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Cardinals don’t plan on increasing offer to Albert Pujols

Nov 13, 2011, 9:34 AM EDT

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The Cardinals reportedly made a nine-year, $210 million contract offer to first baseman Albert Pujols before the start of the 2011 season. That amounts to a $23.3 million annual salary, which is less than Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Howard, Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia will make in 2012 and beyond.

Aware that his client has been more productive than all of the names above, agent Dan Lozano declined that proposal and steered Albert’s eyes toward the free agent market. And that’s where we stand today.

Pujols, already considered one of the greatest hitters of all time and undoubtedly more feared than A-Rod or Howard, is free to sign with any team he chooses.

But will he enough suitors to land the kind of deal he wants? Perhaps not.

According to SI.com’s Jon Heyman, the Cardinals don’t plan on sweetening the offer they made in the spring unless forced to by a competing bid. And that competing bid, so far, hasn’t arrived.

The Marlins met with Pujols in Miami this weekend and even made an offer, but Joe Frisaro of MLB.com was told that the number “probably isn’t close enough” to lure Albert away from St. Louis.

  1. uyf1950 - Nov 13, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    Question – If for example your the Cubs or the Giants do you give Pujols an 8 year offer? But it breaks down to 7 years $27.5M ($192.5M) per and 1 year at $28M. Total contract 8 years $220.5 total. While it doesn’t pass the total value of A-Rod’s contract he will have matched A-Rod on a per year basis for 7 years and at $28M gotten the single highest yearly payroll. Exceeding A-Rods and Lee’s (vesting year option) single year salaries. Then as possibly an added incentive add in something along the same “milestone” incentives that are in A-Rod’s contract. Pujol’s certainly has the potential to achieve some of those if not all of them.

    Just wondering what fans think.

    • cowboysoldiertx - Nov 13, 2011 at 10:40 AM

      I honestly think the Cards will match any deal in the end. Dont be surprised if the Rangers jump in to it and they would be a more attractive destination than Chicago or San Fran…

      • uyf1950 - Nov 13, 2011 at 10:59 AM

        cowboy, I guess to my thinking if I’m Pujols and I’ve been a “good soldier” for the Cardinals by that I mean the Cardinals have gotten a bargain for my services and I’ve never raised a fuss about the salary before. I don’t go back to the Cardinals to see if they want to match a competing offer. If their best offer for what I’m worth is $210M that’s their best offer. That’s just the way I think.

      • cintiphil - Nov 13, 2011 at 12:35 PM

        Ryan already said he is not interested. Is he lying?

  2. Walk - Nov 13, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    Give him tlr’s salary. Make him manager. Does not work? Throw in parking lot concessions, something, he is a st louis icon. Jeter wishes he had apus intangibles.

  3. sportsiq - Nov 13, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    Let me get this straight, Jon Heyman is reporting that: “the Cardinals don’t plan on sweetening the offer they made in the spring unless forced to by a competing bid.”

    Am I missing something?

    No entity on this planet, whether it be a team, restaurant or my daughter’s lemonade stand, arbitrarily alters their offer without a competitor submitting a more competitive price.

    The title of the article should be “The Cardinals will raise their offer once the Marlins submit a more attractive package to Pujols.”

    • JBerardi - Nov 13, 2011 at 11:35 AM

      No entity on this planet, whether it be a team, restaurant or my daughter’s lemonade stand, arbitrarily alters their offer without a competitor submitting a more competitive price.

      Well, no entity outside of the Phillies…

      • uyf1950 - Nov 13, 2011 at 11:40 AM

        JBerardi – I would contend that virtually every MLB team does. The mere fact that teams extend players prior to their existing contracts expiring is evidence of that. At least that’s my opinion.

      • sportsiq - Nov 13, 2011 at 11:58 AM

        I stand corrected. :-)

      • JBerardi - Nov 13, 2011 at 3:50 PM

        “The mere fact that teams extend players prior to their existing contracts expiring is evidence of that.”

        Teams extend players in anticipation of the contract offers that the player would receive if not extended.

      • uyf1950 - Nov 13, 2011 at 4:11 PM

        JBerardi, is still amounts to bidding against yourself, in my opinion because there are no other offers on the table and no urgency to sign the player.

        I guess I would bring up the example of Ryan Howard’s extension. There was no urgency to extend him. He in fact cost the Phillies more money then they needed to spend for his services. Is there any doubt in anyone’s mind that if Howard hit FA this fall along with Pujols and Fielder that the Phillies couldn’t have signed him for less than $25M per.

    • adenzeno - Nov 13, 2011 at 1:31 PM

      Unless your name is Omar Minaya and you are bidding on OLIVER PEREZ!!! I am going to scour my mind with bleach now and try to forget that….

