The Giant Pujols Debate

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The Giant Pujols Debate

Postby dmiles2186 » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:48 pm

Well, this forum hasn't been put to good use in awhile, so I'm going to post something here and hope it generates some talk. Probably the biggest story going in baseball right now is Pujols and the negotiating window. Spring training is but a few weeks away and no reports that seem to indicate a deal is close.

Lots of Cardinals fans are split on this debate. On one side, you've got the "Pay the guy whatever he wants, he should never wear another uniform." On the other, "The team is more important than one player. Pay him a lot, but if it's too high, we'll be fine without him."

I'm in the first category. Typically, I'm all about the team. I rarely have any favorite players because I have no emotional ties to them, so to speak. But Pujols is different. Players like him don't come around every day. You don't draft and then keep Hall of Fame level players their entire careers too often any more. Jeter is one example. Gwynn and Ripken others. But it's a different era, it's just not the same.

Is a 10 year, $300 million for a 31 year old first baseman that's always gutting out injuries a stupid contract? You bet. But this guy should finish his career as a Cardinal. Could you image if Stan Musial, who played 22 years, left after 10 years to go play for someone else?

It's unfathomable. And that's what you would be doing. I know the risks involved, a 40 year old Pujols, hitting .275, 20 hr and 75 rbi hobbling around 10 years from now, making 30 mil a season on a 70 win team. Yeah, that would be awful. But it wouldn't be so bad if he's nearing 700 home runs, or 3,000 hits. This guy is Cardinal baseball and he can be forever if he wants.

This town has a history of letting athletes in their prime leave too early. Cujo, Shanny, Hull, Pronger, Warner, etc. I'm missing others, of course. Even guys like London Fletcher, etc. that left and went on for extended periods of success elsewhere and took years to replace.

Don't let it happen again. The risk of having Holliday and Pujols making a combined $50 mil a season is high, but that just means the Cardinals must shift their philosophy to drafting, developing and promoting young talent, and supplementing with smart, cheap free agent signings. It can be done.

As I always say, the Cardinals are in a small market nationally, but not in terms of baseball. This is one of the biggest baseball markets around.

One last thought...sometime, next April, you go to your first game of the season and you hear this, "...and batting 3rd for the visiting Chicago Cubs, first baseman, Albert Pujols." BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

It could happen.
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Re: The Giant Pujols Debate

Postby philco_3 » Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:45 pm

Granite the guy is a baseball god, but like you said when he is at the end of his career do you really want to be paying him 30 million? Do you do a front loaded contract like some NHL teams have been doing (if possible)? If the guy wants to be a Cardinal for life, he wouldn't be asking for that much to be a on a competing team year after. He would take less money to help spread the wealth around to get talent in there to play along side him.
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Re: The Giant Pujols Debate

Postby abc789987 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:05 am

I cannot see the cardinals letting albert walk away from this team. It will not happen.
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Re: The Giant Pujols Debate

Postby Leedog » Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:57 am

There is a poiont where it is too much. Should they sign him if he asks for $50 mil per year? Of course not. How 'bout $40? $35? "Only " $30, but for 15 years?
I know I'm going overboard, but point is there is a line that is too much for too many, and if he demands that you have to say "good luck getting it elsewhere".
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Re: The Giant Pujols Debate

Postby goon attack » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:35 pm

dmiles, I'm with you. Give him what he wants. Dude should retire as a Cardinal.
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Re: The Giant Pujols Debate

Postby Leedog » Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:58 pm

He had said in the past he didn't need every penny as long as the team stayed competitive. Here is a way to have him put his money where his mouth is. Give him, say, $25mil per for as long as he maintains certain standards. But, the TEAM payroll has to exceed a fixed amount. If it doesn't, he get's a bonus of the dif, so they are guaranteed to spend a minimal amount and might as well do it on surrounding him with more talent.
I'm already getting tired of this. If he is being too ridiculous, then he is just a phony baloney, and good luck elsewhere.
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Re: The Giant Pujols Debate

Postby glen a richter » Sun Feb 06, 2011 12:23 pm

I will boldly predict that Pujols ends up being very well compensated--by the Mets. As a result of losing Pujols, Prince Fielder will be slightly less compensated by the Cardinals. As a result of losing Fielder, the Brewers will be sunk, making this season their only viable chance to be competitive. The top three in the NL Central this year will be the Cards, Brewers and Reds, not necessarily in that order.
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Re: The Giant Pujols Debate

Postby Leedog » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:42 pm

The Mets are in a huge financial mess right now that won't be resolved in a year.
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Re: The Giant Pujols Debate

Postby dmiles2186 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:41 pm

After reading some articles on this, I'm thinking there's a lot of negotiation tactics at play here. On both sides.

Check this article: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball ... 2bc8b.html

And while the kitchen was buzzing, there was time for the men to spend with Albert Pujols as they shot pool and delicately broached the subject every Cardinal fans wonders about.

