The St. Louis Cardinals and representatives for Albert Pujols have agreed to a 24-hour extension to reach a new contract out of respect for Stan Musial.
The Cardinals Hall of Famer will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, and general manager John Mozeliak said Monday the club did not want to distract from Musial's special day. Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. and Mozeliak will accompany the 90-year-old Musial to Washington.
Pujols' agent, Dan Lozano, originally set a Tuesday deadline, the first workout day for pitchers and catchers in Jupiter, Fla. Mozeliak said the new deadline is noon (EST) Wednesday.
Pujols is due to make $16 million this season in the final year of his contract, with $4 million of the total deferred without interest.
Pujols, 31, is seeking a contract perhaps as long as a decade in length that would make him one of the highest-paid players in the major leagues and allow him to retire as a Cardinal.
Cubs: Closer Carlos Marmol agreed to a three-year, $20 million contract and avoided salary arbitration. Marmol, 28, had 38 saves in 43 chances with a 2-3 record and 2.55 ERA last season. He had asked for $5.65 million in arbitration, while the Cubs countered with an offer of $4.1 million.
Yankees: New York ace CC Sabathia is not concerned a provision in his seven-year contract that gives him the ability to opt out after this season will become a distraction. Sabathia, who went 21-7 with a 3.18 ERA in 34 starts last year, said he still believed the clause wouldn't be used. The left-hander from Vallejo added that it was probably the last time he would address the situation. "I don't want to talk about that all year," Sabathia said. "I'm here to try and help this team win. I went through it with the free-agency thing. It's not going to distract me at all."
Phillies: Charlie Manuel wants a contract extension before the Phillies start their season. The most successful manager in franchise history is entering the final year of a deal he signed after leading the Phillies to the first of four straight division titles in 2007. He's making $2.4 million this season and could be seeking a two-year extension worth about $4 million per year. "I think once the season starts, I don't want to talk about my contract," Manuel said Monday.
Blue Jays: The team and major league home run leader Jose Bautista have pushed back their salary arbitration in hopes of reaching an agreement. The sides had been set to argue their cases Monday, with Bautista asking for $10.5 million and the team offering $7.6 million. Bautista hit .260 with 54 homers and 124 RBIs last season, when he made $2.4 million.
Padres: Bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds said he plans to miss only limited time as he continues to receive treatment for pancreatic cancer. Akerfelds, who played for eight different organizations from 1983-95 and made his major league debut with the A's in 1986, has been the Padres' bullpen coach since 2001. He was diagnosed with cancer in December and is scheduled to undergo his sixth round of chemotherapy on Tuesday in San Diego.
Padres manager Bud Black said the team is closely monitoring the situation. "I think for him its great therapy to be here in Arizona with the team and doing his work," Black said. "We're going to everything we can for Ak to make sure that physically he's doing what he needs to do. He's going to determine with the medical side how much he can handle. Baseball won't interfere."
Obituary: Cecil Kaiser, a diminutive left-hander who made $700 a month at the height of his Negro Leagues pitching career in the 1940s, died Monday at the age of 94. His son, Tyrone, said Kaiser died after a fall at his home in Southfield, Mich.