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The Cubs are entering the Pujols-Fielder sweepstakes

Nov 29, 2011, 6:12 AM EDT

Albert Pujols Getty Images

There was some question as to whether they’d get involved in big free agent game hunting, but according to Ken Rosenthal they are: the Cubs are pursuing both Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols. Well, either/or. They wouldn’t sign both of them because that would be silly.

I think the why of it is more interesting than the mere fact of it: Rosenthal says the Cubs are worried that the changes to the draft in the new collective bargaining agreement — caps on bonuses and heavy penalties for exceeding them — are going to make it harder to build through the draft. That, combined with the fact that teams lock up elite sluggers way earlier now than they used to means that such beasts will be hard to come by going forward.

Such a thing makes sure things more desirable and, while there is a question as to the appropriate length of a Pujols or Fielder deal, there is little question that for the next few years, each will continue to be an elite slugger.

As for the Cubs, Rosenthal says that, despite the age difference, they’re somewhat more interested in Pujols because of his defense and conditioning and whatnot.  Whether they actually step up to join the Cardinals and Marlins in bidding on El Hombre is an open question, however.

  1. sknut - Nov 29, 2011 at 7:24 AM

    From a money standpoint Fielder makes more sense, as I think they would have to overpay Pujols to have him leave St. Louis unless they know something that we dont know. I doubt the Cubs get either of these guys but there is no harm in kicking the tires and seeing what it would take to get it done.

    • 78mu - Nov 29, 2011 at 12:55 PM

      Anyone signing Pujols will be paying for his previous years while hopefully Fielder is entering his prime. But will GMs think Prince’s weight will outweigh Albert’s age?

      I think the Cubs can sign Fielder to play 1B and put Pujols at 3B. The Cubs need to fill both positions. Would every ground ball down the 3B line going for a double be worth having Albert’s bat in the lineup? Actually if Berkman can play RF good enough for a team to win the WS I bet Albert would work hard to be a decent 3B.

      • dan1111 - Nov 29, 2011 at 2:20 PM

        Do you tell Pujols your plan before or after you sign him?

  2. ndrocks2 - Nov 29, 2011 at 7:26 AM

    Both of these dudes are a gamble for long term but if you have to bet on one make it Fielder just based on age even though he obviously will take a big hit when his weight continues to climb as he ages, remember his daddy was not a small man by any means and cut his career short. Pujols hopefully is just a ploy to get the price up for the Cards. I’m not sure it matters how old he really is 31 – 34 he has 3 maybe 5 great years left and then it is going down quick for him. Before they sign him to a 8 – 10 year deal take a look at Soriano deal as example to giving long term to over 30 year olds, a 38 year old productive Pujois is about the best you can hope for and depending on his age you will have 3 – 5 years left on his mega contract. Smart money says walk away from both and find another option for 1st base if your looking five years down the road…

    • dan1111 - Nov 29, 2011 at 8:20 AM

      It’s amazing that you know so definitively what Pujols’ career path is going to be.

      Soriano is not a very good example, either. He hasn’t really declined much–he was just vastly overrated to begin with (OPS+ before the deal: 114, after the deal: 109). Anyway, Soriano has never had one season that even comes close to Pujols’ worst season. Pujols is an elite player who most likely will be valuable for many years, because even if he declines a lot he will still be good.

    • cintiphil - Nov 29, 2011 at 10:08 AM

      First, Cecil adopted Prince. He is not his bio son, so the body stuff is not important in that way. But the overall conclusion may be correct. Prince is very heavy for his size, and probably where he gets the power. So, if he shapes up, maybe production goes down. Does that make him worth less? Do you encourage him to get into better shape and lose the HR production, or stay big and shorten his career? What to do, what to do. By the way, I thought Cecil had a 15 year or so career. If that is true, then how many more years can you expect from Prince? Do you think that entered into the discussions about him at MLB level?

      • paperlions - Nov 29, 2011 at 10:21 AM

        What?

        I’d love to see a reputable source for Prince being adopted. I’ve never heard such a thing, and a quick search didn’t refer to this contention.

      • normb11 - Nov 29, 2011 at 10:21 AM

        Wait, what? Where do you get this adopted son stuff?

