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UPDATE: Pujols’ camp calls reported offer “inaccurate, reckless and outrageous”

Feb 15, 2011, 9:58 PM EDT

Pujols swing

UPDATE: Oh boy. A source close to the Pujols’ camp tells Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports that tonight’s report of an eight-year offer from the Cardinals is “inaccurate, reckless and outrageous.”

Ouch. Sounds a bit angry. Looks like that whole “negotiating behind closed doors” thing is officially out the window.

7:59 PM: Tick-tock, tick-tock…

It’s getting close to crunch time.

Albert Pujols plans to cut off all talks regarding a contract extension at noon eastern time tomorrow, but the Cardinals are still trying to hammer out a last-minute deal.

Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Cards have offered Pujols an eight-year contract. The juicy details aren’t yet known, but Heyman hears that it was for less than $30 million per season — or $240 million in total. Meanwhile, Pujols is reportedly seeking a 10-year deal, possibly in the range of $300 million. Heyman reports that there remains “little hope” for an agreement before Wednesday’s deadline.

One of the more interesting wrinkles of this story is that the Pujols’ camp asked for a piece of the team at one point in negotiations. Former commissioner Fay Vincent has raised this possibility in the past and while it’s technically possible, it would require a complicated agreement and approval from the player’s union. The Cardinals declined due to the potential complications involved.

  1. bigharold - Feb 15, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    On the one hand if it’s 8 years at around 30mil/yr that would seem pretty about right. I can’t see a NL team entertaining the thought of a 10 year deal.

    On the other hand how frequently id Heyman right?

    • Kevin S. - Feb 15, 2011 at 11:54 PM

      Depends on whether he’s getting it spoon-fed from Boras or if he actually has to do some reporting.

  2. cur68 - Feb 15, 2011 at 8:44 PM

    8 years; that’s about right for a guy like him. He’ll be largely done playing, ready to retire and chill a bit. He should take it, providing the $ is right. That’s the kicker; the $. When your boy Heyman has a thought on the actual $/year then we’ll all have more to say about this one.

  3. rcali - Feb 15, 2011 at 9:31 PM

    This will all go down to how much more management feels the fans are willing to pay to go to Cardinal games. The roid users fooled everyone/teams into thinking you can play into your mid 30’s and still have the same success you had when you were 28.

  4. xmatt0926x - Feb 15, 2011 at 10:06 PM

    I wonder if there’s a point where Cards fans start to turn on Albert. I know he’s one of the greatest and he see’s ARods contract as a comparable, but ay what point is he just being too selfish by expecting an outlandish number of years at his age. I don’t necessarily believe he owes a hometown discount but how about just being realistic. ARod knew the Yankees wouldnt balk at his rediculous deal but that team has a unique advantage financially. I do wonder why the Cardinals seem to cry poormouth when they seem to be a national team with many fans accross the country but I think Albert is pushing the limits of reason. 8 years is too much as it is.

    • philriverslovespenis - Feb 16, 2011 at 7:19 AM

      I can’t say that I blame Albert. If I were in his shoes, I’d want to maximize the value of my last long term deal as well. Also, he already gave the Cards a hometown discount with his last contract. Maybe they should’ve been trying to get this deal done a year ago, so they could trade him if it fell through, rather than lose him to free agency.

    • paperlions - Feb 16, 2011 at 7:21 AM

      As far as I can tell, we are already past that point. Fans apparently think it is okay for billionaire owners to make $50MM plus while sitting on their duffs for decades but do not think it is okay for the most talented players (the only reason they go to games) get paid tens of millions for the short time period that they are on top of the game.
      .
      Everyone that sells goods/services sells to the highest bidder and that is considered good business unless you are a professional athlete, then you are greedy. The players are painted as greedy because their earnings are public knowledge, the owners (generally) are not because they hide behind shady book keeping to lie about the profitability of the team.
      .
      DeWitt has already made many more off of the Cardinals than Pujols will ever make in his career.

      • spudchukar - Feb 16, 2011 at 1:11 PM

        Exactamente!

  5. bloodysock - Feb 15, 2011 at 11:47 PM

    I think Fay Vincent is off base.

    Studios give points based on the gross or some other parameter of the film, not off of the the entire studio.

    To equate it, you’d have to give a Pujols a share in the season, not the entire team for potentially into perpetuity.

  6. fuzzman656 - Feb 16, 2011 at 12:19 AM

    He will never in a million years get the deal he wants out of the Cardinals. It’s too big a commitment for anyone but the Yankees. Albert Pujols is a very good baseball player but won’t get the same money as A-Rod. He’s too old and too likely to break down.

  7. stankfinger - Feb 16, 2011 at 12:52 AM

    “Reckless”? Lawyers are the biggest drama queens.

  8. marinermousse - Feb 16, 2011 at 2:57 AM

    I think there is a real economic argument to be made for giving him an 8 or even a 10 year contract. If you look at Barry Bonds in SF, he was their “God” and the fans turned out and the team stayed popular even though they were only competitive in some of the years and in 2005, 2006 and 2007 they drew over 3mm because people wanted to see Barry even though the team stunk. The year he left the attendance dropped 400,000.

    Pujols will be (assuming he stays in any kind of playing shape) racking up milestone after milestone as he approaches his 39, 40, 41 year old playing season. If the Cardinals don’t “get it” then there are several other teams (including SF) that will (and can pay the price.)

