active players in batting average (.328), slugging percentage (.617), and OPS (1.037), and ranked 37th in number of home runs in Major League Baseball history