      • tmohr - Nov 29, 2011 at 10:23 AM

        I think he has him confused with another Prince Fielder:

        http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/21033079-Prince-Fielder-Yorkshire%20Terrier%20Yorkie-Dog-Mukwonago-WI

      • salvomania - Nov 29, 2011 at 10:36 AM

        First, Cecil adopted Prince.

        Where did this come from????? I’ve never heard that, and a quick Google search turns up zero relevant hits for “Prince Fielder adopted” (not including hits for dogs named Prince Fielder).

      • salvomania - Nov 29, 2011 at 10:36 AM

        Yeah—what those guys said.

      • fearlessleader - Nov 29, 2011 at 12:11 PM

        Maybe cintiphil is thinking of Mookie and Preston Wilson?

    • hoopmatch - Nov 29, 2011 at 10:42 AM

      Thanks for using two of my favorite underutilized words: dudes and daddy.

  3. istillbelieveinblue - Nov 29, 2011 at 7:37 AM

    Everyone needs to stop referring to Albert as “El Hombre”. There is only one “The Man”, and it’s Stan Musial. Albert will be the first to tell you that.

    • dan1111 - Nov 29, 2011 at 8:22 AM

      Anyone whose name rhymes with “man” has this nickname. Believe me, I know.

      • blueintown - Nov 29, 2011 at 8:38 AM

        Albert doesn’t rhyme with man.

      • CJ - Nov 29, 2011 at 8:45 AM

        that’s a very astute observation.

      • blueintown - Nov 29, 2011 at 9:05 AM

        Chinese whore doesn’t rhyme with dog.

      • Matt - Nov 29, 2011 at 11:49 AM

        ^ Yet another astute observation, blue.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 29, 2011 at 5:43 PM

        Al the Pal? Now there’s a fear-mongering nickname.

    • stlouis1baseball - Nov 29, 2011 at 9:29 AM

      I couldn’t agree more Blue. A.P. squelched that reference immediately. Stated there is only one “Man” in St. Louis and that would be Stan Musial. It isn’t used as much anymore when referring to him but it does appear some people missed him requesting it not being used when referring to him. I thought it was very classy of him to do so.

      • istillbelieveinblue - Nov 29, 2011 at 12:27 PM

        I’m a Cubs fan, so I of course hate the Cards, but I can’t help but have a lot of respect for Albert.

    • 5thbase - Nov 29, 2011 at 1:43 PM

      Musial was a tremendous player. Pujols, to this point in his career, has been better. Pujols has already had as many 1.000+ OPS years in his 11 full seasons as Musial did in his 21 (12 games in 1941 is not a full season.) If one of them is truly “The Man” by objective non-nostalgic and non-rhyming based metrics, it’s clearly Albert.

      St. Louis has been amazingly lucky to have them both. Instead of complaining about the props that Albert gets, you should appreciate the unique symmetry of having a modern Latin player that is in so many ways a parallel to one of the legends of the game’s past … both part of the same continuum of the rich tradition of the St. Louis Cardinals.

      • stlouis1baseball - Nov 29, 2011 at 2:47 PM

        5thBase: It isn’t a matter of “complaining about the props that Albert gets.” No one is complaining about his “props” whatsoever. It is a matter of respecting one of the Games all time Greats in Stan Musial. It is also a matter of respecting the wishes of one of the Games all time Greats in Albert Pujols. A.P. quickly shot down that reference as he said “there is only one Man and that is Stan.” “To refer to me as El Hombre disrespects Stan Musial.”
        So…there you have it. Here is an idea…why don’t we refer to him as Albert Pujols in lieu of some cheesy ass nickname?

    • astrozac - Nov 29, 2011 at 2:31 PM

      Nah, El Hombre is still a better nickname than the Machine or Prince Albert or whatever. And just for the fact it ties into St. Louis’ baseball history as a play upon Musial’s nickname.

  4. blueintown - Nov 29, 2011 at 7:40 AM

    Fake. Trying to drive the price up.

    • unclemosesgreen - Nov 29, 2011 at 7:44 AM

      Yes, very fake. Carmine told Theo to drive up the price. Hopefully Carmine never tells Theo to eat brains. Braaiiiins

      • stlouis1baseball - Nov 29, 2011 at 8:49 AM

        Carmine was a character on LaVerne and Shirley/

  5. vincentbojackson - Nov 29, 2011 at 7:49 AM

    In the post steroid era Pujols is entering the age where skills begin to decline rapidly. This makes a lengthy deal a big risk.

