February 16, 2011

The Albert Pujols mess

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball

It’s very tough to feel bad for Albert Pujols not receiving a contract extension before his deadline elapsed on Wednesday. After all, he did reportedly turn down a deal in the neighbourhood of $200 over eight seasons.

I just don’t know why players like Pujols and the Jays’ Miguel Batista put these arbitrary deadlines before the season to negotiate contract extensions. If their teams come to them in May with the deal that they have been asking for, would they really turn it down?

And how often does a guy balk at making $25 million per season? Was A-Rod the only one who opted out of a similar contract? Pujols does deserve that much – perhaps even more – but he’s now 31-years-old and do you really want to be paying a 39-year-old that amount of money?

Also, who else is going to have the cash to give Pujols that type of money if/when he becomes a free agent at season’s end? The Yankees have Mark Teixeira locked up at first base and the Red Sox just got Adrian Gonzalez and have a big deal pending. The Angels have Kendry Morales and the Dodgers aren’t exactly financially stable at the moment. It looks like the Mets would be the only other possible suitor for Prince Albert, but would he really leave the team he has played for his entire career for Queen’s?

The only place that makes sense for Pujols to play is in St. Louis. It’s so rare that guys spend their entire careers in one place, especially the top-flight guys. Why not become a true legend of the Midwest and stay a Cardinal the rest of his career? Is a few extra million over 200 really worth tarnishing his good name and devastating a city? I definitely think not.

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