ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Calm down, Cardinal fans: Albert Pujols wants to stay in St. Louis.
"The fans know and the Cardinals know that I want to be a Cardinal for my whole career," Pujols told WXOS-FM on Thursday. "I love this city. The way that this city has embraced me and my family."
Pujols, who has one year left on his contract plus an option year, raised some eyebrows with his comments during an interview with a Dominican radio station earlier this month.
"I'm not desperate to sign a contract extension. I still have one year remaining in my contract for 2010 and a club option for 2011. I leave the rest in God's hands," Pujols told CDN 92.5 FM.
The two-time NL MVP said he wanted the Cardinals to concentrate on signing Matt Holiday and other free agents first.
On Thursday, he reiterated that there is no rush but "if they come tomorrow and say 'Albert, you know, we want to lock you up,' hey they know that we're open to that."
Pujols also praised the hiring of Mark McGwire as the team's new hitting instructor. Manager Tony La Russa said he talked to Pujols about McGwire before hiring the former home run champion.
McGwire has no coaching experience but Pujols said that wasn't necessary. The 46-year-old McGwire has worked in the offseason in past years with several major league hitters, including Holliday and Skip Schumaker of the Cardinals.
"He's going to teach guys how to play the game. He's going to say to the guys, 'This is what I have to offer you,' and hopefully they'll put it together and hopefully it will work," Pujols said. "I'm looking forward to that, knowing he's going to bring that hitting experience into the organization and hopefully we'll learn."
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)