While Albert Pujols was expected to be the hottest free agent on the market this winter, an MLB executive has told Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports that the three-time Most Valuable Player will almost certainly return to St. Louis due to a general lack of interest for his services around the league
“I’m 100 percent certain he’s going back there,” the source told Passan, with the caveat that a large reason for his certainty stems from a lack of serious offers to Pujols. According to Passan, a majority of the executives he spoke to over the weekend view the Cardinals as “heavy, heavy favorites.”
Outside of the St. Louis Cardinals, who are believed to have offered the slugger a nine-year $200 million deal prior to the 2011 season, the only other team who is known to have sent an offer to Pujols are the Miami Marlins. Some speculate, however, that the Marlins’ offer fell short of the one the Cardinals gave the slugger in February. Other teams such as the Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, and Los Angeles Angels were also thought to have interest, however none have reportedly sent offers his way.
In 2011 the first baseman hit .299/.366/.541 with 37 home runs and 99 RBI. It marked the first time in his 11-year career that the former MVP had failed to hit at least .300 and at least 100 RBI. It was also the first time since 2002 that he posted an on-base percentage below .400. The nine-time All-Star however is still considered to be one of the best hitters in the game by many.