    How about this scenario….Albert and Cards don’t agree and the season progresses to late July. The Brewers and Reds are 1-2 and the Cards are pretty much out of the running for playoffs. The Giants ARE in the running, but need hitting. They can trade for Albert and try and cut a deal with him for the next 9 or 10 years and give the Birds Bumgarner and Belt (won’t need him with Albert at 1B)…Voila…the Giants greatly increase their chance of getting into the post-season, have the future attendance draw to replace Barry and still have a potent 1-2-3 for the playoffs and beyond. The Birds get a possible slugger at 1B to soften the blow going forward and a solid #2 or #3 for the rotation as Carpenter leaves at year end. MLB lives happily ever after and Boras smiles.

    • uyf1950 - Feb 16, 2011 at 4:06 AM

      The Cardinals can’t trade Pujols without his permission. As a 10/5 player he can veto any trade to any team, period. Why would Pujols accommodate the Cardinals with accepting a trade when I’m sure in his mind he thinks at that point they negotiated with him in bad faith?

      • larryhockett - Feb 16, 2011 at 10:28 AM

        Because, all things being equal, he’d rather play in the postseason in 2011 than play out the string in St. Louis.

  9. Joe - Feb 16, 2011 at 9:59 AM

    If Albert wants 10/$300M, the Cardinals should offer that and get it over with. If he hits the FA market, he’s going to get 10/$300M. It be easy on everybody, or it can be difficult on everybody, but that’s probably going to be the deal when all is said and done. So why not go for easy?

  10. simon94022 - Feb 16, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    Bumgarner is a 21 year old front line starter who just pitched a shutout in the World Series. Belt is a grade A prospect who the Giants think could be an infield version of Buster Posey. Both are under team control for years to come.

    Albert Pujols is the best player in MLB. But TWO MONTHS of Pujols isn’t worth either Bumgarner or Belt, or comparable players from any other team. With Pujols on his way to free agency, the best St.L. can hope for if they can’t sign him are a package of good-but-not-can’t-miss prospects (the packages will get worse with each passing week of the season) or in all likelihood draft pick compensation when he leaves.

    • fuzzman656 - Feb 16, 2011 at 10:23 AM

      Albert Pujols, although an incredible power hitter and very good first baseman, is not the best player in MLB by a long shot. And the Cardinals can expect ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for a player that they cannot sign. He has a no-trade clause. :]

      • Kevin S. - Feb 16, 2011 at 10:32 AM

        Wow. I know there are arguments that Tulo has surpassed him, but even those tend to point out that Troy is gonna be around longer, and that “not by a long shot” is so ridiculously far off base it’s barely with acknowledging.

      • larryhockett - Feb 16, 2011 at 10:32 AM

        I respectfully disagree. If Pujols is amenable to being traded to a contender, teams will line up for him. There would be no bigger difference-maker on the market. Don’t under-estimate the allure of winning a World Series, even if it means mortgaging some of your future. The Brewers did it a few years ago with Sabathia and although that didn’t quite work out for either them or the Indians, there will be teams willing to make a similar trade if Pujols is available.

      • Joe - Feb 16, 2011 at 11:58 AM

        He’s not an incredible *power* hitter, he’s an incredible *hitter*. His BA and OBP, neither of which are power numbers, are tops among all active players. (As is his slugging pct.)

        331/426/624, 43 2B, 41 HR, 126 RBI, 91 BB, 65 K, 172 OPS+ – that’s not Pujols’ best season, that’s his average season.

        Who, pray tell, is “a long shot” better than Albert Pujols? He’s not just the best player in the majors today, he’s in the conversation for one of the best ever.

      • spudchukar - Feb 16, 2011 at 12:23 PM

        Most of these comments remind me of the trade offers I get in fantasy baseball. Great for the team offering and shitty for mine. If I ever get a sniff of a legitimate offer I almost feel obligated since the notion of fair play is so rare. Pujols is not like most professional athletes. He is highly principled, driven and consistent. My take on the current situation goes like this. He and his agent believe he is worth somewhere around $28 mil for 8 years, the Cardinal management differs. Pujols knows that choosing the free agent market and the offers he receives will validate his beliefs. The Cardinal management believes otherwise. Most likely bolstered by the Yankee, Red Sox and Phillies current commitments. Pujols does not want to leave. He will never opt out of his no trade contract.
        One last issue. The argument isn’t whether Phat Albert is the best player in the Major Leagues. It is whether he is the greatest player to ever play the game. Unless he has a major fall off in his 30’s he will eclipse, Bonds, A-Rod, Williams. Ruth et al. None of them have shown the consistency, nor embody the complete player status Pujols has established. To a degree he is UNDER rated, even by the Cardinals.

      • fuzzman656 - Feb 16, 2011 at 12:41 PM

        His value as an defender is limited. He’s either a first baseman or a DH. I can think of a half-dozen pitchers that would be more valuable to a team that wouldn’t bankrupt the average organization for 10 years.

        Frankly, I hope the Cardinals pay him more money than God. This will mean that they will have far less to spend on the rest of their payroll. They will put butts in the seats but will suck as a result.

        Go Cubs! F the Cards! LOL

      • Joe - Feb 16, 2011 at 1:20 PM

        A half dozen pitchers? Name one.

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