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Pujols Pandemonium: Recapping a busy day at HardballTalk

Dec 8, 2011, 11:55 PM EDT

2011 World Series Game 7 - Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals Getty Images

We’ve published over 50 posts containing mentions of new Angels first baseman Albert Pujols since the Winter Meetings kicked off on Sunday night.

Today, of course, it all came to a head.

In case you missed any of the analysis from our team of writers, here’s a recap of the subjects we’ve broached over the past 12 hours or so relevant to Pujols and his agreement with Anaheim:

And if you want to read a fascinating recap of how the Pujols negotiations went down from start to finish, check out this piece by Bob Nightengale of USA Today. He has the full scoop from agent Dan Lozano.

  • The initial deal announcement hits the site. 10 years, $254 million, and a full no-trade clause.
  • Craig argues that we shouldn’t resent Pujols for chasing big money in Anaheim. The Cardinals had a chance, and their offer simply didn’t compete.
  • A St. Louis Post-Dispatch headline reads “PUJOLS TURNS HIS BACK ON ST. LOUIS”
  • Craig sees the contract as a potential albatross down the road for the Angels.
  • Gleeman reviews how some of the best hitters in baseball history have fared after age 32.
  • Around noon, it is reported that the Marlins’ 10-year offer to Pujols was worth $275 million.
  • Pouliot wonders what other moves the Halos will make this winter, beyond Pujols and C.J. Wilson.
  • How will Pujols deal with the switch from the National League to the American League and how will he fare in Angel Stadium? Pouliot attempts answers.
  • For comparison’s sake, Gleeman examines the largest contracts signed last offseason.
  • Based off FanGraphs’ projected dollar values, Pujols’ 11 years in St. Louis were a steal for the Cards.
  • With so many star first basemen now in the American League, expect major All-Star snubs in 2012.
  • Pouliot gives a few suggestions on what the Angels’ lineup might look like next year.
  •’s Bryan Hoch says Lozano tried to shop Pujols to the Yankees at one point.
  • According to the Post-Dispatch, retail stores in the St. Louis area were giving away their remaining stock of Pujols jerseys and jersey shirts after the announcement.

It’s rare for one player to dominate the news stories on HBT. But nothing about Thursday was common.

  1. hopespringseternal - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:01 AM

    Thank you, Theo.

  2. cur68 - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:10 AM

    Well covered, indeed. One glaring omission: who was that who fell in the pool at the hotel? Also, minor omissions: just what does Dimitri Young look like minus 70lbs? Did any reporters violate the new dress code? But that’s about it.

    • verytalldad - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:22 AM

      And what ever happened to Mrs. Healy?

  3. spudchukar - Dec 9, 2011 at 1:29 AM

    Often times immediately after an important homer, Albert glares out to opposition, chucks his bat with disdain, and begins his home run trot as if to say, you were lucky to get me out earlier, justice has been restored.

    He did the same thing to St. Louis management.

    • paperlions - Dec 9, 2011 at 8:06 AM

      I love how you are pissed at Cardinal management for not signing a guy to a horrible contract. I understand how great Pujols has been, but a bad contract is a bad contract no matter who the guy is….and even the contract the Cardinals offered was a bad one.

      • cintiphil - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:01 AM

        I happen to agree with you on this one. I can’t see anyone earning that much money in sports. There is just too much that can go wrong, and usually does.I don’t think the Yankees wold re-do the A-ROD deal if they had another chance.

      • thefalcon123 - Dec 9, 2011 at 10:57 AM

        In a rational sense paper, you are 100% correct. In time, we will all be glad the Cardinals didn’t go nuts and realize that even without making another move, they have a really damn good team next year.

        ….but I’m still not rational yet. The Cardinals should have offered $40 million a year, his own personal dugout during home games and to move the left field fence in 200 feet.

      • spudchukar - Dec 9, 2011 at 1:24 PM

        It is only a “horrible contract” in the special reality created by the owner. First he creates an entirely arbitrary ceiling on salaries, based on what? Nothing other than a business model that rewards he and his financial allies to the extreme. You want to fall prey to his $110 mil salary cap nonsense go right ahead, but this is simply a self-indulgent process that has no basis in reality.

