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Cards’ strategy in Pujols talks was odd, maybe even insulting

Dec 11, 2011, 10:39 AM EDT

Albert Pujols AP

It probably wouldn’t have mattered anyway because the Angels blew away the competition with their 10-year, $254 million contract offer to Albert Pujols, but it’s now being revealed that the Cardinals’ higher-ups made a number of odd decisions in their negotiations for the first baseman and franchise icon.

Like, for instance, offering him a five-year, $130 million contract as a starting point this winter, down from the nine-year, $198 million bid that was made last spring. And refusing to match the Angels’ 10-year personal services contract that will keep Pujols a member of the Anaheim organization in some capacity for at least the next 20 years.

Maybe these were calculated steps by the Cardinals front office. Perhaps they determined at some point this past season that they didn’t want to get locked into a 10-year deal with a 32-year-old first baseman — which, by most analyses, would be a more-than-reasonable business decision. But the shrewdness may have pushed Albert away, giving him all the more self-justification to chase the highest dollar amount.

Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has more:

The marathon left Pujols drained, admittedly emotional and finally resigned to the fact that Angels’ owner Arte Moreno’s long-distance lightning strike offered a greater sense of belonging as well as more dollars.

“It was about the way he made me feel,” Pujols said. “Arte made me feel like he wanted me to be with the Angels forever. He doesn’t want me to be 37 years old and go somewhere else. … It was about the commitment.”

In the end, the Angels outbid the Cardinals by nearly $40 million. And that’s certainly the primary reason Pujols made the decision to leave for southern California. But any chance of the Redbirds getting a hometown discount was likely tarnished early on by the potentially insulting tactics of the St. Louis front office.

  1. dondada10 - Dec 11, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    Cardinal fans will bemoan it for the next 5 years and appreciate it for the 5 subsequent years.

    • paperlions - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:38 AM

      We might not even bemoan it that long.

      If Pujols is great 3 years, good for 4, and bad for 3 (which seems pretty optimisitc), that’s $50M per great year and $25M per good year, with 3 years of bad production and a lost roster spot.

      The Cardinals made it a business decision and Pujols took it personally. Offering him a 5 year deal didn’t mean they would want him to leave after that, it just meant that they would want to retain him at a reasonable salary after that….not for $25M/year. Egos are fragile things, even in people as successful as Pujols. Obviously, Albert considered his relationship with the city and fans as unimportant compared to the financial commitment from the team.

      • cur68 - Dec 11, 2011 at 12:17 PM

        Well, there was all that excellent service for which he was arguably underpaid leading up to all of this, wasn’t there? I know you’ve commented that using WAR to calculate dollar value/wins and then comparing to other players of similar stats is not the correct way to use WAR, but I’m a bit vague then on just what the dollar value is for AP’s services leading up to this contract? What were his contributions worth vs his salary from his first day as a Cardinal to his last? Was he not underpaid? I always thought he was, but I don’t pay enough attention to him (nor WAR stats) to be sure.

        Whatever the answer is (remunerated adequately for work as compared to peers or not) its now pretty obvious that saying “its not about the money” & “I love this city very much” seems to work against a player for a competitive home town contract. No 2 ways about it: he said one thing and did another. The question now is why. Did the Cardinal organization take him at his word, low ball him and expect him to not go back on what he said? I think a case could be made for that.

      • spudchukar - Dec 11, 2011 at 12:34 PM

        You got it right Cur. Plus St. Louis would not entertain any post playing assurances. Pujols was convinced the commitment was a one-way street. The extra money may have swayed him to leave St. Louis, but that was not his first choice. It is what the extra cash represented. Loyalty needs to be supported by more then lip service. Albert felt dissed. The Cards’ management basically said, ‘We aren’t going to pay you what you are worth, unless we are forced to’. Eventually that attitude, plus their intransigence on refusing any creative alternatives, to augment their low-balling, pushed the buttons that drove him to L.A..

      • paperlions - Dec 11, 2011 at 12:38 PM

        Pujols appears to have wanted:

        1) To be on a competitive team, and 2) To be paid as much as possible for as long as possible.

        Well, you can’t get both of those things in StL. While they bring in plenty of money for the market size, they can’t compete with markets that are many times their size. If the team had given Pujols want he wanted it would have compromised their ability to be competitive, unless ownership was willing to operate at a loss or for no profit (currently, they are spending $20M+/year to pay down their stadium debt, which does cut into spending on players).