    • comeonnowguys - Nov 29, 2011 at 9:42 AM

      That’s assuming he’s not using them.

  6. Francisco (FC) - Nov 29, 2011 at 8:40 AM

    Tick, Tock. Tick, Tock.

    Craig, looked at his clock, then he settled in his high chair, adjusting the collar of his Braves bathrobe (recently cleaned BTW) and taking the bubble pipe that sat on the tray on top of the side table. He pressed a button on his arm rest and the 1995 Championship Braves Team picture recessed into his wall.

    Tick, Tock. Tick, Tock.

    Chewing on his bubble pipe and puffing a few he watched as his brand new 71″ LED screen (he replaced the old one, hey you gotta take advantage of Black Friday!) brightened and started displaying the portraits of the top major league baseball free agents that were in the market.

    Tick, Tock. Tick, Tock.

    Video played of C.J. Wilson climbing down a plane to meet with Miami front office bigwigs. Men in Black surrounded the plane like secret service agents. Really, C.J is full of himself… Besides Miami has met with EVERYBODY it’s hard to see what they’re really about.

    Tick, Tock. Tick, Tock.

    More videos streamed into sections of the various other agents, some relatively minor but could be impact players, like Mark Buerhle. The top targets: Prince Fielder, Jose Reyes, Jimmy Rollins, and of course the crown jewel Albert Pujols. Everyone thought that with the Papelbon signing things would pick up. But the Hot Stove season has been as cold as the Grinch’s heart so far (Gotta love watching those early Christmas specials with the kids).

    Tick, Tock. Tick, Tock.

    That’s it! He’s had it! He stood up and berated the screen with the big stars playing baseball. “Well come on already! Sign somewhere! I’m bored as hell, Yu Darvish won’t do anything until he’s divorced, I already milked the new CBA for all its worth and we’ve been driven to post trade rumors about Andrew McCutchen. Feed me Seymore! Feed Me!”, Craig implored the screen as he sank to his knees making clawing gestures at the screen…

  7. Detroit Michael - Nov 29, 2011 at 8:41 AM

    Well, the Cubs can’t pursue Pujols because it is 100% certain that he signs with the Cardinals. I just read that yesterday!

    • paperlions - Nov 29, 2011 at 9:09 AM

      They most certainly can pursue him, they just won’t catch him…according to yesterday’s report.

  8. thefalcon123 - Nov 29, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    Hey Cards fans,

    Remember back in 2008 when Jim Edmonds was with the Cubs? Didn’t it kind of feel like you were watching your ex-girlfriend shack up with your worst enemy, the guy who bullied you in high school and shoved you in a locker? I mean, sure…you broke up with her, but did she really have to end up with THAT dude?

    Well, I think Albert Pujols on the Cubs would be more on par with your wife leaving you for a guy who got away with murdering your father and got with her as part of his ongoing psychological torture of you, along with sending you creepy notes and cutting the brakes on your car. You know, life a bad Lifetime thriller.

    Just…don’t…let…this…happen! Any other team, please! Go to the Nationals, the Marlins…hell, the friggin’ Yankees. Just please don’t let Albert become a no good, dirty, filthy CUB.

    • stlouis1baseball - Nov 29, 2011 at 9:31 AM

      Yeah…what Falcon said.

    • Alex K - Nov 29, 2011 at 9:39 AM

      Don’t forget that in the second scenario your wife also started working out hardcore so she could stay as hot as possible for her new man. And she’s going to rub it in your face 18 times a year.

      I said it at the begining of the year, Pujols is going to look great in blue pinstripes!

      • Francisco (FC) - Nov 29, 2011 at 9:46 AM

        Don’t forget that in the second scenario your wife also started working out hardcore so she could stay as hot as possible for her new man. And she’s going to rub it in your face 18 times a year.

        Literally?

      • stlouis1baseball - Nov 29, 2011 at 11:03 AM

        Keep dreaming Alex. I don’t know what is funnier…your pinstripes comment or those tools at Wrigley wearing the Pujols “Cubs” Jerseys.