        You can argue that he who has the power makes the rules. Fine be an owner apologist. But when a multi-billionaire, buys a franchise for about 60 million dollars (after parking lot sales), that blossoms into a 600 million asset in a few short years and then imposes a restriction on salaries based on some whimsical number he pulls out of thin air, then treats it like it was written in stone by God himself, I say you have consumed too much of the Kool-aid.

        With or without a 250 million dollar Pujols this franchise would remain whole, profitable, and secure. The insistence on the level of profit DeWitt claims is “necessary” is the same rationale all financial institution managements use to justify their outrageous golden parachutes. The fans of the St. Louis Cardinals deserved to watch Albert Pujols play until he decided he couldn’t play anymore. He wanted to end his career in St. Louis, but he also has principles and in his heart he could not rectify the management’s unwillingness to share in profits he more than anyone else drove to record highs.

        Much has been made of dwindling production in the last years of a ten-year contract. Who knows for sure, certainly not me, Pujols has always surpassed the likely. He isn’t a machine but he sure exceeds expectations. The improbable is company he relishes. And knowing the high standards he expects of himself, I seriously doubt he would ever extend his career if he wasn’t near the player he has been for the past 11 years. Most likely, he would hang it up if his performance didn’t measure up.

        Albert I will miss seeing you accomplish your lofty goals, but I admire your decision. Good Luck to you in your pursuits, the Angel fans are in for a treat.

  4. staffordsyear - Dec 9, 2011 at 2:48 AM

    We are the st louis cardinals,we have won before him and will win after him but you will be missed albert.

    • Reflex - Dec 9, 2011 at 3:55 AM

      What position do you play?

    • fhuizar - Dec 9, 2011 at 10:56 AM

      You won before Albert in 1982 then with Albert in 2006the

      Will it be another 24 years after Albert before STL wins again?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:41 AM

        Thank you God!!!! The 2011 playoffs were just a dream!!! Please tell me the Phillies won the World Series last year in your world…pretty please?

  5. drmonkeyarmy - Dec 9, 2011 at 7:56 AM

    I think there is only one more thing about the Cardinals that needs answered: how are they going to give Colby Rasmus his WS ring? Will they hand deliver it to him or do they have so much disdain for the guy that they just pop it in the mail?

    • kopy - Dec 9, 2011 at 8:12 AM

      Classic sitcom scenario: They are going to give him a large dog, or maybe even horse, that has consumed the ring. Then Rasmus has to follow it around all day, try to get it to poop, and then pick the ring out and clean it after it has fully passed.

      • JBerardi - Dec 9, 2011 at 10:44 AM

        What the hell sitcoms are you watching where horse poop gags are “classic”?

    • cintiphil - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:04 AM

      He may get a share of the money, but does not have to get a ring. he may not get a ring, because he wasn’t on the team when they won. I would like to know what his share of the cash will be. When you find out Drew, can you post it?

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

        He will get a ring, typically every player that played on the team at some point during the season gets a ring.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 9, 2011 at 10:58 AM

        Yeah, he absolutely gets a ring. I think as long as you play or are part of the 25 man for 50 games you get a ring. The situation happened two WS ago when the Rangers played the Giants. One of the Molina’s played with the Rangers during the WS but played a decent amount of games with the Giants earlier in the season.

      • spudchukar - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:11 PM

        Even Ryan Franklin is going to get a ring

      • cintiphil - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:36 PM

        Are these the MLB rules or club rules? I know they get a share of the W-S money, but why a ring? Does Wainwright get any money or a ring? He didn’t play a game all year. Anyway, something else I found out today.

      • cintiphil - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:37 PM

        One more thing. How much do you think Franklin is going to get from DeWitt? As I understand the business, it is up to the club to determine shares given.

  6. paperlions - Dec 9, 2011 at 8:41 AM

    I’d love to see the Cardinals go after Fielder with a high AAV contract. Who knows what he’ll command now that the Marlins and Angels appear to be out of the running for a 1B-man…..even though he is not the player Pujols was (but then, Pujols isn’t that player anymore either) a 5 year $125M contract for Fielders age 28-32 seasons would be a lot better deal than a 10 yr $220M deal for Pujols.