        He could have played on a competitive team in StL for less than max money or he could play on a competitive team somewhere else for max money. Obviously, what the money represents to him was more important than staying in StL

        In the end, it feels like it came down to ego strokes. The Angels owner was in position to do more ego stroking, and he did. Now, Pujols win find out if it was worth it or not.

      • paperlions - Dec 11, 2011 at 12:42 PM

        Spud, loyalty is a 2-way street. Pujols also paid only lip-service to his loyalty to the organization, city, and fans….when it was time to show that loyalty, he held out for the most money.

        The Cardinals were willing to pay what he is worth. $130M for 5 years is likely far more than he’ll be worth over that time….and $220 over 9 years (or whatever it was), is likely far more than he’ll be worth over that time frame. He wanted more than that….and he got it from someone else.

      • cur68 - Dec 11, 2011 at 1:01 PM

        I guess I’m asking you a question ‘lions: what was Phat Al worth for the years he played for the Cards? Wasn’t he underpaid? I’d figure it out for myself, but you have a more complete understanding than I do of how to do that (full disclosure: I’m a bit of a stats dunce. I have to look up how to use SPSS every time I go to use it. And that’s for non-parametric tests, too. *hangs head in shame*. Thank dog for youtube).

        Either way, Spudchukar has hit the nail on the head: they treated him like his loyalty was a given. So, from my perception, its more than just Albert playing all mercenary with the money. From reports, The Angels set things up so he gets to be a contributer after his playing days are over. The Cards low-balled him after years of not paying him market value (I think) & didn’t make any attempt to include him in his post playing days plans. Frankly, I don’t see why he should be loyal to an organization that would treat him like that. As an opinion, I think they’d have had a much better chance of retaining his services if they hadn’t been so ham-fisted with him and still not have payed as much as the Angels are paying.

      • paperlions - Dec 11, 2011 at 1:11 PM

        Yeah, he was under-paid….and if he had taken the contract they offered, for the next 10 years he would have been over-paid. I’m not sure what the point is….you under pay some guys and over pay others, in general, younger players are vastly underpaid and older ones are vastly overpaid.

        In general, I am on the player’s side of things because they are the talent and the ones that should get the most money that baseball brings in….but that doesn’t mean I think teams should blindly throw money around, it is limited, after all…

        In this case, Pujols repeatedly said that he loved StL, loved playing in StL, and would play for less money to stay in StL (even stating he would stay rather than take $3-4M more per year)…..am I supposed to be pissed at ownership for believing him?

      • veistran - Dec 11, 2011 at 1:24 PM

        @cur68 He was pretty hugely underpaid but that still doesn’t mean you make it up by massively overpaying him at the end of his career. Beyond that Albert basically negated the whole reason why he has an agent by getting involved in the negotiations himself. And then he did one of the things that having an agent do the negotiating for you is supposed to shield you from and started taking business personally. Everything I’ve read of and seen of his comments just comes off as sour grapes on his part that they treated business like business. Commitment? Are you kidding, he’s been there 11 years he knows what their commitment is to their former players. Just another mercenary except he’s too much of a wuss to just admit that he’s just another mercenary.

      • cur68 - Dec 11, 2011 at 1:59 PM

        Bad optics all the way around then. I don’t see how AP gets all the blame nor how the Cards get all the blame. One side is guilty of expecting the company to love them and the other side of trying to take advantage of a person’s loyalty. Plenty of blame to spread about. The upside though is that Angels basbeball just got a lot more interesting.

      • veistran - Dec 11, 2011 at 3:52 PM

        Pretty much, the only thing I really blame Albert for and the thing that really bothers me is that he’s claiming it wasn’t about money. Its always about money, I don’t care how he wants to couch it be it in terms of “respect” or “commitment” its still about the money.

      • pjmarn6 - Dec 12, 2011 at 8:46 PM

        The main point is that his numbers have been declining. The $250 million dollar rodriguez contract destroyed Texas. Alex Rodriguez this year reward the Yankees 7.5 million dollar raise to 32.5 million with a .276 ba and 66 rbi. A lot of players parlayed their drug use into multimillion dollar multiyear contracts that didn’t pan out. And the stupid owners and general managers just don’t learn from history. Since they are playing with your money, they are just as greedy as the ball players who are just big children that are playing a child’s game. The surest way to kill initiative in a player is to give him a large multiyear guaranteed contract.
        It was reported that almost 73% of these multimillionaires go bankrupt after they stop playing. And baseball stats show conclusively that most stars either quit, retire or show tremendous declines in productivity by the age of 35. Ruth, Berra, DiMaggio Brothers, Mantle, Bond etc. Why should Pujols be the exception. 4 years and he is begging for hits. But dumb L.A. is stuck with this and no other team is going to want him.

