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The Cardinals have upped their offer to Pujols to $220 million

Dec 7, 2011, 9:11 AM EDT

pujols smile getty Getty Images

UPDATE: Jon Heyman reports that the Marlins offer is “believed to be $200-220M, no more,” and that it is merely pennies ahead of the Cardinals offer, if that.  You’d have to think that the Marlins would have to clearly best the Cardinals’ offer to lure Pujols away.

8:57 AM: Albert Pujols‘ flirtation with the Miami Marlins may be over. Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that the Cardinals’ newest offer to Albert Pujols is believed to be in the range of $220 million over 10 years.

It’s hard to see what this offer lacks compared to what the Marlins are offering. The Cards obviously don’t need to consider a no-trade clause given Pujols’ 5-10 rights.

This may keep El Hombre where, quite frankly, everyone has to agree he belongs.  Doesn’t it?

  1. stex52 - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:05 AM

    I hope so. That is where he belongs. And as to the Marlins building a big budget team just to tear it right back down; we’ve seen that movie.

    But just remember, organized sports exists to break your heart. It has no other purpose.

    • lardin - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:18 AM

      I was thinking the same thing, Does anyone really think Bell and Reyes finish their contracts in Miami? I betting Bell is gone after this year and Reyes in two or three…

      • paperlions - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:46 AM

        It will be really hard to trade either of those contracts without eating 1/2 of the remaining money….would you rather pay tens of millions of dollars for nothing, or twice as much for something?

      • CJ - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:13 AM

        Nope, I don’t think anyone does.

        But being a fan in a city where only one major sports championship as been won in my lifetime, I would love to be a fan of a team you can count on to win one championship every decade or so, even if that means the next 7-8 years are nothing but pure sucktitude. That’s better than following a team that can always get close but can’t get it done for going on like half a century now (I’m looking at you, “Dream Team”).

    • pjmarn6 - Dec 7, 2011 at 4:10 PM

      The management of St Louis and Marlins need a long stay at “Happy Farms” with a daily drink of thorazine. Pujols numbers have been going down. Yankees just paid Alex Gonzalez $32.5 million this year to hit .276 and drive in 66 runs.
      Players should be paid on production every week. No production, no pay. Then every at bat, every pitch will be exciting.
      Guaranteed way not to get the best out of a ball player is to give him a guaranteed contract.
      You would not guarantee your car mechanic payment and prepay for a repair and then have no recourse if the repair was faulty.

  2. ukcardsfan - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:06 AM

    Here’s hoping this is enough to get things done. I know 10 years is an awful long time, but I’m fine with it. Call it blind faith, call it whatever, Pujols belongs in St. Louis and it would be just great to have him play out his career there.

    • paperlions - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:49 AM

      I agree. While it will suck or be annoying if his contract becomes an albatross for multiple years (he could be nice a retire instead :-) ), and negatively affect their ability to be competitive during that time….in the larger narrative and context of history, it will be more satisfying if he stays a Cardinal for his entire playing career.

      • umrguy42 - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:51 AM

        And as far as retiring, I was seeing some rumblings on Twitter from the STL sportswriters that potentially the last couple years could translate into front office jobs instead of on the field, maybe making it more palatable for both sides.

      • stlouis1baseball - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:11 PM

        Absolutely! It’s would also be a whole lot easier to swallow those last few years if a couple of additional W.S. Titles were secured by that point.

    • 78mu - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:10 AM

      Ten years is a long time but the Cardinals will have gotten fair value for what they paid Pujols over his career. If he signs with the Marlins, they or any other team would have overpaid him for the end of his career.

  3. canowack - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:07 AM

    Thank god! He had me scared with this whole Marlins thing…he’s a Cardinal and always should be.

    • stlouis1baseball - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:16 PM

      Cano: Nothing is finalized. As they say…don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

  4. uyf1950 - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:08 AM

    It may very well be enough to keep Albert in St. Louis on the assumption that the Marlins don’t increase their AAV a bit.
    Regardless I have to think that it still has to leave a little bit of a bad taste in Albert’s mouth that all the Cardinals are doing is what they are being forced to do to keep him. They had well over a year to make him a “respectable” offer (one worthy of what he has done and means to the Cardinals). And all the Cardinals appear to have done is basically matched another teams offer. I’m sure Albert will still go out and give the Cardinals 110% if he does sign with them but there are ways to do things and there are ways to do things. Especially by all accounts Albert performance under his previous contract far exceed his compensation. Just my thoughts.

