Finally some details about the Albert Pujols situation are starting to break free... Although they are still all attributed to un-named sources. So who knows what to believe?
According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the talk that Pujols rejected the initial offer from the Cardinals is true. But Olney said the offer came two weeks ago, not over the weekend.
I'm not sure how to feel about that little nugget. If it's true, I guess it's good that the Cardinals haven't been sitting on their hands as the clock ticks away. But I think in many ways the situation is worse than initially reported.
It only serves to emphasize the depth of the void between the sides if they put out their preliminary offers weeks ago but have been unable to do anything since then to fill in the gap. If Pujols' starting point was an Alex Rodriguez type deal, he must know that the Cardinals can't compete with the most ridiculous contract ever lavished on a baseball player. Especially if he wants to be surrounded by a supporting cast that has a chance of winning a championship or two...
While I blame the Cardinals for how they have handled this situation, it's hard to find fault with the club for not wanting to be on the hook for $30 million of payroll a year after from the time Pujols is 38 until he's 42.
I still find it hard to believe there isn't a place where everyone can be happy as much as Pujols claims he wants to stay in St. Louis and as much as the Cardinals need him to be the face of the franchise and the driving force in the middle of their lineup.