    • randygnyc - Dec 11, 2011 at 2:37 PM

      I recall getting a lot of “thumbs down” over my analysis, before, during and after the Pujols signing when I stated that Albert was really looking to move on. I knew there was trouble in paradise. Whether your on ownerships side or AP’s, it was clear this wasn’t just about money, but rather somehow, during all of this, someone got their feelings REALLY hurt. Yes, the cards 5 year offer was terribly insulting. The cards tried playing catch-up to the marlins 10 year offer, but I suspect that Albert had already decided he was going to leave if possible. I also suspect that when the angels gave him a quarter billion dollar offer, plus guaranteed security after he retires, it was a no brained. This means, that no matter what, Albert NEVER returns, in any capacity, to the cardinals.

      I’ll also suggest that if Albert puts up awesome personal numbers in the next decade, with or without championships, Albert pushes the issue himself, to be inducted into the HOF as an Angel. This is the literal demonstration of burned bridges and the true meaning of “no turning back”.

      • lovesmesomeme - Dec 11, 2011 at 5:24 PM

        Dont feel bad about thumbs down My goal for a good post is 15-20, I once infered that TLR looks like a pedophile and got 50. If you want to get into the 20’s start with calling ” the greatest fans in basebal” crybabies or ungrateful idiots. You could even leave the pedophilia out and call TLR a DUI gettin know it all.
        Oh and quit wining about if people like what you write, you come off looking like a sissy

      • fearlessleader - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:06 AM

        “Lovesmesomeme,” do you have any settings other than “jerk with poor punctuation skills”?

    • lovesmesomeme - Dec 11, 2011 at 5:30 PM

      Wait, what, a cardinal fan bemoaning something. You would think it would think that once they got rid of AA needin LaRussa this us against the world horse$hit would go away.

  2. crankyfrankie - Dec 11, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    Now the real story is coming out. Cutting the offer to the, second, best player in your teams history is a colossal slap in the face. All the years he was underpaid and was a good soldier and didn’t complain deserves much better treatment than he received. Multiple MVP’s and World Championships without any drama is worth a substantial raise. A contract for another job after his career ends for him to continue to be the face of the franchise seems obvious to the Angels so why didn’t the Cards do this? Maybe it is time for less jersey destruction and vilification and more time for the fans ire to be pointed at the front office?

    • spudchukar - Dec 11, 2011 at 12:35 PM

      Exactamente.

    • hep3 - Dec 11, 2011 at 5:25 PM

      Aren’t the Cardinals owners, the DeWitts, descendants of the man who traded Frank Robinson to the Orioles because he was an “old” thirty? How did that work out?

      This deal should more than pay for itself for Arte Moreno and the Angels in all kinds of increased revenue streams.

  3. Alex K - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    If you were going to offer 5 years why not just go all in? 5 years $175 AAV $35 million. See if you can put some options for less on the end of it, and however long a personal services contract he wants. That seems like the most “respectful” way to do it.

  4. frenchy121212 - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    With today’s athletes ability to beat the system, you’d be naive to think the last 5 years won’t be productive years from Pujols.

  5. isujames - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    How was he underpaid,is it because stupid ass franchises like the yankees,angels,and red sox set a standard of pay for players of his caliber.That underpaid line is some b.s.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:52 AM

      No because there’s a market value for wins that a player provides. And Pujols provided 3x the value of what he was paid. That’s why he was underpaid. Whether it was his [shady] agent’s fault or his or the Cardinal’s doesn’t matter. Even a blind man with no concept of business can see that.

  6. tominma - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    Pujols last contract was 7 years-$100M——- That is NOT underpaid. This was all about milking the most money he could get– not about winning championships. He just won one with the Cards. I dont blame him but I think the Angels will be very unhappy about this contract in about 5 years!, jjust like the Yankees are with paying AROD $27/season for waht?? 6 more years?? Cards acted responsibly.

    • drunkenhooliganism - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:34 AM

      If you make your company $500M and are paid $100M, you are underpaid. It doesn’t matter if you’re curing cancer or playing a game.

