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Angels are now pushing hard for Pujols

Just when it looked like the Cardinals might be close to putting an end to the heart-wrenching madness Albert Pujols fans have gone through over the last week, it appears that the Angels are making a legitimate play to get the free agent slugger to head west.

Yahoo Sports reports only that Anaheim is "in strong" for Pujols. No specifics have been released, although it seems apparent that the Halos are one of the two alleged mystery teams that is in for more than $200 million.

When the Marlins bailed from the bidding Wednesday afternoon, stories indicated that they felt they were being used to try to get the best offer from the Cardinals and that club officials finally concluded Pujols was going back to St. Louis. So I am unsure if the revelation about the Angels means that they've moved up in the derby or if they're just another one of the contenders that was in the mix the whole while.

Reports indicated that the Marlins were Pujols' second choice if a deal couldn't be worked out with the Redbirds and also that Miami's offer was for "substantially more" than the Cardinals' offer first reported to be worth $220 million over 10 years but later was revealed to be only a nine-year deal. So it's a mystery as to where the pecking order stands right now. It is also unclear who the other bidder is. It may be the Cubs, Toronto or the Rangers.

I seriously hope, if the Cardinals really stepped up and offered Pujols a deal worth $220 million or more, that Albert hasn't stepped back and started shopping deals again.