The St. Louis Cardinals formally offered first baseman Albert Pujols arbitration on Wednesday, ensuring that the team will receive draft pick compensation should he sign with another team. He is likely to decline arbitration and seek a long-term deal in free agency, according to MLB.com.
Should Pujols leave St. Louis, the Cardinals will receive the signing team’s first- or second- round pick as well as a compensatory “sandwich” pick in between the first two rounds. On Tuesday night, Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III said the team would still like to sign Pujols.
"We're very hopeful, and we're going to do everything we can to see that we can keep Albert a Cardinal for life," he said, according to MLB.com.
Pujols, 31, met with the Miami Marlins earlier this month and received a nine-year offer, according to MLB.com. This past season, Pujols hit .299 with 37 home runs and 99 RBIs.