      • paperlions - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:40 AM

        First, he didn’t make his company that much money.

        Second, the company has to make more money than it costs to employ you or there is no reason to keep you around.

        Third, it costs much more than salary to keep players around. Medical expenses, per diem, costs of trainers, insurance, benefits, etc.

      • spudchukar - Dec 11, 2011 at 12:50 PM

        Being a management apologist is one thing, but I take issue with these contentions. You do not know how much money Pujols made DeWitt. You also do not know if matching the Angels offer would have cost more than they could afford. Dewitt bought the team for $60 mil, 15 years ago and it is now worth $600 mil. In 2001 Forbes estimated that the ownership was worth 4 Billion, and by most conservative estimates that number now exceeds 6 Billion.

        Also, around 2001, the going rate for custodial employees was $9.60 per hour. The DeWitt & Co., found that to be extreme, and instead offered $6.80. In the end the janitorial staff was forced to accept a 15% wage reduction and forfeiture of all pension monies. It was more difficult for the janitorial staff to look to Angels for re-employment.

      • cintiphil - Dec 11, 2011 at 2:03 PM

        Drunken:
        How do you know how much money Albert made for the Cardinals?

      • drunkenhooliganism - Dec 11, 2011 at 9:06 PM

        I don’t know how much money he made the cardinals. Im certain it’s far more than he was paid. I find it ludicrous that people say baseball players are underpaid when owners are getting richer and richer. They probably made the $100M they paid him just in selling Pujols jerseys and in sponsorships from the companies that wanted their names on the Pujols bobblehead or the kids t-shirt giveaway.

  7. jgreiner9 - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    im pretty sure it was the rangers giving arod that 252 million dollar contract that set the standard for those kind of contracts. the yankees, red sox, and angels pretty much followed suit with the way the market was trending.

  8. shea801 - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    If this is true, then I really do blame the front office for killing their chances. Although, I agree his production will fall below the price paid if he stayed w/ the Cards. However, as a DH he’ll make the Angels look pretty smart. That opportunity would never manifest itself being in the NL, hence a ten year deal just wouldn’t make sense.

    But I don’t see how you don’t offer El Hombre a place in the organization seeing what he’s done, what he would do, and his place in history. That’s just aggravating. And he had every right to walk away when the Angels offer had it, and the home town team doesn’t :/

    • almac02 - Dec 12, 2011 at 1:01 PM

      Do you really believe his place in the organization wasn’t already determined? Moreno knew. That’s why he locked him up for an additional 10 years with the Personal Services contract. The last thing he wanted was for Albert to come back to STL with all of the other Cardinal greats after paying him $254 million. His place with Cardinals was a given if he stayed, it was a given even after 10 years with the Angels. Moreno made sure it’s a given that it’s with the Angels for the next 20 years.

  9. okwhitefalcon - Dec 11, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    As a Cards fan, none of the above is that surprising.

    Beyond the additional 40 million (and that’s enough anyway), the tandem of Dewitt and Mozeliak did little entice AP to stay on a personal level.

    Both are somewhere south of engaging, way south – I don’t think either has the acumen/makeup/personality to sell what they were proposing.

    Meanwhile, Arte Moreno swooped in with 2 phone conversations and sold the hell outta their vision
    (along with a butt load of cash) and got the deal done.

    And it’s not an easy sell, leave your legacy with an extremely loyal regional fanbase and a historical franchise to go to a team who’s 4th or fifth on the hierarchy of importance in their own city.

    And what city is that now? LA, Anaheim, The Real OC….?

  10. jimatkins - Dec 11, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    okwhitefalcon, ever watched an Angels game? Even on weeknights, the stadium is a sea of red, about 80% full (on Wednesday nights!) and the place is rocking. Angels baseball sells more tickets than any other sports venue in the second largest overall media market (straddles three of the largest metro areas in the US, LA, the OC, and the Inland Empire) in the country. Now, hopefully, the Dodgers will be back up next year. I’m an Angels man from way back, but I also respect the Blue. I want them to crawl out of the McCourt slime. We may go back to #2 in seats; but that’s still an awful lot of seats sold. We had thousands at Angel Stadium for a bleeding press conference! That ought to tell you something. We may (by your ranking) be 4 or so in importance in the overall area; but that area has a bigger population than the entire state of Missouri. And, it’s illegal to marry your first cousin here. That’s a major cultural advantage, right there.

