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The Cards and Albert Pujols are reportedly far apart

Jan 17, 2011, 3:19 PM EDT

Albert Pujols

After giving the caveat that neither the Cards nor the Pujols camp are talking much about their ongoing negotiations, Jon Heyman reports that the sense around the game is that there’s some pretty substantial distance between the parties right now:

While neither side is talking publicly, early word is that Pujols has used A-Rod’s contract, the richest in baseball and one that guarantees him least $275 million over 10 years as the only comp … The Cardinals, meanwhile, are said to have initially suggested a contract that would guarantee Pujols at least a bit less than $200 million. The exact particulars of their offer or offers aren’t known, but there is a belief around the game that the Cardinals are hoping to keep the deal to seven years or less.

A difference of three years and close to $100 million? Zoinks.  Mystery teams, start your engines. Because unless that’s way off — or if the parties aren’t really negotiating yet — maybe it ain’t crazy to think that Pujols could be had.

  1. Adam - Jan 17, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    Am I the only one who wants to see him get to free agency just to see how much money one team is willing to give him in an open market?

    Granted, in a lot of ways it will be good for baseball if he stays with the Cardinals, but can you imagine the frenzy he would create?

    • iranuke - Jan 17, 2011 at 4:33 PM

      The bidding for Sir Albert would be ferocious, and saying that the Red Sox and Yankees would not be interested is wishful thinking. I beleave that the bidding would start at A-Rod’s contract and go up from there, alot.

      • preseasonchamps08 - Jan 18, 2011 at 12:25 AM

        ” a lot” is two words. I understand that you’re posting on a baseball website and it’s not an academic, graded sort of paper, but still…can we please attempt to use proper grammar? Just a humble request…

      • buggieowens - Jan 18, 2011 at 7:55 AM

        @ preseasonchamps08…I read the comments for the opinions and not the grammar lessons. But since you brought it up, your first quotation mark is facing the wrong way, you have an unneeded space after the first quotation mark, and “sort of” is not proper English. carry on….

  2. uyf1950 - Jan 17, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    I read the entire piece from Jon Heyman. It’s very good and very informative into some of the thought processes by the people and professionals involved.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jan 17, 2011 at 3:30 PM

      I agree. It’s a good column. Breaks down the Pujols stuff really well, actually.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 17, 2011 at 3:35 PM

        See Craig while we disagree on King Felix we can agree on something.

      • ThatGuy - Jan 17, 2011 at 4:15 PM

        Are you trying to get off his blocked list?

      • uyf1950 - Jan 17, 2011 at 4:18 PM

        To ThatGuy – If you knew anything about me you would know I speak my mind and I let the chips fall where they may.

      • Reflex - Jan 17, 2011 at 4:51 PM

        He’s talking about Jon Heyman. Word has it he blocked Craig from his Twitter feed.

      • uyf1950 - Jan 17, 2011 at 5:29 PM

        My apologies then to “ThatGuy” for my earlier reply.

  3. bcopus - Jan 17, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    I’d do something fanatic and unreasonable to see the Braves get back to their elite 1B days. I don’t like being fanatic and unreasonable. Lucky for me, there’s a snowball’s chance in hell of that happening.

  4. dodger88 - Jan 17, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    Kind of feel for the Cards. As Pujols is already in his 30’s it is highly unlikely a deal of 7+ years works out in the end. I realize they have paid less than he was worth for most or all of his current contract but if we take some of the numbers being floated as gospel Pujols, as great as he is, will end up overpaid for the next contract. Perhaps it is a case of six of one and half dozen of another and the Cards should just pay up but I think they should make whatever they believe is a fair offer and let him test the markets next fall. As iconic as he is to the Cards franchise, they are in business to win games and if they overpay Pujols they will be limited in their pursuit of that end. Either way, here’s hoping he ends his career in St. Louis.

    • Adam - Jan 17, 2011 at 8:15 PM

      They’re not in the business of winning games. They’re in the business of making money. Signing Pujols gives them the best chance of doing just that.

  5. Jonny 5 - Jan 17, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    Wow! So rumor has it, they came at him with Troy Tulowitzki money off the bat? Troy T in 2010 before these insane FA contracts becaame commonplace nontheless.. Albert may just ask to be traded after that. I hope not. I Like Albert as a Card for some reason.

