Found December 06, 2011 on Fox Sports Midwest:
B.J. Rains DALLAS New Cardinals manager Mike Matheny spoke with free agent Albert Pujols on Saturday at the first baseman's charity event in St. Louis. His contract talks did not come up. "I saw him at his fundraising event this weekend but the discussion never opened up," Matheny said. "It's a different dynamic now, where before I was more of a friend and confidant but this is a business decision that he and Dee Dee and his representation have put a lot of time into it. "I know about how he goes about his decision-making and I know in his mind and therir minds collectively, they are going to do what's right." Matheny spoke Tuesday afternoon during his regularly scheduled session in the media workroom. Each manager spends about 30 minutes talking to reporters at some point during the Winter Meetings. And the new Cardinals manager was asked plenty about Pujols and where he thought the three-time MVP might end up. "The one thing I am confident of is that this organization is committed to winning and doing the right thing," Matheny said. "I know the ownership group is putting their best foot forward and trying to do everything that they can to make this possible but I also know that it's a complicated decision on both sides. "There's a lot going on, a lot that I'm not even involved in. I think its clear to say that the St. Louis Cardinals would love to have Albert and we'll just see how it plays out." Asked about a possible plan should Pujols decide to sign elsewhere, Matheny said, "The plan in place is to put the best possible team on the field. As far as what that looks like, I think I's too premature. "I think it will be a good team regardless, but I think Bill DeWitt said it best. I think it would be a better team if you have Albert." The Miami Marlins have reportedly offered Pujols a 10-year contract worth at least 200 million dollars. The Cardinals are still in the mix but its unknown whether or not they willing to offer a ten-year deal. The logical move should Pujols leave for Miami would appear to be moving Lance Berkman to first base and sliding Allen Craig into right field. The only wrench in that plan is the fact that Craig is coming off knee surgery and may not be ready for Opening Day. Asked if that scenario would play out and Berkman would move to first should Pujols leave, Matheny said, "I think there are a lot of options. You all have seen, those that have followed this team closely, the flexibility that has been afforded to this team through multiple moves and very versatile players. "You don't rule out anything and obviously Lance has the ability to play first base and he has the ability to play the outfield. It will be fun to kind of move those pieces of the puzzle once that that time does or does not come."
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