    • cur68 - Dec 11, 2011 at 12:23 PM

      Aww man, you were doing so well till the last 2 sentences…

    • shea801 - Dec 11, 2011 at 12:39 PM

      lolwut!?

      You were doing well there until the end. Don’t let the weirdos in the Ozarks ruin it for the whole state, lol. Those people might as well be in Arkansas. Besides, making a incest joke about Missouri when you live in a state that is as eff’d up as any out there is a little absurd.

      Anyway, enjoy the best baseball player any are likely to see in a long time. He’s almost more than a ‘once in a generation’ player. I do hope he draws a crowd; it makes the sport better and we all benefit from it, but I’m still going to lament the loss of the best Cardinal I’ve ever gotten to see play :(

    • pkers - Dec 11, 2011 at 12:46 PM

      The Angels sell more tickets than the Lakers? Is that per game, or over the course of a season?

      • Kevin S. - Dec 11, 2011 at 1:57 PM

        Both, likely, since basketball arenas tend to only hold 20,000 or so and the NBA season is half the length of an MLB season. If you’re going to talk about total tickets sold, no sport can compare to baseball, and in terms of tickets/per game, only football has larger stadiums.

      • chuckj1234 - Dec 11, 2011 at 5:32 PM

        Capacity for the Lakers is 18,000… Angels is 40,000. Do the math.

    • okwhitefalcon - Dec 11, 2011 at 1:44 PM

      As Cur said you were doing fine til the last 2 sentences, I suppose I could counter by saying something like “It’s frowned upon in Missouri to elect actors who fuck their hired help and
      have an illegitimate child with said help to the governship” but that would just be tacky..

      I digress..

      As franchises go, there’s no comparison between the St Louis Cardinals and the Angels of wherever they choose to associate themselves at this particular point in time – that;s unquestionable.

      With that in mind, Moreno not only outbid but outsold a franchise with no identity or tradition over a crown jewel of franchises that was poorly represented by it’s less than dynamic duo of Bill Dewitt and John Mozeliak.

      • cintiphil - Dec 11, 2011 at 2:19 PM

        OK Whitey:
        Read the last comment I made. I don’t blame DeWitt or Mozeliak, they just can’t outspend the Angels. The business can not withstand paying the money the Angels can. Do the cards have 150 Mil. T-V contract? We don’t have it in Cinti. I don’t think the Reds can spend the 230 Mil the Cardinals offered. Money bought the guy and I am not surprised that he left. Lets see what happens in the next 4-5 years. I think the cards got the better end of the deal, because this allows them to go after a lot of good players on the F A list. If Albert lasts over 3 years at his past playing level, I would be surprised.

      • okwhitefalcon - Dec 11, 2011 at 3:40 PM

        I fully understand the Cards couldn’t outspend the Angels, no issues there.

        My issues are with the Dewitt’s/Mozeliak’s approach – or lack there of.

        They lacked the foresight to be proactive and get something locked in with Albert earlier and gambled they would have little competition once he hit free agency.

        They chose to let the situation play out and it backfired to the nth degree, sitting on their collective hands til it was too late.

  11. djpostl - Dec 11, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    I have no problems with a team not wanting to lock in for 10 years with a 31 year old, especially given the last few years for Alex Rodriguez. But what the hell were they thinking about not wanting to get a personal services deal involved? If he had signed with them he would have been a lifelong Cardinal and a Hall of Famer, so why the hell WOULDN’T you want that kind of clause in the contract?

  12. wardmanone - Dec 11, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    jimatkins, you need to get a grip,know what you speak of, I find interesting the sea of Red at about 80% during all games Wednesday? Be a bit more objective if the Angels are all that they would have selected what city to be aligned to again? 4th Largest City so what has nothing to do with actual seats sold if it did why or why would Houston have empty seats? It is the 5th largest city so what No is commenting on lifestyle or your choice the bankruptcy of a State? So get your facts straight stay on point and enjoy the Greatest Ballplayer of our generation you will be amazed more by his baseball IQ then his pure hitting.

    • Reflex - Dec 11, 2011 at 4:51 PM

      The Angels averaged 86% capacity last season, putting an average of 39,090 fans per game in seats over 82 home games.

