– According to SI.com’s Jon Heyman, there is “virtually no chance” the Cardinals reach a deal with 1B Albert Pujols before the slugger’s spring deadline. Pujols wants all talks to cease once he shows up to spring training, which he is scheduled to do on February 16. The Cardinals have not yet made a formal offer, and Heyman is hearing that the two sides are nowhere close on their idea of what kind of extension he deserves. Rumour has it that Albert is seeking something close to the 10-year/$275M contract that Yankees’ 3B Alex Rodriguez is currently working under. The Cards have been trying to keep any deal under eight years.
– Red Sox’ 1B Adrian Gonzalez (right shoulder) said Wednesday that he won’t take batting practice for a few days as his surgically-repaired right shoulder continues to heal. A-Gone reported to camp on Wednesday and even fielded some grounders at first base, but he’ll wait a little bit to start swinging the bat. The Red Sox are naturally being extra cautious with their newest acquisition, but the expectation is that he will be ready for the start of the season.
– DH Vladimir Guerrero is not expected to undergo a physical with the Orioles until early next week. Guerrero agreed to a 1-year deal with the Orioles last Friday, but the contract isn’t official yet. If Vlad passes the physical, he’ll earn $5M this season and $3M in deferred payments.
– According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, Nuggets’ F Carmelo Anthony said he would “take a real hard look at” signing a contract extension with Denver if he’s not traded at the deadline. While Carmelo didn’t say anything one way or the other, Denver management’s hopes of keeping Carmelo in town have gone up. Carmelo’s quote comes after a Denver Post report earlier on Wednesday saying that there’s a “better-than-average” chance that he won’t be traded this season.
– Clippers’ G Eric Gordon (wrist) will likely not join the Clippers on their current marathon road trip. Gordon met with doctors back in Los Angeles Tuesday and his status remains unchanged. The Clippers have not set a return date, but coach Vinny Del Negro said that Gordon will probably stay in L.A. and rehab instead of joining the team on the road. The Clippers have five more road games before the All-Star break, meaning we likely won’t see Gordon until February 22 at the earliest.
– Blazers’ F Marcus Camby (knee) and Brandon Roy (knees) both practiced on Wednesday, but there’s no timetable for either player’s return. Beyond this weekend, it’s unclear, though well within the realm of possibility that both could be back next week.
– Avalanche’ F Peter Forsberg is expected to play at some point during Colorado’s current four-game road trip. He will not play on Wednesday against Minnesota, but if his visa issues are worked out then he may be able to join his teammates at practice in Columbus on Thursday. Forsberg might be available to play the Blue Jackets on Friday. The Avalanche close out their road swing in Nashville on Saturday.
– Islanders’ G Kevin Poulin (dislocated left patella) is out for the rest of the season. Poulin posted a 4-2-1 record, with a 2.44 GAA and a .924 SV% in 10 games with the Isles this season. GM Garth Snow is rumoured to be in the market for a veteran goalie, as their current goaltending carousel is a complete mess.
– Bengals’ QB Carson Palmer is reportedly planning to place his Cincinnati-area house up for sale. Palmer has told friends that he’s serious about following through on his threat to retire in 2011 even if the Bengals don’t believe him. His real estate agent, for one, believes “he’s not coming back.” Owner Mike Brown has made it clear that he has no intention of trading Palmer. The sides are be stuck in a stalemate the entire offseason.
– The Arizona Republic’s Kent Somers considers OLB Joey Porter “doubtful” to be back with the Cardinals in 2011. Porter only had five sacks in 2010, including zero in the final eight games. He turns 34 in March and is due a bloated $5.75M salary. He’s likely to be released in the coming weeks. The Cards are likely to draft an OLB, so keep an eye on Von Miller with the 5th pick.
– The Cardinals have officially named Ray Horton as DC. Horton, 50, becomes the Cards’ third defensive boss since 2008. The 17-year assistant also spent 10 years as a cornerback for the Bengals and Cowboys from the early 1980s through early 1990s.
– Zac Jackson of FOX Sports Ohio reports that the Browns have released DL Shaun Rogers, RT John St. Clair, LB Eric Barton, TE Robert Royal and LB David Bowens. Combined, their 2011 salaries were scheduled to add up to $13.84M. Rogers managed just two sacks in 2010 while seeing a major decline in playing time. He turns 32 in March.
– WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross has updated his blog, which you can read in its entirety at JrsBarBQ.com. Here are some highlights of what JR said about:
WrestleMania Guest Host: “We’ve gotten a wide array of suggestions as to who folks think will be the Guest Host of Wrestlemania 27 that emanates from the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Bob Barker, Justin Beiber, ‘Arnold the Governor,’ The Rock, Stone Cold, Aaron Rodgers, Ted Turner, Dusty Rhodes, Mr. McMahon, the RAW General Manager revealed, etc. I’m happy that I don’t know who it is and will enjoy watching Monday Night Raw that much more to find out.
Brock Lesnar Hosting The Ultimate Fighter: “Brock Lesnar is reportedly doing an excellent job in his role as a coach for TUF that begins airing on Spike in a few weeks. This will lead into to the Lesnar-Junior Dos Santos fight later this year which will greatly enhance the UFC PPV headlined by these two heavyweights. Yes, ‘business is picking up’ for these two, talented heavyweights who are both looking for a title opportunity. Sources say Lesnar and his family and complete training camp are living in a luxury home in Vegas while TUF is being taped. This is a magnificent marketing opportunity for Brock’s upcoming book written with Paul Heyman not to mention Lesnar’s merch line ‘Death Clutch.’ In all due respect, I’d rather winter a few weeks in Vegas as opposed to Northern Minnesota but that’s must me.”
Green Bay Packers At SmackDown: “I hear that many of the Packers made quite the impact at the Smackdown TV taping in Green Bay Tuesday might. Star linebacker Clay Mathews has been tweeting about it. Congrats to all the Packer fans from a Steeler fan who freely admits that the better team won on Sunday in Arlington.”