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 11, 2011 10:05 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: November 11, 2011 9:44 pm
 

What if ... the Cardinals let Pujols walk?

redwings, on a completely different subject, there' some interesting by-play on one of the Papelbon threads you were on earlier that you might want to check out, if it can still be located.

Argo444.   Honestly, I only have one account, I've never had 2 going at the same time.  I'm a sport nut, and I'd guess a little older then at least a lot of people on these boards are.  I might lower myself to an idiot's level once in a while ( Brian8ball) but don't read too much into that.   I work from home and I'm on my computer a lot because of it, that's why I can post as often as I do.  But I don't have the time nor do I want to make the time to log in and out of multiple accounts to fool people.

Either way, thanks for bringing that possibility up though since I'm fairly sure your suggestion is probably going to cause Brian8ball some mental anguish and sleepless nights thinking to himself, "is redwings1969 really 2 people"?  LOL

 



Since: Aug 16, 2009
Posted on: November 11, 2011 9:31 pm
 

What if ... the Cardinals let Pujols walk?

team game homies

Pujols had 1 big game in the WS.

look who was the MVP...someone who makes pocket change compared to Pujols now.
look who was the WS MVP in 2006.

If you lock up 300 million in Pujols, St. Louis will suffer....see Minnesota Twins (Mauer)
 



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: November 11, 2011 9:31 pm
 

What if ... the Cardinals let Pujols walk?

redwings, on a completely different subject, there' some interesting by-play on one of the Papelbon threads you were on earlier that you might want to check out, if it can still be located.

Not sure what you mean ?  Tell me more?



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: November 11, 2011 9:29 pm
 

What if ... the Cardinals let Pujols walk?

I haven't read much of the garb here, but anyone who can't admit that Albert Pujols is - by a longshot - the best baseball player, not only currently, but quite possibly of this era, is: 
a) not a true baseball fan 
b) a mental midget, or 
c) just trying to stir up responses because he/she has nothing better to do with their life than read people's reply to idiotic posts!

Nobody talks about Miguel Cabrera because he's on the Detroit Tigers, not a very popular baseball team.   But if you look at the last 2 seasons, Miggy beat Pujols in almost every stat or category that maters.  Miggy had more rbi's both years, a much better average, a better on base percentage which he crushed him in this year, a much better slugging percentage and a better ops.  The only stat Pujols wins in is home runs, he has a total of 11 home runs more then Miggy has over the last 2 seasons, but Comerica is a pretty tough place to hit home runs in. 

There really is no comparison, you're right.  But it's in Miggy's favour, not Pujols.   All of that and Miggy actually walked over 40 times more then Pujols as well....    Pujols has bigger career numbers, but he's also 3 years older then Miggy is.     In Miggy's 4 seasons in Detroit, he's averaging about 35 home runs, 115 rbi's, about a .322 batting average, a .403 on base percentage, and around a .575 slugging percentage, as well as an OPS of around .975.  

I'd have to check but I'm not sure anybody has those numbers overall for the last 4 years ......  I'd put Miggy right up there with Pujols or anybody else, no doubt about it.  


brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 11, 2011 9:22 pm
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Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: November 11, 2011 9:16 pm
 

What if ... the Cardinals let Pujols walk?

redwings, on a completely different subject, there' some interesting by-play on one of the Papelbon threads you were on earlier that you might want to check out, if it can still be located.



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: November 11, 2011 9:05 pm
 

What if ... the Cardinals let Pujols walk?

Well, so far, I have not seen any indication that Pujols (or Burehle for that matter) would take a "home town discount" to sign with the Cards.  Maybe he would, but your still talking about committing north of $20million per year to Pujols --if he was going to sign for less than that he would have taken the offer the Cards made before this past season--on a long term deal AND soming up with big dollars for Buerhle.  I dont know if the Cards can do both.  Personally, I expect for the Cards to resign Pujols but not do much else in FA (SS, for example, will likely be a short term deal with Furcal, incentive laden given his injury history the past few years) because they don't need to.

Pujols has made it clear there will not be a home team discount.  I have no idea why the guy you quoted in your post believes for even one second Pujols will even consider taking less.   A year ago the Cards supposedly offered Pujols somewhere around 22 million dollars per season for at least 7 or 8 years and Pujols according to reports didn't even think about accepting their offer.   He made it clear as day he wants Arod money, the problem Pujols is going to have is Arod money is tough to come by if you don't play in New York.

That being said Pujols could easily still end up in St Louis, if their offer is the highest or very close to it.  If not, Pujols without actually saying the words has already admitted he would leave the Cards in a second....   



Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: November 11, 2011 8:52 pm
 

What if ... the Cardinals let Pujols walk?

What if... Matt Snyder wasn't completely retarded?



Since: Jul 3, 2010
Posted on: November 11, 2011 7:04 pm
 

What if ... the Cardinals let Pujols walk?

why would he want to wear the stupid looking logo they are going unveil, heck just throw it in the trash and say it was just a joke.  keep the old logo and go with the new colors.....just keep the dam logo.  are they smoking something lethal cause dam they must be high to want to change the freaking logo.  Pujo is not gonna wear that logo, better do it now.  looks like a swordfish anyways.



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