  13. hushbrother - Dec 11, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    One of my earliest baseball memories is watching the 40+ year old Carl Yastrzemski slogging away for the Red Sox. I knew Yaz had once been a great player, but to me he was an old guy who would hit about 8 homers a year and run the bases slower than anyone in the league. Despite this, he was cheered louder than anyone on the team. I didn’t understand, not having been around in ’67, why this was, perhaps the same way young Yankee fans might not get why their slow-moving, unimposing shortstop is so revered by their elders. Yaz wasn’t at the tail end of a giant albatross contract at the time, but it’s safe to assume he was one of the highest-paid players on the team. Worst of all, the team had better, cheaper options in its farm system. From a personnel standpoint, playing Yaz every day in the early 80s was doing diddly squat to help the team win games.

    But do you think the fans cared a whit about that? Heck no. Yaz was a big reason why many of them came to the park at all.

    There’s something to be said for keeping superstars around, even as they are declining. No, it’s not a great practice, generally speaking. Would the Yankees be a better team if they had let Jeter walk last year and swung a trade for, say, one year of Jose Reyes? Probably. But would the fans have been happy about it?

    Isn’t part of the joy of going to the park seeing the players who tie you to the past? What fun would rooting for a team be if management insisted on discarding players the second they failed to justify their salaries, no matter what they had done for the team in previous years?

    The sight of Derek Jeter still makes Yankee fans feel good. A George Brett at bat was still an event in Kansas City in 1993. I’m a New England Patriots fan; the sight of Tom Brady in a Pats uni will never be a displeasing thing to me. Maybe the Cardinals made the right decision, letting an all-time great go and not being stuck with him during his inevitable decline years. Running a successful team is about looking forward, not dwelling on the past, even a glorious past. But to coldly let players walk out the door is essentially to say that the past doesn’t matter at all.

    • randygnyc - Dec 11, 2011 at 3:05 PM

      You’d be hard pressed to find few, if any Yankees fan that would rather have the oft injured Reyes rather than jeter. Reyes contract is twice as long, and twice as much, for half the playing time. Reyes is a one dimensional player, meaning all his production depends on his legs, which incidentally, are his weak link. Sure, his offensive production was electric this year, but when analyzing the SS position, you must also factor in his replacements stats too. Like it or not, until a few years pass showing Reyes can stay healthy, he must be viewed as the player he’s been the last 3 years. Unfortunately, until proven otherwise, that’s who Jose Reyes is.

      • Reflex - Dec 11, 2011 at 5:06 PM

        Um, looking at the stats, despite Reyes’ missed time over the past few years, he has significantly outperformed Jeter. Even worse, almost all of Jeter’s value over the past three years is in 2009, the past two seasons have been abyssmal. Jeter’s war over the past three years was 8.1, compared to 8.8 for Reyes, and for Jeter 6.1 of that was in 2009, which happened to be an injury year for Reyes.

        Hell, just for fun, Reyes’ in 35 games in 2009 contributed as much to the teams as Jeter did in 2011 in 131 games. Pretty scary how far the drop off has gone.

        Yes, the Yanks would be better with Reyes at this point and at any point over the past two years. Even if Reyes spent half the season on the DL for the next five years, they’d be better with him than Jeter.

  14. jikkle49 - Dec 11, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    I only fault the Cardinals front office for not locking him to a 10 year mega deal a few years early. I don’t disagree that giving a 10 year deal to a player that’s 31 would be too much especially for an NL team but why not do that deal when he was 27? It probably would’ve cost less, the contract would’ve ended before he had an extreme dropoff, and when it ended you could’ve signed him to a cheap short term contract to end his career there.

    And if what has been said about the Cardinals front office is true during the negations than no wonder why he left for the Angels. If it was you which team made you feel wanted more? I mean cmon not even matching the 10 year personal services contract the Angels offer would be pretty insulting to me. I mean you wouldn’t want one of the greatest Cardinals of all time to be part of your organization in some capacity after he’s done playing? Really?

  15. metalhead65 - Dec 11, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    so getting paid a ridiculous amount of money is not enough anymore? you must offer a job after you are done playing or you are disrespected? you are a ballplayer being paid a huge amount of money to play a game. the team owes you nothing more than that and you should not expect more.because he would not have held a job after his playing days he thinks the fans would have forgot about him? that he would not have always been held in reverance had he played his whole career there? what a bumh of b.s.! like the players always say when they sign with another team it’s a buisness and the cards were just doing whay was good for the team. either way he is a rich man so stop looking for excuses for deciding to leave. it was all about the money!