    • umrguy42 - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:15 AM

      Well, 9 years for $22 million AAV was only a real “lowball” offer compared to the craziness that is Ryan Howard and A-Rod’s contracts. Unfortunately for him (although fortunately from a business standpoint), $30 million AAV was never gonna happen from the Cards (or maybe anybody, unless the Yanks or Sox got involved in the bidding. As a Cards fan, I’d be willing to see them go to $24-25 million AAV if necessary, expand the payroll a bit (maybe $110-115 million) – the fans’d pay for it pretty happily if you put a good team on the field consistently. On the other hand, I totally understand the Cards trying to not outbid themselves again. (Although yes, I think this should’ve been done several years ago.)

    • stex52 - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:17 AM

      Understand your point, and I am way beyond the point of saying, ” Are they crazy, he’s playing a kid’s game???”

      I even understand that getting the biggest salary is a form of saying you are the best player around. And he’s giving back to the community, etc………

      I even get that one or two WS championships will pay his contract.

      But in the end, I still have to say it. 220 MM$ is an insult???? Are we all crazy???

  5. thefalcon123 - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:17 AM

    If this offer is roughly the same as the Marlins and Albert goes to Miami anyway, he deserves to be booed in his return to St. Louis. You can’t fault a guy for leaving a team for a way bigger contract…you can fault a guy for leaving for the same contract when his team has just won the World Series.

    I keep hearing a lot of crap about how Albert was so sorely underpaid in St. Louis. Lest anyone forget, Pujols was given a $100 million dollar extension after three years in the majors, the richest contract in team history at the time. Sure, he was underpaid…but he was also several years away from free agency and signed the massive extension. It’s a risk v. reward situation for the player. You can’t demand financial protection and sign a massive contract and then get angry when you exceed it! Plus, it was hardly a Longoria-eque extension being thrown his way.

    • blueintown - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:38 AM

      So you can’t fault a guy for selling out, but you can fault a guy for choosing to make a lateral move? Laughable. You can’t fault him either way. If he want to play for STL for 220m it’s his decision. If he wants to play for MIA for 220m it’s his decision. If he wants to play for the Saskatchewan Roughriders for $4.75, it’s his decision. The possibility of being booed somewhere is a non-factor in this grownups decision.

      • thefalcon123 - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:45 AM

        You realize we are discussing a game in which grown men hit a ball with a stick and run around bases…right? And people root for teams based generally on geographic region. Therefore, attitudes toward baseball don’t tend to follow strict logical lines. Therefore, I reserve the right to boo any player who leaves one team for another for the exact same amount of money mercilessly.

      • blueintown - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:22 PM

        Fair enough, falcon. I just think it’s a little silly. But I get it. As a Chicago fan, watching Michael Jordan in a Wizards uniform was gut-wrenching. But eventually, I realized I needed to spend less time directing so much energy to someone I had generically branded a traitor and more energy on watching my team. Because when someone becomes bigger then the team you root for, it becomes a little…well…weird.

      • stlouis1baseball - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:27 PM

        Blue: What Falcon stated was dead on. People tend to forget about the $100 Million extension just (3) years into his tenure. At the time…the largest ever. Also…the team afforded him financial security should something drastic happen and he get hurt to the point of his production plummeting. Again…just (3) years into his career this was done. So the team DID put up a substantial risk. However, I will be the first to acknowledge he ultimately exceeded that contract (performance wise) by a landslide. Is this the Cardinals fault? Or potentially A.P. takes part of the “credit” for this as he decided to accept that $100Million extension. Why did he take it? SECURITY. With all this in mind…I strongly feel this point in time should have NEVER arrived. This should have been put to bed (2) years ago when A.P. and Lazano approached the Organization after the Holliday signing. One thing (among all others I feel the strongest about): I CAN and absolutely WILL fault him should he leave for more monies and it NOT be to a perennial contender. After all…he has steadfastly maintained that winning, annual playoff appearances and routinely competing for World Series titles are his greatest concern. These things far supersede monies as his family is already set as it is. So yeah…he will certainly be a lying sellout should he leave to an also ran. Cause’ again…it all about winning right?

      • blueintown - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:01 PM

        STL – First, Falcon said he WOULDN’T fault him if he sold out. Second, of course he’s going to say it’s all about winning. They ALL say it’s all about winning. A-Rod signed with Texas because they showed him they want to win, Beltran signed with the Mets because they showed him they want to win, Soriano signed with the Cubs because they showed him they want to win…Bullcrap. If AP goes back to the Cardinals, it’s not because he wants to win, it’s for $220 million. Otherwise he would just play for free and tell them to use that $220 million to go get great players to put around him.

