At 8:00pm last night, it looked like a near certain thing that Albert Pujols would be selecting a new team that night. The Miami Marlins had met with the commissioner's office to discuss their creative contract offer -- which according to Jayson Stark, might offer Pujols a stake in club ownership -- and they were pushing hard for a decision to be reached that night. The Marlins want to know what Pujols will do, as they still have other free agents on their radar.
But here we are now: 9:00am on Wednesday morning and no conclusion to this saga in sight. A "mystery team" supposedly entered the bidding for Pujols late last night, but then promptly dropped out of the running after their identity was determined (the Angels). Pujols appears to be down to two options: the Cardinals or the Marlins.
According to recent reports, the Cardinals have matched the Marlins offer of 10 years, $220 million. The Marlins will likely need to increase their bid, or hope that their "creative" additions to the contract could entice Pujols to South Beach. Considering Pujols' ties to the St. Louis area, though, they'll likely have to offer him more money to get it done.
To join in the conversation about this ongoing saga, head over to SB Nation's blog on the Marlins, Fish Stripes.