  6. uyf1950 - Jan 17, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    If it is the intent according to the Jon Heyman piece for the the Cardinals ownership to offer no more then 7 years anything less than $30 per ($210M total) would be an insult. I say if they want to keep “peace in the family” the Cardinals should bit the bullet and go at least 8 years and $225M. It’s a little less per year but I think that extra year makes a big difference. Especially when you consider guy’s like Crawford and Gonzalez aren’t anywhere near the player Pujols has been and they both got or will get 7 years. Just my opinion but Pujols brings more to the table for the Cardinals then either one of those players bring to the table for the Sox.

  7. cintiphil - Jan 17, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    I hear some people in St. Louis feel he is damaged good already. He has back and arm problems and they don’t seem to heal. Perhaps his best days are behind him, but there are plenty of teams willing to pay him anything just to sign up. Having said that, I still think the Birds and Albert will come to terms.

    • spudchukar - Jan 17, 2011 at 5:30 PM

      The elbow, back and heel problems are a concern, but they have been a concern for at least three years now, and the numbers haven’t changed. If anyone in baseball currently and maybe ever is likely to maintain those numbers in years 11-17, the best bet would be Albert. Surrounding him with Holiday and Berkman, and perhaps the emerging Rasmus, should offset any diminishing returns his long endured injuries might complicate.

      • larryhockett - Jan 18, 2011 at 10:05 AM

        Those elbow, back and heel problems have been managed reasonably well so far but such things usually get worse, not better, as time marches on. Any player heading into his late 30’s (without chemical enhancement) is likely to break down more often and possibly seriously. There’s no sense in comparing years to Crawford or Gonzalez because they’re much younger. Having said all that, if you want Pujols wearing your uniform when he cements his place in the upper echelons of the all-time greats, you’re going to have to pony up!

      • spudchukar - Jan 18, 2011 at 1:42 PM

        First off Pujols is 31. So it will be a while until he heads into his late thirties. Injuries are about as predictable as the weather. My point is that he has managed to play well, actually better than anyone in the history of baseball through the first 10 years, and those injuries have nagged him throughout and his production hasn’t faltered. Meaning that if you were going to bet on any individual maintaining the numbers for another 7-10 years my money would be on Albert. As far as ponying up, I couldn’t agree more, as I commented earlier.

  8. amhendrick - Jan 17, 2011 at 4:23 PM

    “I still think the Birds and Albert will come to terms.”

    For some reason, I read this and though the Orioles and Albert Belle. Which is maybe a bad omen for the Cardinals . . .

  9. elric718 - Jan 17, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    Of course the Yankees and Red Sox will be in, up to a point.

    I don’t know what team would give him more than 200M. The Mets would have in the past, but not with the new guys running things.

    You know it is all downhill hill from here, and how many good years does he have left?, however old he is.

  10. wonkypenguin - Jan 17, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    The Cubs will undoubtedly be in on a first baseman to steal from the Cardinals. And given their history, they will offer Albert a 25-year, 80 gazillion dollar contract, and will STILL get outbid by the Yankees who will have Teixeira practicing his right field skills immediately.

  11. sportsdrenched - Jan 17, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    I like Albert with the Cards for some reason too.

    Seems this contract will have to buck the trend of “What are you worth in the future” not “what have you done for us”.

    Tough decision. PR wise you have to sign this guy. But St Louis is not a large market, and a contract like that could really hinder St Louis in the latter years.

  12. bigtrav425 - Jan 17, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    Thats just insane.Id like to hear from A-Rod or any of the other few guys who have insane contracts explain to me and us how they expect there team to compete with that much money just into 1 guy (unless your the Yanks and Boston)…i know it will never happen but it would be nice to hear what kinda BS they come up with..

  13. elmaquino - Jan 17, 2011 at 7:33 PM

    They will probably compromise, leaning towards Pujols’ offer

  14. BC - Jan 18, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    Well, yeah, they’re far apart. The Cardinals are in St. Louis, and Pujols is in Puerto Rico. That’s a couple thousand miles at least…..

  15. phillydano - Jan 18, 2011 at 11:00 AM

    I heard the Phillies just signed Pujols for 100 million, 5 years. And Ruben Amaro made arrangements with MLB to allow the Phillies to utilize Ryan Howards as a National League DH.

    • Adam - Jan 19, 2011 at 7:10 PM

      I also heard MLB is now requiring teams to throw only RHP against the Phillies.

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