  4. okwhitefalcon - Nov 13, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    I suspect some team will surpass that offer to at least drive the market up although I don’t think the Cards are going to bidding solely against themselves as they did with Holliday.

    Joe Strauss of the St Louis post Dispatch has an interview with John Mozeilak with some interesting
    insights for the 2012 roster.

    Be prepared, Mozeilak says he “wouldn’t mind” seeing a double play combo of Tyler Greene/Daniel Delscaso.

    Bright siding it, it’s not much worse than the Theriot/Schumacher that was in place going into last year.

    Read here:
    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/cardinals-could-look-much-the-same-in/article_966f3a3f-fc9d-54d4-977d-841578ffcde4.html

    • cintiphil - Nov 13, 2011 at 12:41 PM

      If Mozeilak really said that, he is a moron. He would like to see two nobodys on his team rather than established players? I don’t think the option is Theriot/Schumacher, but Furcal and Punto or Furcal/Schumacher, or another better combination. If he is settling on the Green/Delscasso combo, they will go nowhere. No wonder they might lose Albert.

      • flapjack3285 - Nov 13, 2011 at 3:59 PM

        Seriously, outside of Furcal (who is injury prone and getting old quick), no one that you named is really any better than Descalso. Theriot and Punto are poor hitters who are ok defensively. Schumaker is a little better hitter, but a horrible defensive 2nd baseman.

        I guess you are saying that you’d rather have someone in their 30s who has proved year after year to be a mediocre player rather than a mid-20 year old player who is mediocre, but may be able to improve since he’s not past his prime.

      • paperlions - Nov 13, 2011 at 5:52 PM

        Theriot is not ok defensively. He is a poor hitter, poor fielder, and poor base runner.

        Kolten Wong is probably less than 2 yrs away from being a viable option for starting 2B. The guy is a fantastic hitter and should move through the system quickly. The best option for the Cardinals is to patch 2B together with the guys they have around until he arrives.

    • veistran - Nov 13, 2011 at 8:34 PM

      Greene is out of options, what do you expect Mo to say “yeah, we really need to re-sign Furcal after dumping Tyler Greene?” Now that would be dumb, but saying he doesn’t have a problem with his in-house options for the keystone? That’s just him not giving leverage away for free.

  5. spudchukar - Nov 13, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    Pujols wants to return to St. Louis, but the Mozeliak/DeWitt duo are traveling down the path that I feared. Neither are championed as the architects of the current WS winning Cardinals. Watching all the kudos going elsewhere, as they should, probably only irritates the two more. They wouldn’t surprise me if they allowed their egos to dismantle the current tight relationship the team enjoys. In the dark recesses of their collective minds the phrase ‘We will show them who is in charge’ echoes.

    TLR left for many reasons, I suppose, but I cannot help but believe one of his reasons was that he foresaw the future. Pujols will only leave if he feels seriously dissed. Step One would be passing over Oquendo. Matheny is well respected, but due to his inexperience, he brings the same questions as Oquendo. If Matheny gets the nod, the tacit racism card cannot help but be pondered. If Pujols goes, I guarantee you Molina will be gone next year.

    It is hard to fathom how the front office can claim they do not have more cash after a WS win and departure of the best paid manager in the biz. And who should a significant percentage of those increases go to? Pujols would be my first choice. By standing pat on their offer, they are only encouraging the Lozano/Pujols to challenge them, and there are plenty of owners out there that will jump into the arena. Once that line is crossed, and the circus begins, Pandora’s box is opened and all the games begin. That will only give the management fodder for excuses. Even if Pujols’ desire to remain in St. Louis persuades him to accept their low-ball offer, the resentment will remain, when a small amount of gratuity, in the form of a moderate increase, could appease the Pujols camp. But that would take the selfless wisdom that neither Dewitt nor Moziliak are apt to choose.

    • cintiphil - Nov 13, 2011 at 12:42 PM

      I just hope Albert goes to somewhere out of the division.

    • pullinteeth - Nov 13, 2011 at 1:14 PM

      Not credited with being architects of 2011 WS team? I am pretty sure I read 30+ articles praising DeWitt and especially Mo for their trade deadline acquisitions (dotel, scrabble, Furcal etc..) and the long term holliday deal as being instrumental in getting STL back to the October Classic. I will want to slap both of them if Albert walks away (and ill seriously question Alberts holy values if he leaves a fanbase who idolizes him for nothing more than money, a couple extra million per year… not to mention the whole Bible “harder for a rich man to enter kingdom of heaven than a camel passing through eye of a needle” thing. I mean does scoffing at $210 million start to sound a little greedy when u say u want to stay in STL?, but I digress) ANYWAY… my main point is that I disagree about Mo/Dewitt not being credited with being instrumental in architecture of WS team. If they did not shore up the bullpen… STL never would have caught ATL in the wildcard race.

