Baseball

Pujols on St. Louis: 'I love this city'

Calm down, Cardinals fans: Albert Pujols wants to stay in St. Louis.

“The fans know and the Cardinals know that I want to be a Cardinal for my whole career,” Pujols told WXOS-FM on Thursday. “I love this city. The way that this city has embraced me and my family.”

Pujols, who has one year to go on his contract plus an option year, raised some eyebrows with his comments during an interview with a Dominican radio station earlier this month.

“I’m not desperate to sign a contract extension. I still have one year remaining in my contract for 2010 and a club option for 2011. I leave the rest in God’s hands,” Pujols told CDN 92.5 FM.

The two-time National League MVP said he wanted the Cardinals to try to sign Matt Holiday and other free agents first.

On Thursday, he reiterated that there is no rush but “if they come tomorrow and say “ ‘Albert, you know, we want to lock you up,’ hey they know that we’re open to that.”

Mariners make moves

In a flurry of minor roster moves, the Seattle Mariners outrighted Bryan LaHair, Cesar Jimenez and Randy Messenger to Tacoma – making each eligible for free agency – while Justin Thomas has been claimed by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Outfielder-first baseman LaHair, 26, and pitchers Jimenez, 24, and Messenger, 28, could accept their assignments or choose to become free agents. Also, pitcher Marwin Vega, 23, has been outrighted to Tacoma but is not eligible for free agency.

Thomas, a 25-year-old left hander, was claimed off waivers by the Pirates. The moves leave Seattle’s 40-man roster at 35.

Short hops

New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter was the recipient of the 2009 Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to a major league player who combines community service with excellence on the field. Jeter received the award from commissioner Bud Selig and Vera Clemente, Roberto’s widow, before the Yankees played the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday night. … Phillies utility man Greg Dobbs returned to Philadelphia before Game 2 of the World Series because he has the flu. … The Orioles have declined their $8 million option on Melvin Mora, allowing Baltimore’s longest-tenured player to become eligible for free agency. Mora, 37, has played 1,256 games for Baltimore, including 807 at third base – the second-most in franchise history behind Brooks Robinson. Mora’s best season was 2004, when he hit .340 with 27 homers and 104 RBI. He receives a $1 million buyout. The Orioles also declined their $850,000 option on backup catcher Chad Moeller.>>/p>

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