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Rumor Mill: Albert Pujols

St. Louis radio personality J.C. Corcoran has repeatedly defended his claim that the Cardinals have a press conference set for tomorrow to announce that the team has signed Albert Pujols to a new contract despite the team's claims to the contrary.

Corcoran reported the Pujols story Wednesday on Twitter. Redbirds general manager John Mozeliak promptly denied that anything was close with the Cardinals' free agent slugger. But Corcoran underlined his claim with later tweets including:

"Despite official denials I have no reason to amend the Pujols tweet. I believe it to be accurate."

Later Corcoran followed up with another tweet in which he claimed that not only will Pujols make the announcement Friday but that the superstar first baseman would immediately head to Hawaii on vacation afterwards. And if that wasn't enough, he tweeted a reminder that he was the first to have the story that St. Louis manager Tony La Russa planned to retire: "In the midst of the Cards denials, please recall La Russa denied 1st week of Oct when we broke story all the way until the official announcement Oct. 31."

Corcoran did get the La Russa situation correct, revealing that the Redbirds essentially had a press conference ready to go from the last days of the season until the end of the World Series. It was to be unleashed as soon as the comeback Cardinals were eliminated from contention. But they never were...

I hope Corcoran is right in this case. I'm ready for the Pujols tension to be over. I haven't been so concerned about the Cardinals being devistated by a defection since Ozzie Smith seemed like he would split town in 1985 when the club initially balked at his demand for a contract of more than a million dollars a year!

While he didn't reveal any sources publicly, Corcoran said he has confirmed the Pujols contract situation with a pair of sources behind the scenes.

Meanwhile, Yahoo Sports reported in the early hours this morning that at least three teams are still in on the Pujols bidding and that nothing is imminent.

The clubs in the mix are said to be St. Louis, the previously reported Marlins and either the Rangers or (shudder) the Cubs.

Speaking of the Cubs, apparently have offered their manager's job to Dale Sveum, somthing of a shock because it looked like Mike Maddux was the favorite for that job while Sveum would end up guiding the Red Sox.