      • Alex K - Nov 29, 2011 at 11:47 AM

        He will look good in blue pinstripes if he comes to the Cubs. That doesn’t mean that I want the Cubs to give him an 9 year deal for $220 million. But if he comes to the Cubs I would be very happy. If that is dreaming then I won’t stop!

    • blueintown - Nov 29, 2011 at 10:09 AM

      But the version of Jim Edmonds on the Cubs was like your ex-girlfriend after you’d been with her for several years, so let’s face it – she had gotten a little lazy, put on a few pound,and tricked you into proposing to her because she claimed to be pregnant–thrice.

      • hoopmatch - Nov 29, 2011 at 10:43 AM

        Kudos on the use of the word thrice. I thought i was the only one who used it.

      • 78mu - Nov 29, 2011 at 1:02 PM

        That’s true. I didn’t recognize the guy playing for the Cubs, Brewers or Reds as Jimmy Edmonds. Wearing the Birds on the Bat he was Cary Grant or John Wayne but after that he was some over the hill actor making a porno to scrape a few bucks to pay alimony to his three ex-wives.

  9. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Nov 29, 2011 at 9:31 AM

    Yes, all the Cardinal fans curse the day that Mo traded Edmonds for David Freese. The Padres let Jimmy go and the Cubbies got about the last two good months of this career.

    • salvomania - Nov 29, 2011 at 10:45 AM

      Edmonds had a damn good comeback year in 2010 after nobody had any interest in him in 2009. I still can’t understand why after hitting like he did with the Cubs in 2008, nobody took a flyer on him for 2009.

      I stumbled into a Brewers/Nationals game in July 2010 and saw Edmonds hit a homer (his 389th of 393 in his career) and make a great diving catch—although on the replay I noticed he intentionally held back a little at first, then dove at the last instant just so it would seem like a more spectacular catch. Classic Jimmy.

    • stlouis1baseball - Nov 29, 2011 at 11:06 AM

      Absolutely Pancho! The Freese trade just hasn’t worked out thus far.

    • 78mu - Nov 29, 2011 at 3:24 PM

      How good could this Freese guy be? La Russa took him out in the late innings for Daniel Descalso.

      I think we need more time to evaluate the trade. If Freese is WS MVP a few more times it may look better.

  10. bobwsc - Nov 29, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    the Theo-curse will do each player in. they’re better off staying where they are for minimum wage.

  11. trevorb06 - Nov 29, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    What?! The Cubs are trying to drive up the price so their two rivals might have to spend more on a 1st basemen?!

  12. bmoreballers - Nov 29, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    I don’t know what the fuss is all about everyone and their mother knows Prince is coming to Baltimore

  13. uwsptke - Nov 29, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    So basically Theo artificially inflates the market for Pujols, making the Cards pay more for their slugger while ultimately reducing the amount of money the Cards have to spend on other needs over the length of the deal. They then sign Fielder to take the biggest slugger out of anothe rival’s lineup and insert into their own, killing 2 (or 3) birds.

  14. comeonnowguys - Nov 29, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    I thought Theo was supposed to rebuild the organization from the ground up? Chasing the annual belle(s) of the ball is straight out of the 2000s Tribune/Hendry playbook. What’s next, the return of the full no-trade clauses?

    • 78mu - Nov 29, 2011 at 2:29 PM

      Hendry left a book in his desk titled How To Build A World Series Champion One Bad Contract At A Time.

    • dan1111 - Nov 29, 2011 at 2:30 PM

      They are signing Pujols to send him to Boston as compensation. You heard it here first.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 29, 2011 at 4:11 PM

        John ‘Hipster Glasses’ Henry would accept no less.

  15. materialman80 - Nov 30, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    Neither Pujols are Fielder will sign with the Cubs because they want to win. They both know the Cubs are LOSERS.

  16. FromThisSeat.com - Nov 30, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    It is in St. Louis’ best itnerest to resign Pujols though they are not going give him a 300 MIllion dollar but then again neither are the Cubs or Marlins. They are both familiar with playing the NL Central so whichever one lands in CHicago is going to produce.
    I really don’t see how the Marlins have the funds to make this kind of deal especially if they are taking a look at Jose Reyes.

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