“You can compare my contract now to Manny Ramirez, (Mark) Teixeira, (Alex) Rodriguez, whoever you want, and it looks bad, but you know what? They were free agents and I wasn’t.”

Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols

“If it comes to that [free agency], then that’s fine. That’s the decision that they decide to make, and that’s it. Do I want to become a free agent? No, but if it happens, then I have to deal with it. I
want to play baseball, so I have to deal with my free agency and go play either here or somewhere else.”


“Would I want to be here for the rest of my career? Yes. I can speak it. But that’s a commitment the Cardinals organization has to make, and myself, coming to an agreement. Whenever they’re ready to talk, me and my agent, we’re going to be ready to talk. Why [don’t I] want to bring that distraction into a season? Because my job in the season is to concentrate for six months and hopefully longer than that, get to the postseason for a seventh month. I don’t want that distraction.”


“This organization has made moves every year. But that [Holliday’s deal] is a big commitment. Matt has a great contract, being here for seven years. We’re really excited. Hopefully we can do something together, do some damage and help this organization to win. That’s our goal. Hopefully I can be a part of that for the rest of my career here in St. Louis. But I don’t control that. If it was for me, I would be here forever, but I don’t control that. When my time comes, I’ll deal with it and hopefully we can come both to sign an agreement and I’ll finish my career here. I think everybody knows.”

-Pujols (Matthew Leach,


“He voiced his frustration to us because of his desire to play every day.”

-Angels manager Mike Scioscia, on the team’s acquisition of reliever Brian Stokes in exchange for Gary Matthews Jr. and a substantial cash subsidy.

“In that particular situation, the Los Angeles Angels went out and got Torii Hunter. They made an investment in Torii Hunter. This is mostly going to be a change of scenery. It’s an opportunity for him to come to New York, and hopefully he can get more playing time.”

Mets general manager Omar Minaya, on acquiring Matthews Jr.

“It obviously wasn’t the role that Gary was looking for. To say that Gary was a disruptive influence or was not happy in our clubhouse is 180 degrees from the situation.”


“I think it’s going to be open competition. Nobody’s going to be given the job.”

-Minaya, on whether Matthews Jr. or Angel Pagan will be the team’s center fielder.

“We’ve said to the fans, ‘Be patient. We’ll eventually get to our goals.'”


“We have catchers right now. Can we upgrade? Yes. Do we have to? I don’t feel we have to. Can we go out there and make a trade for a guy? Possibly. And there are some free agents. On the pitching side, there have to be some guys who fit what we are looking to do.”

-Minaya (New
York Daily News


“I think people, in general, were just happy for Grant because he had an injury-free year for the first time. It really looked like, baseball-wise, he was on the fast track and going in the right direction.”

-A’s scouting director Eric Kubota, on prospect Grant Desme, who gave up baseball for the priesthood this week.

“My injuries, I would say, would be the biggest blessing God’s ever given me. For my entire life, baseball’s been my life. I define myself as a baseball player, and when it was taken away from me, it was an eye-opener. It was a real shock that it could end. I realized that even if I played in the big leagues, it was still going to end, or it could end anytime you step on the field with an injury. I really started doing some soul searching of who I was and who I wanted to be, and this is where that’s led me.”


“If that’s what he wants to get into, then more power to him. I have strong beliefs myself, so I think that shows how devoted he is to his religion. I’m sure he thought about it long and hard, and I really respect him for it.”

-Minor league teammate Daniel Haigwood

“Whenever I was able to talk to someone about God, or help someone, that made coming to the ballpark more enjoyable. I looked forward to that. During my last game in the fall league, I hit a home run and proceeded to strike out twice, which was kind of ironic since that defined my career a bit. I knew there was a good chance it would be my last game, but there was no sad feeling. I figured whatever God wants is going to happen, and I’m going to pursue that.”


“I’m doing well in baseball. But I had to get down to the bottom of things, to what was good in my life, what I wanted to do with my life. Baseball is a good thing, but that felt selfish of me when I felt that God was calling me more. … I love the game, but I’m going to aspire to higher things.”


“It’s not as big of a surprise as you’d think it would be, because he took that lifestyle on and off the field. I know a lot of people are probably asking, ‘Why is he doing this?’ But when God asks you do to something, you can’t put it off. I just want to congratulate him for taking that stand that so many people probably wouldn’t.”

Jemile Weeks, Desme’s former minor league teammate (Joe Stiglich, San Jose Mercury News)

“I want to give my life completely to God out of love because of everything he’s done for me. Something like this is even very little compared to what he’s done for me.”

(Jane Lee,


“I think Jack and [manager Don Wakamatsu] have done a tremendous job changing the culture in Seattle. They’ve got a pretty clear plan and everything they have done has fallen into place. They are going to be a tough team to score upon, especially in that ballpark. They’re emphasizing pitching and defense and are doing everything they can towards that. There’s no doubt they’ve made the division tougher.”

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels, on the Mariners‘ moves this offseason.

“Jack works hard, is very well prepared, and uses all the tools available to him. He has the experience of an old-time scout, and the new-age, sophisticated statistical analyses.”

-Mariners president Chuck Armstrong

“I expect to win. I expect this group of people to be successful, the front office, the scouting staff, the player development staff and the guys on the field. You are playing the game to win. You are supposed to win, and that is what we intend to do. We want to be as good as we can be for a long time.”

-Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik

“I believe that by working together, we can make the Mariners a model franchise.”

-Zduriencik (Jim Street,


“This is something we couldn’t pinpoint. It shows the medical profession isn’t perfect. There’s nothing more we could have done. We checked out every medical question.”

Giants general manager Brian Sabean, on the shoulder injury to infielder Freddy Sanchez, who he signed to a two-year contract during the end of the season. (John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle)

“I’ve been to these dinners a couple of times to receive MVP awards and those, I’m very proud of those accomplishments. But none of those accomplishments will ever compare to the feeling you get from being part of a team that won a world championship. Like Albert [Pujols] said there’s nothing like winning a World championship.”

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, at the dinner for the New York chapter of the BBWAA. (

“We’re going to find out and see if I can manage here or not. Early you might see stupid things on the field and I will be second guessed. But I will take my chances. We are going to play aggressive and that will start in spring training. We are going to do some crazy stuff. … I’m going to try to put everything in motion. Get used to it. Sometimes it’s going to work, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes we are going to run with no outs – triple play. I will be criticized.”

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen (

“I was shocked, to say the least, that I was being told to have knee surgery in order to get the contract, particularly since I wasn’t hurt. I felt great, so I didn’t believe that there was anything wrong. I felt extremely confident that if I had another doctor look at my films, the diagnosis would be different.”

-Mets outfielder Jason Bay, on the contention with the Red Sox over his health that led to the team retracting a multiyear contract during the season. (Rob Bradford,

“There was never an offer out there like we thought it was going to be. Nothing developed. A lot of teams were not, like, into me.”

-Giants catcher Bengie Molina, on signing a one-year contract with the team. (The Modesto Bee)

Alex Carnevale is a contributor to Baseball Prospectus.

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I think Bengie and Sabean probably deserve each other.
And the Mets fans have said to Omar: "Hurry up and get fired."
Note to Molina: It's because you're fat and you suck.