      • stlouis1baseball - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:18 PM

        Blue: I do not care about A-Rod, Beltran or Soriano. What I care about is A.P. and the fact that has always presented himself to be a man of his word. A man of integrity. I also realize this may be a pipe dream and/or incredibly cheesy. However, this is always been the perception. With this in mind…I will never fault someone for leaving to take more monies.
        I will absolutely fault someone who has always stated (by always I mean for several years)…winning, playoff appearances and W.S. titles trump everything else and THEN contradicts himself by going to a team that is not a consistent winner and rarely (if ever) makes the playoffs. Simple really. And just for the record…aside from A-Rod the guys you mentioned don’t stack up as they both went places that are rarely (if ever) contenders. I mean that with no disrespect whatsoever. Only stating Soriano and Beltran don’t apply here because those teams didn’t “show them they want to win.”

      • blueintown - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:31 PM

        STL – That’s cool, we just disagree on motive (I will, however, point out that thew Fish have won as many World Series as the Cardinals in the last twenty years, so it’s not fair to say he would be gravitating towards a non-contender). I’m simply saying that of course they’re going to say it’s all about winning. If AP signs with STL, he’ll say it; if he signs with MIA, he’ll say it. Soriano, Beltran, and Rodriguez SAID it because it goes over a lot better than “They gave me more money then anyone else”. I don’t look at these things from a sentimental perspective, I look at them from a logical perspective. Money talks.

  6. mannyicey - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:20 AM

    This reminds me so much of the Lebron James debacle. I hope that Pujols returns to the Midwest team- St. Louis… and not go to the other Miami team- the Marlins.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:49 AM

      So cliche. So weak.

  7. cintiphil - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:31 AM

    For all of you people commenting here. If it were your money, what would you do? It is very easy to give away other people’s cash. On the other hand, I wish the Marlins could have offered more. It looks like we will see a lot of Albert in Cardinal red.

    • ukcardsfan - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:47 AM

      If it were my money, I’d pay up. St.Louis have/had a franchise player in Pujols, it’s not often you get those anywhere in any sports these days. Albert will sell tickets, merchandise and win World Series and having him on the roster will go a long way to paying his salary. It’s a simple question, are they better with or without Albert? Given the almost rhetorical nature of that question – even if it was my money – I’d put up what it took to bring him back.

    • paperlions - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:53 AM

      If is our money. Baseball owners don’t spend their money, they spend the fan’s money…and they don’t even spend all of that…the remainder is called profit.

      • paperlions - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:55 AM

        Edit: *It is our money.

      • stex52 - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:05 AM

        Thanks for reminding us all of that. I remember when field box seats at the Astrodome were $7.00. What do we all pay for the best seats at our home parks today?

      • paperlions - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:23 AM

        Same here…when I was a kid box seats behind the 1B dugout were available for $6.50 on game day…but often we would get the cheaper $3 tickets down the line to save money for beer/soda/snacks. It might have cost about $25 for me and my dad to go to a game (including the $2 for parking). Now, it is well over $200 for the same experience.

      • Francisco (FC) - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:29 AM

        If you give it to the owner, it’s no longer your money.

      • cintiphil - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:06 AM

        It is our money because we choose to spend. If Albert is a bust, then what? DeWitt is stuck with paying him whatever, and we will NOT be spending ours on any Cardinal or Albert junk. That is the way it goes. The Cardinals are just trying to make a profit and bring a winner to the team. I don’t blame them for that, nor do I blame the fans for not supporting a loser. So, we aren’t really that far off in our positions.

      • paperlions - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:15 AM

        DeWitt will make more money overpaying Pujols than he will by not signing him. The millions they make just from one playoff appearance they make with him that they wouldn’t have made without him will pay for multiple years of his deal.

      • cintiphil - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:33 AM


        You assume too much. If Albert repeats last year’s performance, the redbirds will not be going to many more playoff games. I don’t see Freese leading this team to a WS win in the future. It will take Albert, Holliday, Carpenter, an inured Wainwright and an aging Berkman. Is that what you are pinning your hopes on? Good Luck

      • 1historian - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:48 AM

        I haven’t been to a MLB game in years and don’t plan on ever doing it again.

        I do, however, remember 1972 when I was living in Boston, young, numb and full of cum and I would go to Fenway park, plunk down my $2 (you read that right – two dollars!!) and then go sit in the bleachers with some other freaks who would show up and we would sit there and get stoned and watch the games. I never knew their names they never knew mine.

        Good times – no harm no foul. Good memories.

