Blog Entry

What if ... the Cardinals let Pujols walk?

Posted on: November 11, 2011 10:43 am
 
By Matt Snyder

Let's not go crazy about the headline before realizing it's still a longshot that Cardinals superstar Albert Pujols signs elsewhere. Personally, I'd be shocked if he signed with anyone else. Most of the major markets are unable to come through with a huge bid. The Cubs might be able to, but we don't know if the new brain trust wants to take that path immediately (my guess is they don't). The Marlins are meeting with Pujols Friday, but could they afford him? It's doubtful they could come close to paying what St. Louis could. Can the allure of taking his talents to South Beach trump the loyalty, familiarity and dollars of St. Louis? Tough call, but only Pujols could answer that.

Still, let's just imagine a scenario where the Cardinals looked at the price tag internally and thought it best to outwardly appear as if they've done everything they could -- to appease the fans -- but still let Pujols walk via free agency. Obviously losing the best player in baseball would hurt the Cardinals, but I don't think it would be a death blow.

Let's check out what could be done with the money available, should Pujols sign elsewhere.

First of all, Jose Reyes could be signed to play shortstop. The leadoff spot was a bigger problem for the Cardinals than the middle of the order in 2011 (since-retired manager Tony La Russa had to use Ryan Theriot at leadoff in Game 7 of the World Series). Throw money at Reyes and the problem is solved. Plus, with Theriot, Nick Punto, Skip Schumaker and Daniel Descalso, there's plenty of infield depth to play with when Reyes serves a few stints on the DL. Jimmy Rollins could be a fall-back option. Next, Mark Buehrle could be signed. Remember, he grew up a Cardinals fan and has expressed interest in pitching for St. Louis in the past.

That means the Cardinals best lineup would be something like this:

1. Jose Reyes (or Rollins), SS
2. Allen Craig, RF
3. Matt Holliday, LF
4. Lance Berkman, 1B
5. David Freese, 3B
6. Yadier Molina, C
7. Jon Jay, CF
8. Punto/Theriot/Schumaker/Descalso, 2B

The starting rotation now includes a fully recovered Adam Wainwright, so it looks like this:

1. Adam Wainwright
2. Chris Carpenter
3. Mark Buehrle
4. Jaime Garcia
5. Kyle Lohse

Jake Westbrook, Lance Lynn and top prospect Shelby Miller are available in case of injury. And the bullpen is largely the same as it was toward the end of last season, with Jason Motte now getting a full season as closer.

I tell you what, that's a pretty damn good team. Sure, there are questions, like how are Freese and Craig going to hit over the course of a 162-game season as regulars? In moving Berkman to first and starting Craig, the bench loses a valuable bat, too. Age has to be a concern with Berkman and Carpenter. And of course, how does everyone respond without La Russa? Overall, though, there isn't much to dislike about that hypothetical team.

Considering what Pujols' salary might do to the ballclub if he's making $25 million or more eight years from now -- he'll turn 32 in January -- maybe it wouldn't be so bad for St. Louis if he did leave. It's certainly worth considering (again, internally, as to not alienate Pujols himself or any of the fans). I'd at least talk about it, and I'm guessing the front office has done so as well.

To reiterate, I don't think Pujols is going anywhere, but we're smack-dab in the time of the year that hypotheticals are the most fun.

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Comments
brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 12, 2011 5:47 pm
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brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 12, 2011 5:38 pm
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brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 12, 2011 5:35 pm
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Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: November 12, 2011 5:09 pm
 

What if ... the Cardinals let Pujols walk?

By the way moron, learn to read and understand stats.  Over the last 2 years, Miggy has walked over 30 times more then Pujols... you said Pujols has more walks.  It's incredible to me somebody can keep on saying something that's not even close to true....

And Pujols missing games meant nothing.  He had 7 more at bats then Miggy did this past season....

You are the biggest fool on these boards by far.....

You are useless, illiterate, and just overall pathetic.  



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: November 12, 2011 5:03 pm
 

What if ... the Cardinals let Pujols walk?

Let me spell it out for you.  Read it slowly this time.

Miggy had a much better average, a much better on base percentage, more rbi's, much better with RISP.

Home runs are nice, but Pujols doesn't play in Comerica, one of the toughest places to hit home runs in MLB.  And if those home runs don't result in more rbi's,  they don't matter very much.

Miggy has had two seasons in a row where he beat Pujols and overall was the better player.... there is no doubt about that at all.

Striking out means NOTHING if you're on base percentage is awesome like Miggy's was and means LESS THEN NOTHING when you hit like Miggy hit with RISP.....  striking out only matters if you're leaving men in scoring position, not advancing runners, etc.....

The "facts" are not against me... you are the ONLY person that would look at their stats from the last 2 years and even argue the FACT Miggy had 2 consecutive better seasons then Pujols...

It's not debateable at all...  but you keep on arguing facts you can't really argue.

 


brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 12, 2011 4:27 pm
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Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: November 12, 2011 11:17 am
 

What if ... the Cardinals let Pujols walk?

CABRERA CAN'T CARRY PUJOLS'S JOCK 

For the last 2 consecutive seasons Miguel Cabrera has been Albert Pujols in almost every stat that matters.  But you're right, he can't "hold his jock".   That's the first time in my life I've ever heard anybody say that about a player that had 2 consecutive better seasons then another... but there are a lot of firsts with you.... you are truly a stupid man.

Pujols didn't win a world series, the St Louis Cardinals won the world series..... it's a team game, never forget that little man.

You keep talking about walks and strikeouts, but you ignore the only stats that matter.  Strikeouts mean nothing when you're on base percentage is better then the other guy and you hit much better with RISP then the other guy.

You know so little about sports it's embarassing....

Go away.... 


brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 12, 2011 6:14 am
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brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 12, 2011 5:40 am
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Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: November 12, 2011 3:32 am
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