Pujols decision coming today?

Chris Ruddick,
MLB Editor

Rounding Third Logo Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Albert Pujols could make up his mind today, and contrary to rampant speculation on Tuesday evening, there are only two teams in the running for his services.

The Miami Marlins and, of course, the incumbent St. Louis Cardinals. There was a report late Tuesday that a third mystery team had entered the fray with an offer north of $200 million, but if there was they seem to have gone by the wayside rather quickly.

This is a two-horse race.

Miami has been the story of these talks here in Dallas, as they finalized deals with both Heath Bell and Jose Reyes. But Pujols continues to be the object of their affection. They have a 10-year deal on the table for him and it's believed to be well over $200 million.

Albert Pujols
St. Louis officials are meeting with Albert Pujols's agent this morning.
The sticking point? Well Pujols wants a full no-trade clause through the first five years of the deal. The last five does not matter since Pujols can veto a trade as part of his 10/5 rights.

Midway through the afternoon on Tuesday it looked as if the Marlins were going to emerge as the winners in these sweepstakes, but as the night drew on the pendulum started to shift back towards the Cardinals.

St. Louis has upped its offer as well, going 10 years and at least $220 million.

If that is in fact the case how can Pujols possibly not return to St. Louis if the money is going to be as close as it seems? This is a team for which he has won a Rookie of the Year Award, three MVPs, as well as two World Series titles.

Quite simply he is the franchise's most important player since Stan Musial.

From everything we know of Pujols he appears to be a pretty good guy. Alex Rodriguez dripped of greed when he left Seattle for Texas then eventually opted out of that deal with the New York Yankees. You don't get that feeling with Pujols

Now knowing what we know of him, we are supposed to believe he's going to leave the Cardinals for what could amount to a few million dollars? Sorry I am not buying it.

So there it is.

It's in Pujols' hands and the Marlins are pushing for a quick resolution. In fact they wanted an answer on Tuesday night, but I doubt some arbitrary deadline is going to get in the way of them landing El Hombre. They need to move on to C.J. Wilson or Mark Buehrle or even Prince Fielder, though, if this does not go their way. One way or the other they need to know now. But, really is there even a decision to be made at this point?

St. Louis officials are meeting with Pujols' agent Dan Lozano this morning so could all be over by lunchtime, or about the time that the Marlins are planning on introducing Reyes to the media here in Dallas.

The ball is in your court Albert.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Chris Ruddick at cruddick@sportsnetwork.com.

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