        Brooks Robinson was the greatest 3rd baseman of all time, and I didn’t need to see ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ to figure that out.

    • stlouis1baseball - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:02 PM

      Cincy: Easy…you PAY THE MAN. The guy’s productivity has more than exceeded his previous contracts. He generates a tremendous amount of revenue for the team. Can you even put a price on that? And just for the record…I offered to pony up $100.00 of my own money to keep him. And I make about 1/25 of .5 percent that the lowest paid MLB player makes. LOL!

  8. 1972wasalongtimeago - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    Marlin fan here. Let St. Louis take him.

    • southbeachtalent - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:57 PM

      I agree. I hope he returns to the cards. I’d rather spend on youth and pitching.

  9. oldboyy26 - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    I just don’t see why Cardinal fans want him after this clear money grab from the cardinals. He doesn’t respect your organization enough to just get it completed last year. Instead using other teams to inflate the price to where the cardinals should have been in the first place. Hopefully Marlins increase their already higher offer(after taxes the same deal is way better for Miami) and get him out of there.

    • paperlions - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:54 AM

      You are correct; you don’t get it.

  10. sdelmonte - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:45 AM

    Part of me wants to see Albert stay in STL. Just because he’s done so well there and because that fan base treats him as well as he treats them.

    But I can’t say it would be terrible for him to go to Miami. It might be fun to watch baseball’s most colorful manager, its best player, the always interesting (even when hurting) Reyes, and an untested ballpark come together and see if any of it works. Yeah, this team would beat up on my Mets. But just from a pure fan perspective, the combo in South Beach would be fascinating.

  11. Amadeus - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:51 AM

    Another sign of the Apocalypse.

  12. amaninwhite - Dec 7, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    I’m convinced Lozano brilliantly used the Marlins to get the Cards to up their offer. I can’t see Pujols ever really wanting to leave St. Louis, and this way they were able to stay and get their increased offer to do so. Pujols seems like too loyal a person to leave his city. He didn’t leave his agent in the wake of all the allegations, so why leave the city and fans that worship him? Well played Lozano.

  13. mojosmagic - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:04 AM

    Pujos should stay in St Louis based on the Marlins failure to put in a no trade clause. Everyone, including Pujos agent, should know by how the Marlins operate and they aren’t called “the fish” for nothing. I don’t believe the stadium will be a long term success because of its location. The city of Miami paid for the land, and most of the building cost then put it in a run down part of town for economic reasons. Most fans will have to deal with brutal traffic, and no public transportation. They did erect indoor parking garages that will take an hour to get out of after games.

  14. umrguy42 - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    Just for “fun”, check Jon Heyman’s comments over the last 24 hours. Seems like his criteria for the “favorite” to land the Cards is whichever team last spoke to Lozano…

  15. florida727 - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    Congratulations to the Marlins. They just got played by Albert. Use them for leverage. Got them to help boost the offer from StL to an even more ridiculous number, and they served their purpose. These contracts are a joke. When will “fans” wake up and realize the reason they have to refinance to take their family to a game is because of these absurd contracts? Seriously… $220 MILLION? What the hell are you going to spend that much money on? Nobody deserves that much for playing a game.

    • paperlions - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:30 AM

      No one that makes that much money “deserves” it….but within the context of entertainment, the talent should get the most money, not those that simply facilitate the exhibition.

    • Alex K - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:09 AM

      Player salaries don’t change ticket prices. Supply and demand does. If no one is willing to pay for a ticket at a certain price, then the cost of the ticket will go down to the highest price people are willing to pay to go to a game.

    • Alex K - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:15 AM

      Also, would you rather the owners get more of the money? Not one person has ever gone to a game and said “Man, Tom Ricketts owned the heck out of that ballgame. He was a real beast today.”

      • stlouis1baseball - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:58 PM

        Yep…it’s all about the turnstiles. The Owners “talents” certainly don’t keep the turnstiles moving. Deserved or not (and certainly not in my opinion)…it’s about what you bring to the table. In the case of Athletes (and Actors as another example)…it’s entertainment.
        When society puts less of a premium on entertainment (and people stop going to sporting events and/or movies)…then these Athletes (and Actors who make 25 Million per movie) will realize significantly less compensation.

  16. kiwicricket - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Is all this monkey business really worth the extra 12% on a paycheck?
    You and I might consider it, but we don’t have to consider fans entering the equation. Not saying Albert gives(or should give) a dam, but how many people might be slightly put-off by him after these proceedings? Add the unsavory things with the agent into the equation also.

    I think I would of just signed the first ridiculous amount and never even bothered getting out of the hot-tub.

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