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Blog Entry

Pujols unhappy with contract talks

Posted on: February 4, 2011 10:52 am
Edited on: February 4, 2011 11:03 am
PujolsSpring training is one-and-a-half weeks away and many fans, teams and players are eagerly awaiting the day for pitchers and catchers to report.

However, in St. Louis, the reporting date is one of looming danger, not optimism. Star first baseman Albert Pujols has set a deadline for the beginning of spring training and hasn't been afraid to send statements to the team on the seriousness of the deadline.

When GM John Mozeliak confirmed the deadline in mid-January, Pujols questioned the team's professionalism the day after on Jan. 16 that has effectively shut the Cardinals up. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Joe Strauss writes that Pujols is determined to keep the talks strictly internal. He watched as New York almost imploded during negotiations with Derek Jeter and only entrenched him more in keeping all talks private.

But Pujols wasn't done making statements. When chairman Bill DeWitt, Jr. responded to Pujols' public comments on the 16th, he waved away concerns that the current deadline of the beginning of spring training could be concrete

Except he may have erred. Pujols' camp suddenly went quiet for two weeks and has only restarted negotiations again recently. Talk about delivering your message. It may be heavy-handed of Pujols to set a firm deadline of the start of spring training and go on a two-week strike to drive the point home, but he and agent Dan Lozano are reportedly frustrated with the Cardinals not negotiating last spring training or earlier in the offseason

Then again, it's not as if it's all that difficult to negotiate with someone like Pujols. Sure, the years and money might differ by years and tens of millions, but the over-arching package it will take to retain Pujols certainly has to be known at this point. So what's the problem?

It does appear that both sides are fairly entrenched in their respective opinions on what a new deal should offer. Given St. Louis has a ton of money tied up in its roster already, the Cardinals can't offer the moon to Pujols. And they may not want to, with Mozeliak saying that any contract with Pujols will use projection of future performance as its baseline, not other players' extensions, such as Ryan Howard's five-year, $125 million extension with Philadelphia. DeWitt followed up at the winter meetings that there was only so much the Cardinals could offer and they would refuse to kowtow to the market for contracts that would be blown apart with the Jayson Werth deal.

That's all well and good, but St. Louis made its own bed last season by bringing in Matt Holliday for seven years and $120 million. It would be ludicrous to imagine the Cardinals justifying paying Pujols only marginally above that deal.

Through all this, Pujols has been disappointed at the process of negotiations, a source with knowledge of the situation has reported. Talks have yet to really kick in -- and again, spring training is just around the corner.

Could the Cardinals really lose Albert Pujols? Now more than ever, that's looking like it could happen. And that provides the perfect opening to...


For the purposes of this discussion, we are ruling out any trades. First of all, word is that Pujols will exercise his no-trade clause, meaning he will play the entire season for St. Louis, no matter what. So what teams could make a run at Pujols to sign with the team next offseason?

St. Louis: Well, obviously. Despite all the doom and gloom painted above, the two sides are still closely entwined to each other and it's hard to imagine St. Louis not doing everything it can to keep Pujols.

Los Angeles: Both teams in L.A. could use Pujols. The Dodgers have financial troubles, but things can always change there and the team only has $32.2 million in guaranteed contracts next season. That's a whole lot of financial room to maneuver. The Angels, meanwhile, can't be discounted, although based on their recent history, will offer King Albert a major-league deal for the minimum and then act surprised when he signs elsewhere.

Toronto: A bit of a weird name to bring up, but the Jays are on record as saying they can handle a high payroll and the market is there to do just that -- they just need fans to come and the club to start winning. Well, in a difficult AL East last season, the Jays won 85 games. They then executed some brilliant moves this offseason and will challenge to finish around 85 wins again -- but will have their young players one year older and closer to domination. It might be hard for Pujols to look past the talent on the team if the dollars are there.

Boston or New York: You can't rule out either AL superpower. The Red Sox have Adrian Gonzalez, but he has yet to sign a long-term deal, plus David Ortiz will become a free agent. You never know. That goes double for the Yankees, who could clear out DH by letting Jorge Posada walk and trading Jesus Montero. One team not likely to be a factor: the Mets. It's hard to imagine GM Sandy Alderson going for that kind of financial commitment so soon after trying to wade the team out of the current mess. Add in an ownership situation in flux, and it's not an ideal destination for Pujols.

Chicago Cubs: Yep, you read that right. The Cubs could very well be a player, with no long-term first baseman under the fold. Besides, can you imagine the uproar if Pujols bolted to the Cubs?

