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MLB Trade Rumors: Albert Pujols, Michael Young, and Other Offseason Thoughts

Here we are about 11 days from the start of spring training, and reports are that the Cardinais and Albert Pujols are nowhere close to a deal. I am not sure what to think about the stance the Cardinals are taking with Pujols. I don't need to tell you he is the best player in baseball, but the Cardinals are playing hardball when they should be bending over backwards for the guy.

I was under the impression there was no chance the Cardinals wouldn't sign him to a long term contract, but after the recent news, I am not so sure. Buster Olney speculated that the Cardinals front office may be looking at how bad the Alex Rodriguez contract will turn out over the next 7 years, especially considering that ARod appears to be in the decline stage of his career.

I wonder how the contract talk and potential free agency will affect Pujols should the Cardinals not sign him long term before spring training starts.

More after the jump:

It appears the on again-off again trade rumors involving Rangers infielder Michael Young are on again, and for some reason the Rockies are interested, even after acquiring Ty Wigginton and Jose Lopez this offseason. Wigginton will play all over the field this year, mainly at the infield corners and in left field, while Lopez will probably start at second base. That is, assuming they don't trade for Young.

And it appears that the Rangers will deal Young in short order, especially when you consider these comments, courtesy of Evan Grant at the Dallas Morning News, from Young last evening:

"I've kept a low profile out of respect for the team, the coaching staff, my family and the fans because I didn't want to put anybody on an unnecessary roller-coaster. Now, I think it's important to address the inaccurate portrayal that is being painted. The suggestion that I've simply had a change of heart and asked for a trade is a manipulation of the truth."

"I want to be traded because I've been misled and manipulated and I'm sick of it."

Young wouldn't elaborate when asked how he was "misled and manipulated," instead saying it "would be unproductive for everybody, particularly my teammates and coaches. I know the truth and Jon Daniels knows the truth and I will sleep well."

Would love to see him in Dodger Blue.

This weekend, we heard that the Rockies may look to deal closer Huston Street as they have a few potential replacements in Rafael Betancourt, Matt Lindstrom and Matt Belisle. Could the Rockies deal Street and the two years remaining on his contract to the Rangers for Young? The only way that would work is if GM Jon Daniels decides to move Neftali Feliz to the starting rotation on a permanent basis.

I have to say it again, there are only a handful of closers I would want to draft this year-Feliz, Rivera, Bell, Wilson and Soria. And this year, more than most years, fantasy owners can wait another round or two before drafting closers, as there are so many unsettled bullpens this year.

Speaking of unsettled bullpens, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez stated that he could go to a bullpen by committee this year where Craig Kimbrel and Johnny Venters shared the closer job. I hope he changes his mind and gives the job to Kimbrel.

Does the fact that Mets GM Sandy Alderson was recently quoted as saying that "stolen bases are a footnote to winning games" mean that Jose Reyes won't be running as much this year? Just something to consider on draft day. Even still, shortstop is so thin this year, Reyes will go early in drafts.

The guys at Roto Hardball caused some waves with their reliever rankings yesterday. Check out their rankings and let me know your thoughts.