While Cardinals ownership has said that it wants to try to sign Albert Pujols to a contract extension this winter, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports said he doesn't think the superstar slugger is going to go for it.
Rosenthal said, as has been speculated in these parts, that Pujols wants to see what is going to happen with Matt Holliday, Mark DeRosa and manager Tony La Russa before committing to anything long-term.
This is no surprise, really. And it underlines the reasons why the team must do everything reasonable to bring Holliday back beyond 2009. If he is allowed to walk away, it greatly decreases the chances that Pujols will walk away. And, sadly, Pujols could leave anyway. So, as hard as it is to imagine the Birds without their franchise player, could you imagine it without Holliday AND Pujols.
I believe the theory is right in Rosenthals' story. Pujols wants the Cardinals to prove they will remain competitive before he inks a longterm deal. But that doesn't mean the Birds can't stay in contact with Pujols and put together the framework of a deal contingent on Holliday's signing.
The front office has milked a lot of mileage of its trade for Holliday and DeRosa, claiming that we should have had faith along that they would bring in the pieces they needed. Now is the time to prove the penny pinching of the last two years is in the past and that the team is back to its successful ways of 1996-2006.