Albert Pujols, widely considered to be the best player in baseball, is still no closer to a deal with the St. Louis Cardinals, but he’s making it pretty clear that he doesn’t want to play elsewhere.
Pujols had instituted a deadline for the start of Spring Training, and if the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement by then he’d become a free agent next winter. But Pujols is making it clear that the deadline doesn’t mean that he wants to leave St. Louis, he simply doesn’t want a distraction during the season.
Pujols has informed the team that he’ll invoke his no-trade clause if the Cardinals try to move him. Obviously the chances of St. Louis fielding offers for Pujols are slim to none, but if they truly feel he’s out of their price range, perhaps Pujols thought they’d trade him while they could still get something in return.
Pujols doesn’t want the Cardinals to even have that option. He wants to be paid big-time money, but he’d clearly rather get that from St. Louis than anyone else.