      (p.s. albert, please don’t go. I’m not wealthy, but ill keep spending my hard earned money to travel and come watch u blast taters all season. Just like I have been doing since u were playing outfield in triple A fresh out of local Maple Woods Community College. We have all stood by u through your many successes and those very few slumps. Birdy birds all over consider u our current day Musial. I have hope that u are a better person than to let the difference between $23 million and $28 million break the heart of every fan who has cheered u on faithfully since that first magical season at the turn of the millennium. Back all that talk of Christian values up with a rare modern day showcase of an athlete who realizes that money isn’t everything and that even though we aren’t worth $30 million per year… maybe u do owe your faithful fans a small gesture of love for all the faith and support we have showered you with. We know u are the greatest… why not acknowledge that we are also the greatest??… the greatest fans u could have ever been blessed with. We love u. And cardinal nation will be offended and crushed if u break our hearts for money)

      Can I blame a man for going after every dollar he can squeeze out of the business, especially when its obvious he deserves the biggest contract in history?? HELL YES I CAN. Money can’t buy everything… like the love of cardinal nation. I hope u realize how much u mean to us. And all the STL kids who proudly wear #5 in your honor.

      • blueintown - Nov 13, 2011 at 4:45 PM

        Who gives a crap about the love of Cardinal nation? This is a business in the real world. Honestly, would you take $200 mil over $250 mil because of “the love of Cardinal nation”? Grow up.

      • paperlions - Nov 13, 2011 at 5:57 PM

        First, that “love of Cardinal nation” is worth $ to Pujols.

        Second, no one is offering Pujols $250M.

        Third, the Cardinals have intimated that they will pay more if they have to…but that they won’t bid against themselves. When was the last time you offered to pay more than necessary for something? This is an auction format….if you are already the high bidder, you don’t keep raising your hand.

      • blueintown - Nov 13, 2011 at 6:14 PM

        The love is not worth money to Pujols. Love is nice, but money is money. I agree, the Cardinals should not increase their bid if no one else is in the bidding. BUT if someone offers more, he shouldn’t be criticized for taking it and offending his Cardinal nation fanboys.

      • paperlions - Nov 13, 2011 at 7:48 PM

        That love = endorsements = money

      • blueintown - Nov 13, 2011 at 9:09 PM

        No. Cardinals fans love his production. His contract will be a reflection of expected production. If he gets a bigger contract and produces elsewhere, those fans will also love him. The fans love does not lead him to endorsements, his production does. Regardless, endorsement dollars have absolutely nothing to do with his contractual obligations with an MLB team.

      • Jean Ellen Whatley - Nov 14, 2011 at 10:15 AM

        I smell a stinky Cubs fan…

  6. stlducks - Nov 13, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    Spud how can you say that mozalak had nothing to do with the WS win? The rasmus trade and signing furcal and releasing Franklin this year were all his idea. And without those moves the cards don’t make the playoffs.

    Plus why pay Pujols when no one else is even trying to get him? Pay him 23 million a year and get help around him. If Pujols can’t live with only $210 million and 2 WS rings within 5 years then I don’t want his greedy ass on the cards anyways.

  7. okwhitefalcon - Nov 13, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    I think you’re partially correct on your first paragraph, Mo may have been responsible for the return
    on the Rasmus trade, but make no mistake – the move to get him out of there was absolutely TLR driven.

    The “no one else is even trying to get him” AP theory is shot out of the water as well, he’s got a firm offer from the Marlins already – who knows what it is but it’s out there.

    As spud said above, Mo and Dewitt are headed in a dangerous path. Those 2 absolutely scare the hell out me as the orgainization moves forward post TLR and quite possibly post Albert.

    Their entire 2012 payroll/roster rhetoric seems to be setting the table for disappointment in regards to locking up AP, preparing fans for the worst so to speak.

    If they thought an unexpected World Series title in 2011 bought them some honeymoon in regards to possibly letting Albert walk they’re dead wrong.

  8. rcali - Nov 13, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    The steriod/HGH era has really created a lie about how long these players can play at a high level. This contract isn’t going to look very good in five years when everything is breaking down in Pujol’s body.

    • paperlions - Nov 13, 2011 at 7:50 PM

      In 5 yrs, through his age 36 season, it probably will look fine….by the time he is 38…those last few years most likely will not.

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