Monday, February 14, 2011

Albert Pujols situation...Pay the man? Or let him walk?

Albert Pujols is the best player in baseball...and it isn't even close in my opinion. The guy has never had a bad season in his career. The season people point to as a "down year" was 2007...a year where all he did was hit .327 with 32 home runs and 103 rbis. Numbers any GM would take as a career year from his first basemen. Heck even last season people thought maybe Pujols had lost a step...he finished the season hitting .312 with 42 homers and 118 rbis. Those are ridiculous numbers from the Gold Glove firstbasemen...yet the Cardinals still haven't locked him up in the future...But maybe they are being smart?

The man is a machine...He has never had less than 32 hrs, 103 rbis or a .312 average! That is he is not only the face of the Cardinals organization, but also all of baseball...and maybe ESPN...?

Pujols has said that he will not talk about his contract once he reports to Spring Training through the season, he also will veto any trade the Cardinals may try to make with him. He plans to make a statement Tuesday to say negotiations are off. Meaning he will hit the free agent market at the end of the season. If he wants to he could become the highest played player EVER, and chances are that will happen no matter who he signs with.

Pujols wants a 10 year deal..the problem is he is 31 years old right by the end of the deal he'll be 41 years old. I don't know the last time a 41 year old hitter was any good...I mean the occasional pitcher can keep pitching into their 40s, but a hitter, plus in the NL so no DH..seems unlikely to me... I get that Pujols wants to be signed up for the rest of his career, but why not go with 8 and a team option? Maybe they offered him that and he said no? Maybe he doesn't want to be a Cardinal anymore? I doubt that though, he seems like a high character guy who would stay with the same team all of his career if he could. I mean the guy won't let fans call him El Hombre because he thinks it takes away from Stan Musial's legacy as Stan the Man...most guys wouldn't think twice about that, but Albert is different.

Here's what I think about the contract situation...The Cardinals should give him a blank check on an 8 year deal. Whatever money he wants or thinks he deserves, let him have it. Have whatever sort of clause in there they need so he has no way of re-negotiation. Have something in there where if he suffers an injury that prevents him from finishing it, they can pay him less money. Less, but still a high amount so he feels comfortable. Add in a team option for two years, but in separate options. Even make it incentive based if needed, for example if he hits over .300 in his 8th year the team has to pick up that 9th season. I am not a contract guru, but all of this seems like it could make it into a deal that inks Pujols to the Cards for the rest of his career... unfortunately it looks like we will have to wait until October before this one clears up...One thing is for sure though if/when Pujols hits the free agent market, the Cardinals price to resign him will inflate like a hot air balloon and rise until they find a way to sign him.

Here is a list of potential suiters...


Baltimore Orioles Boston Red Sox New York Yankees Tampa Bay Rays Toronto Blue Jays Chicago White Sox Cleveland Indians Detroit Tigers Kansas City Royals Minnesota Twins Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Oakland Athletics Seattle Mariners Texas Rangers 


Atlanta Braves Florida Marlins New York Mets Philadelphia Phillies Washington Nationals Chicago Cubs Cincinnati Reds Houston Astros Milwaukee Brewers Pittsburgh Pirates St. Louis Cardinals Arizona Diamondbacks Colorado Rockies Los Angeles Dodgers San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants
Oh Right...Thats everyone in baseball...While not every team could pay the man, every team would LOVE to have Albert Pujols on their team.


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