The St. Louis Cardinals made Albert Pujols what they said was their best offer.
It wasn’t enough.
So get ready, baseball: Pujols seems headed for the open market in the fall.
The deadline Pujols set for the Cardinals to reach an agreement passed Wednesday with no deal, making it likely the three-time MVP will become a free agent after the World Series.
The Cardinals said they will respect Pujols’ wishes and not request more talks during the season, unless their first baseman changes his mind.
“A difference of opinion in determining Albert’s value simply could not be resolved,” said Pujols’ agent, Dan Lozano.
The Cardinals would not reveal their offer, though it was believed to be somewhere around $200 million for eight years, possibly with an opportunity for Pujols to obtain an ownership stake in the franchise once his playing days are complete.
• Outfielder Delmon Young, the No. 1 overall pick in 2003, and the Minnesota Twins avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract worth $5,375,000.
• Second baseman Rickie Weeks, the No. 2 overall pick behind Young in 2003, agreed to a $38.5 million, four-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers that contains a 2015 option which could increase the total value to $50 million.
HAVING A BALL
San Diego Padres pitcher Mat Latos is making it clear he’s no fan of the San Francisco Giants.
A San Diego-area memorabilia store advertised three baseballs with Latos’ signature and the words “I hate SF” below. The balls sold for $1,100, with half going to the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association.
Latos and the Padres were eliminated from playoff contention by the Giants on the final day of the season last year.
Dallas Green, who managed Philadelphia to its first World Series title in 1980, choked up a few times as he talked about the shooting death of his 9-year-old granddaughter Christina Taylor Green, who was killed in a shooting rampage that critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on Jan. 8 in Tucson, Ariz.
“You know, I’m supposed to be a tough sucker,” he said, “but I’m not tough when it comes to this. ... We just miss the hell out of her.”
Closer Mariano Rivera missed the New York Yankees’ second day of workouts for pitchers and catchers to be with his sick children. ... Texas Rangers pitcher Omar Beltre was diagnosed with a genetic narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) and will have surgery Tuesday. ... Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain said he won’t talk about his apparent weight gain. Said general manager Brian Cashman, “He’s obviously heavier. That’s as much as I’ll say.” ... Outfielder Scott Podsednik agreed to a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays with an invitation to major league spring training. He spent the 2001-02 seasons with the Tacoma Rainiers and the Seattle Mariners.