Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011
Cardinals offer 'shocking' low-ball offer
The deadline that Albert Pujols set for the cutoff of negotiations with the Cardinals has past. So where does Pujols go from here?
According to Craig Calcaterra of the NBC Sports blog Hard Ball Talk, "spring training has begun for Pujols and El Hombre will not negotiate during spring training." Calcaterra believes a trade is not a real possibility and that Pujols will definitely play out the season with St. Louis.
He calls the deadline that just passed a "soft" one, saying that there will be, at some point between now and next October, real discussions between the Cardinals and Pujols.
The final offer that the Cardinals made to Pujols was "pretty shocking." According to reports, St. Louis wouldn't go to 10 years and proposed an annual salary that would make Pujols around the 10th-highest salary in baseball bringing home between 19 million and 21 million a season. But last spring the Phillies and Yankees each made deals that paid Ryan Howard and Mark Teixeira 25 million and 22.5 million respectively. (NBC Sports)
Moreland to replace Santo
CSNChicago.com's Cubs Insider Patrick Mooney reports that the Cubs and WGN Radio announced that Keith Moreland will follow the legendary broadcaster Ron Santo in the press box high atop Wrigley Field.
Moreland played six seasons for the Cubs (1982-87) and has extensive experience as an analyst. He knows that it will be strange for fans to hear someone else calling the action for the Cubs this summer.
"Nobody's going to replace Ron Santo," Moreland said. "All I can do is keep the seat warm." (CSNChicago.com)
Podsednik signs minor deal with Blue Jays after turning down 2 mil from Dodgers
Scott Podsednik was offered a 2 million mutual option with the Dodgers back in November, but the former White Sox slugger declined his side of the option and chose free agency.
Four months later and still without a major-league deal, Podsednik signed a minor-league contract with the Blue Jays. That means he's not even guaranteed a spot on the Opening Day roster. (NBC Sports)
Weeks and Brewers agree to extension
It looks like Rickie Weeks will be playing in Milwaukee for many years to come. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported that Weeks and the Brewers agreed to a five-year deal worth 50 million.
The Brewers can void that fifth year if Weeks "is not an everyday player in 2013 and 2014."
Last year Weeks hit .269 with 29 homers, 112 runs, and an .830 OPS. (NBC Sports)
Quade mum on Pujols questions
Albert Pujols' deadline to re-sign with the Cardinals has passed, but Cubs manager Mike Quade didn't have much interest in commenting on the story. He said that saga is the Cardinals' deal, and that he's more interested in welcoming Carlos Pena to camp on Friday.
"I'm looking forward to seeing Carlos Pena knock the daylights out of the ball," he said. "That's all that really matters to me right now." (Chicago Breaking Sports)
10 Keys to get Bears to Super Bowl
On the top of the list? The Bears will have to improve the O-line. The Bears line gave up the most sacks in the NFL last season. This is an area that can be addressed in both the draft and free agency.
Jay Cutler's consistency, minimizing Hester as a wide receiver, and keeping the offensive coaching staff were also among the 10 keys that the Bears need to do to ensure success next season. (Bleacher Report)
Illini FB coach gets a raise
It seems a 7-6 record is good enough for a hefty raise. Illinois head football coach Ron Zook will get a 250,000-a-year raise.
Illini Athletic Director Ron Guenther made the announcement, saying that the change in salary has to be approved by university trustees.
Guenther also said that Zook's entire staff will get raises, too. (Chicago Tribune)