-- Evan Brunell

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Since: Sep 11, 2009
Posted on: February 5, 2011 12:56 am

Pujols unhappy with contract talks

We'll take him in Pittsburgh (it would be worth it to our pitchers just to not have him bat against them) and I'll start passing the hat for the $30 Milwe'll need to sign him.
I'll let cheapskate/piker/owner  Bob Nutting worry about the other $100 Mil for three years of the four year contract it will take to sign Albert!!
Steelers, Pens, and Albert.....the City fo Champions once again.

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: February 5, 2011 12:21 am

Pujols unhappy with contract talks

... you don't know jack, much less Albert.

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: February 4, 2011 10:20 pm

Pujols unhappy with contract talks

I cannot see any situation that Albert is not in St Louis.  They usually treat their players well and I can only guess they would take care of him.  Albert is the best player in baseball and if he got away, the fans would want to go nuts or something worse I will not write.  Albert would probably go to the Yankees since they would pay the most.  They paid A-Roid 30 mil a year, what is Albert worth to them?  40 mil?  50 mil?  Hum, with those rates, he could be the entire Marlins or Pirates.  I seriously hope he stays in St Louis, but he does not...

Since: Mar 14, 2010
Posted on: February 4, 2011 8:18 pm

Pujols unhappy with contract talks

.331, 40.8 homers, about 123 rbi's , 118 runs per season over his last 10 seasons. 2 MVP's and 3 more he should have had. Finished 2nd in MVP voting after his worst season statistically. His worst season. The one he only hit .314,34 hr's, and 127 rbi's in.
All of you that mentioned "pay for future performance", steroids (the man hasn't put on 25 pounds since his rookie year), or anything else that implies he doesn't deserve the richest contract in baseball history deserve to wallow in baseball hell.

Come to Boston Phat Albert. St.louis sucks.

Since: Sep 21, 2006
Posted on: February 4, 2011 6:47 pm

Pujols unhappy with contract talks

He should just go to Boston so they can just hand the trophy over to the Sox and all the players can take the Summer off and golf and spend time with their families instead.

Since: Feb 10, 2008
Posted on: February 4, 2011 6:18 pm

Pujols unhappy with contract talks

First of all, you have to be kidding me that this is not done already. I know everybody has their opinion on the price tag on some of these players. If Howard & some of these other guys are getting Rolling Stones type money then you got to give the Big P some Led Zepplyn money baby. I live in So. Illinois & it's all either Cards or Cubs fans around here so it would be a trip if the Pujols jumped up & went to the Windy City!! Word....Eastwood out!!!!!!!!

Since: Nov 29, 2006
Posted on: February 4, 2011 6:14 pm

Pujols unhappy with contract talks

He wants the money.... period. If he wanted to win he would sign for less so the team could sign others......After you win your ring then come back and get the bigger deal (Peyton Manning like) If ya cant deliver the ring then you should not get the bigger deal.

Since: Dec 13, 2006
Posted on: February 4, 2011 6:12 pm

Pujols unhappy with contract talks


Please read the article a bit more closely. This is speculation of where Albert might sign as a FREE AGENT. Your comment about people stories and comments about trades was just as ignorant as you claim those stories are.

Let me shine a bit of light on things. I actually work for 101ESPN radio in St Louis. I have not only spoken to Albert himself, who is very irritated at the pace of the negotiations, but also to John Mozeliak AND Bill Dewitt III, who say that they are not worried about losing Albert. At the end of the day, I feel like the sticking point is not $30 million per year, but more so the 10 years. I have a feeling that sometime in the next week prior to Albert leaving for Florida you will see an offer of 7 years and 200-210 million with a player option of an 8th season. This will get it done. In the end, Albert is not going anywhere.

And if you thought what the city of Cleveland has done to Lebron is bad, let Albert go to Free Agency and sign with the CUBS. It will be complete chaos in St Louis and the boos will ring loud from Busch everytime he comes here. Not to be a homer here, but in the slight chance he does not sign an extention next week, I think the Dodgers are the perfect place for him to go. The Dodgers will be able to give him $30 million and still have another $35-40 after that to give raises to the guys there and/or bring in more free agents. Just sayin.

Since: Jan 7, 2007
Posted on: February 4, 2011 5:50 pm

Pujols unhappy with contract talks

What is the problem? Why isn't he signed yet???  They knew this day was coming and they knew he wouldn't be cheap.  I don't think Albert is trying to  suck the Cardinals dry, he wants to win and they can't if he has ALL their money.

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: February 4, 2011 5:49 pm

Pujols unhappy with contract talks

Albert says: "I don't want to be traded".  The Cardinal organization says: "we don't want to trade him".  All these silly articles that make these outlandish speculations on Albert playing baseball somewhere else are ignorant.

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