    • Reflex - Dec 11, 2011 at 5:10 PM

      The people offering the contract are even richer, and have made a fortune off of Pujols. Moreno was willing to more equitably share that wealth with Pujols than DeWitt was. Pujols did the right thing.

  16. cintiphil - Dec 11, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    I am amazed at all of the comments about being offended by a business offer. Everyone says baseball is a business, right? How can one be offended in a business dealing? I don’t think Albert was underpaid in the last 10 or so year. He and his agent agreed to the contract offered, and the money was paid. No one held a gun to his or his agent’s head to sign the deal. They took the money, and after a year or two said, oh wait, maybe I should be paid more. Now the Cardinals should tear up the contract they made, and say, OK, we will give you more? That makes no sense at all.

    Then, how can you say that a contract offer for $130 MIl for 5 years is an insult? It may be just a starting point in any negotiation. If any of you have business dealings you might know that. Anyway, his agent is doing all of the dealing, not Albert. Eventually the deal evolved to the last offer they made, and then the Angels offered some crazy amount, and he took it? Does anyone really feel an offer to pay 230 Mil. for 10 years is an insult? I don’t see anything wrong by either party. I think they only thing offensive about the story is how SPORTS WRITERS AND KNOW IT ALL PUNDITS wish to throw someone else money away. Easy for them to do it.

  17. jimatkins - Dec 11, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    Ok- my last 2 sentences were unnecessary snark. I apologize to all of you from Missouri and the outlying parts of Cardinal Nation. I worship Stan the Man too, being a fellow Pole. BTW, I didn’t vote for Arnold, and California politics is a sick joke from top to bottom.
    Now to the point:
    How many of the recent expansion teams (post 1960) have that kind of tradition? The Mets have their old lovable loser persona, but I don’t think that compares. Face it: the Cards, both colors of Sox, the Cubbies, all of them have about an 80 year head start, roughly speaking. It takes quite a while to build that. The only teams I can think of that have that kind of sheer devotion built over the last half century are the Raiders and Cowboys; the NFL’s popularity explosion in the 60’s caused that, I think. Marlin Nation? Not any time soon. Arte has been using the 50th anniversary this year to instill that in the organization and the fanbase. He’s trying.
    One last point- the Cards simply got outmaneuvered. That doesn’t mean they are a pack of losers. You all have my eternal gratitude for slapping the Rangers down in Game 6. That might be the greatest game I’ve ever watched, second only to Game 6 in 2002, and we know why I’m partial to that one.

  18. westcoastredbird - Dec 11, 2011 at 5:53 PM

    Arte Moreno just signed a contract with Fox Sports for 150 million per year for 20 years – that’s 3 billion dollars. The Cardinals couldn’t compete with that. If the Rangers sign Prince Fielder they will definitely have a better team than the Angels. There is nobody to protect Albert in the Angel’s lineup. What the Rangers learned in the World Series is that you can pitch around Albert and get away with it. If they sign Prince then the Angels will still be the Ranger’s little bitch.

  19. retrosimba - Dec 11, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    Get a grip. The Cardinals insulted Pujols? He insulted the Cardinals and their fans by showing he is a selfish fraud and a poster child for what is wrong with sports today

  20. wardmanone - Dec 11, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    lovesmesomeme, what you talking about? Get a grip on the article and keep up, to your comments Know this TLR invented baseball, Cards are greatest National League Franchise ever, Albert is the greatest player of our time, and You don’t get out much! What do all these comments have in common they are all true! ok TLR didn’t invent baseball.

  21. purnellmeagrejr - Dec 12, 2011 at 8:38 AM

    read most of the posts and the first one was still the best – signing Albert fort 10 is like marrying that woman that’s just starting to go to seed.

  22. irishjackmp - Dec 12, 2011 at 12:40 PM

    I am not one of those fans that secretly (or not so secretly) resents professional athletes for the astronomical salaries they make (hey, if you can convince someone to pay you millions to play a game, more power to you) but to call it “insulting” to have offered the money they did to a guy who will be 32 years old in the first year of the contract (an age when hitters start to diminsh) might be one of the single most idiotic things I have read in a long time.

    I am not a Cardinals fan but I suspect they will miss him for the first 3 years or so of the contract, and be secretly grateful he walked during the last 7 years of it as his production steadily diminishes. A team like the Yankees can afford to have $25m/year in dead money on their payroll, a mid market team like St. Louis can’t.

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