    Yes, I realize this won’t happen, the Cardinals won’t go after Fielder at all, but I would dig it if it did

    • spudchukar - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:21 PM

      In psychology I believe the term is the”sweet lemon theory”. The notion that Pujols isn’t the player he once was fits perfectly into that realm. Perhaps it will be true that Albert will regress later in his career, but I sure wouldn’t bet against him putting up numbers in the next few years that makes the claim that he “isn’t that player anymore either” look foolish.

      • paperlions - Dec 9, 2011 at 1:49 PM

        It has nothing to do with whether the Cardinals re-signed him or not…the last 2 years he has not been the player he was before. That is simply a fact.

        Also a fact, that beginning of a decline coincides with the time players typically start to decline.

        I understand that you are more emotional about these things and somehow think there is something admirable in taking the most money and in saying dumb shit like you’ll pray on it and go where jesus tells you to go…but there isn’t….Albert took the most money….just like 95% of other players do.

        His claims and promises were only so much hot air, just like your run of the mill politician…he said nice flowery things when it didn’t cost him anything, but when it was time to act, he did exactly what he said he wouldn’t do.

  7. burnsy - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    Nightengale and Lozano. Somewhere Scott Boras is gently hugging Jon Heyman.

  8. brockw82 - Dec 9, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    The Angels were “tugging on his heart” and he decided after he prayed on it…right Albert….that was it.

  9. thefalcon123 - Dec 9, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    After reading a lot of stuff on this…it sounds like the Cardinals’ stubbornness is what cost them. It seems they thought Albert would stay in St. Louis at a greatly reduced cost and stuck to their guns. Their best offer was 9 guaranteed years at $210 million (with a 10th year vesting option) and this is AFTER the Marlins offered $275 million.

    In the end, the difference between the Angels and Cardinals offer was a guaranteed 10th year and the cost of a Skip Schumaker.

    I spent yesterday being pissed at Pujols. Day two of the Albert grieving process will be angry at Cardinals management. I ‘spose day three will be anger at myself for not being worthy of him or something…we’ll have to see when it comes.

  10. paperlions - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    Assuming DeWitt doesn’t live up to the DeWallet nick name, the Cardinals can use the money saved to extend both Yadi and Wainwright, and still have some left over for a couple veteran patches until some of the younger prospects arrive in a couple of years. Beltran was actually a more productive hitter than Pujols last year…if he can be had for a 2 yr deal, that would solidify some OF and offensive depth for the those years.

  11. Chris Fiorentino - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    I know I don’t have a frame of reference, since I am a Phillies fan. But if it were me…I can’t imagine being pissed for even a minute, during the entire offseason after my team won the World Series. About anything. Ever. I guess it’s just that the Phillies have never had a guy like Pujols. I’m sure if Ryan Howard had continued the pace of his first 4 full years(50 HRs 143 RBI) for the last two years, and he left via free agency, I would know a little of what it is like. But I just can’t see being mad at my team for anything the offseason after they won the World Series.

    Maybe it is just me. Or maybe it’s just Pujols.

    • thefalcon123 - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:59 AM


      Imagine it’s 1980. You just won the world series. Your 3rd baseman just won his first MVP and is one of the best 3rd basemen in the games history (remember this is 1980, he just won his 1st MVP…he probably hasn’t passed Mathews YET)….

      …and 6 weeks after your world series title, Schmidt leaves for the f**king California Angels. Does that help?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:05 PM

        I’m not usually in the business of giving advice for a variety of reasons, but I will offer you a parcel right now…..when pitchers and catchers report start being pissed about the whole Albert thing. For now, though, your team just won the World Series less than two months ago. Enjoy it now. Might not happen again for awhile.

      • spudchukar - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:26 PM

        This like saying after a ten-year marriage you move into the house of your dreams with your soulmate, but after only a few weeks she files for divorce, boots you out and looks elsewhere for another spouse, and says to you, hey I gave you ten great years, why the long face?

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