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Cards never intended to sign Pujols: Writer

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Fans in St. Louis are in despair over the loss of superstar Albert Pujols to the Los Angeles Angels.

The free agent slugger, a three-time Most Valuable Player with 445 home runs to his name, inked a $254 million, ten-year deal with the Halos.

Card General Manager John Mozeliak told a news conference, ""You really form a bond with a player like this, and it's more than just a player/front office relationship - it's a friendship, and he was really such an integral part of this community and this organization."

But St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports columnist Bryan Burwell was having none of it.

"It never was (a friendship)," he told "Early Show on Saturday Morning" co-anchor Russ Mitchell. "It was a business relationship, and this is proof positive of it, because I honestly don't believe they ever had any intention of bringing Albert Pujols back."

Burwell says more than money was in play for Pujols in St. Louis.

"I think it was a matter of respect," he said. "I think that he looked at the way the Cardinals treated him in this negotiating process, where they had two years to get this deal done, and the Angels swooped in less than two days and got the thing accomplished.

"I honestly do not believe that the Cardinals had any intention of re-signing him, and all of their actions from two years ago up until today seem to support that, because they did not aggressively try to get him.

"If you sign him to a ten-year deal two years ago, now he's 39 when this deal ends and it's not such a bad deal. They didn't want this thing to happen.

"OK - just tell everybody, 'We're not interested, we only want him for five years and that is it.' But instead, they kept saying, 'We're gonna do everything we can to get his name back with the Cardinals,' and they weren't trying to do that."

Is Pujols worth $254 million?

"Oh, yes. For any number of reasons. Number one, three or four teams put big money, $200 million offers on the table, so by definition, yes, he's worth it. Number two, he's worth it because you're gonna get probably about six or seven, maybe eight years where he still remains at this Hall of Fame level and then, toward the end of his career, you're going to have a guy who is going to be going after all of the venerable records in baseball, whether it's going over 3,000 hits or going after the all-time career home run record. That's something that you market as an organization, as a franchise, and that has to be worth something, as well."