Updated Post 1/25 2:00 PM
Here is an update from Ben Nicholson-Smith of MLB Trade Rumors on the Albert Pujols situation. We last left off with Pujols essentially giving the Cardinals until the start of spring training to agree to an extension, otherwise he will end all negotiations and test free agency after the season. It seems that most MLB executives believe the Cards will get something done.
MLB executives, owners and agents told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark that they see Albert Pujols agreeing to an extension with the Cardinals between now and Spring Training. And the deal will likely make Pujols one of the richest players in baseball history. The sides figure to agree to a deal worth $240MM over eight years, in the estimation of Stark’s sources.
If Pujols does hit free agency after the season, it will be a complete free for all for his services and will even include teams that may be seemingly set at the first base position.
In addition to getting the best player in the game, the signing team will also reap the rewards of packed stadiums as Pujols begins to knock down long held baseball records and continues his march toward the Hall of Fame. The marketing revenue alone should be able to pay for the totality of the contract as will sales of jerseys and other team attire and accessories.
Original Post 1/16 1:30 PM
Derrick Goold who covers the Cardinals for the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported via Twitter that the agent for Albert Pujols has notified the Cardinals they have until the start of Spring Training to agree to a new deal or he will become a free agent after the season.
Cardinals General manager John Mozeliak confirmed the report, but refused to say how negotiations were going and sounded less than optimistic.
“We don’t want to sit here and handicap or guess or kind of give any type of gut feels where this thing is headed right now,” Mozeliak said. “In respect to that that is all I can really add to this topic at this time. … I don’t think it will benefit anybody for me to weigh in at this time. We have been notified that spring training would be the deadline.”
Pujols had made clear that he did not want negotiations to spill into the regular season, and he also did not want the questions to leak into spring training. It gives the Cards about a month to get this resolved or risk losing the face of their franchise.
It’s hard to conceive Albert Pujols donning another teams uniform, but I’ve said the same thing about Ken Griffey Jr. in Seattle and more recently Doc Halladay in Toronto. It happens.
Unless the Cardinals come to terms on a new deal with Pujols in the next 28 days, he will become a free agent after the 2011 season.
If Sandy Alderson wanted to put his stamp on this team, what better way than to bring Albert Pujols and all of his star power and immense ability to Flushing, Queens?
With close to $60 million dollars coming off the books after this season, the timing, the temptation, and the money will be there to make it happen.
At age 30, Pujols is in his prime and by far the most complete ballplayer in the game. Yes, the Mets have Ike Davis in place, but when someone of this magnitude becomes available, you strike a deal and figure that other stuff out later. It would be no different than when the Mets traded for Mike Piazza even though they had a young catcher by the name of Todd Hundley who had just hit 71 home runs and collected 200 RBI’s in the last two seasons. Besides, Ike Davis was a right fielder in college and maybe he can finally fill the spot that has been a revolving door since Darryl Strawberry (read this post by Ed Leyro) became a free agent and signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Hey, I know this is purely speculation and that the odds that the Cardinals drop the ball on this are pretty slim. But the beauty of baseball is discussions just like this one. Wouldn’t Prince Albert look pretty amazin’ in royal blue pinstripes?