It was Bret Jerger who told him, "I know you don't want to talk about your contract, but we just want you to know that as Cardinal fans, we sure hope you'll stay in St. Louis."

The comment unlocked something, and Pujols proceeded to tell the men "off the record" thoughts about the process of his negotiation.

"At one point, he said, 'I'm telling you guys more about this than I've said to anyone,' " Bob Brady said. "And you find yourself thinking, 'We're here with Albert Pujols, and he's talking about his contract.' "



Let's all be honest here, Albert has been a bargain at this point. He's making 16 million dollars this year. In "real world" numbers, that's a huge amount. In baseball, when you look at the names that are being paid more than he is? Albert wants to be paid like the best player in the game, because he is. That's not an outlandish request. Don't we all do that at our own place of business?

Holliday was on "Mike and Mike" today, apparently, and said he'd 'help' by deferring money from his deal if it helped sign Pujols.
http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball ... 2bc8b.html

Holliday appeared on "Mike and Mike", ESPN's signature morning show that is broadcast locally in St. Louis on 101.1 FM ESPN/WXOS. He was asked by the host, his friend Doug Gottlieb, if he would defer additional money from his contract to fit Pujols into the Cardinals' payroll. The question provided the answer as much as Holliday did.

"I would be willing if they came to me and said, 'Hey this is what it's going to take to get Albert done. Would you do it again or would you do more?'" Holliday said on the show. "Scott wouldn't like me to say that. But if that's what it took, I would be willing to do that."

Scott is his agent Scott Boras.



There's a lot of moving pieces here. Pujols doesn't want the negotiation to distract the team once they are in camp. But I'd argue that if he doesn't sign, it's going to be a shatstorm all season with the media hanging around the team. Every nationally televised game will have at least one or two mentions about this being 'possibly the last year' for Pujols with the Cardinals. The fans will be in a panic. There will be mix of anger (possibly boos), desperation (how many 'Please Stay Albert' signs will we see this year?), and chaos as the season winds down if Pujols isn't signed.

At the same time, Dewitt and Mozeliak knew this was coming. The countdown is down to 5 days before Albert shows up in camp. With any luck, he'll have signed by then.
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Re: The Giant Pujols Debate

Postby Leedog » Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:14 pm

How much of a bargain would AP have been if he hit .200 with 8 hr last year? A long term contract is a 2 way street. That's what the Cardinals are afraid of... being on the hook for $30 mil per when he is 39-41 when he might be hitting .200.
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Re: The Giant Pujols Debate

Postby dmiles2186 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:59 pm

I get that and I'm with you on that. That's the risk the Cardinals run making him a 'Cardinal for Life.' I'm just saying from Pujols' perspective, he's been 'underpaid' his entire career mostly. If you were the best at your job but were being paid less than those around you, a raise would be at the top of your list. There are those that are painting Pujols as greedy, but I'd argue that he's just wanting what he's owed, and that's to be paid as the best player in the game, which he is.
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Re: The Giant Pujols Debate

Postby dmiles2186 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:08 pm

PUKE.

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Re: The Giant Pujols Debate

Postby goon attack » Fri Feb 11, 2011 4:36 pm

for as much as a saint as he is, almost anybody would feel that they deserve more if other people not as good are getting paid more.

PAY HIM LEERY.

I don't give a shit if he's hitting .200 a few years into a monster contract. PAY HIM DAMMNIT!
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Re: The Giant Pujols Debate

Postby cardsfan04 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:55 am

Albeit nervous, I'm confident a deal will get done at some point for several reasons:

- Cards are a well-ran franchise. Well-ran franchises don't break the bank on a 2nd-tier star at the cost of losing a top-tier star. So, logically, the Cards committed to signing Pujols when they signed Holliday.

- Free Agency and the deadline are nothing more than tactics to get the upper hand in negotiations. He wants to be a Cardinal, and they are determined to keep him. Yankees won't go after him. Red Sox either. Mets are in financial trouble, so they can't give him a monster deal. Phillies just signed Howard. Angels and Cubs are only teams I can think of that are huge threats. And, I have to believe the Cardinals believe something along those lines or they would have made a better effort at locking him up already.

I don't want to pay him $30 million when he's 39-41, but I'm fine with paying him that right now (even if it means Carpenter is done after this year). I'd love to see some sort of deal where he gets 7 years at ~$30 million. Then, add in a few conditional option years w/ incentives. Maybe if he hits .300 or 40HR and doesn't end the year on the DL, his option is automatically picked up. And, you could even drop his guaranteed money to 20-25 at the end with the potential to get to 30-35 depending on performance.

The issue isn't paying him when he's old. It is paying him when he's old if he's not performing. Conditional options and incentives protect the cards from overpaying when he's in the twilight of his career, but keep him here.

If he goes to the Cubs, especially if it comes out the Cards offered him a great contract, I will burn my jersey.
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Re: The Giant Pujols Debate

Postby dmiles2186 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:33 pm

Great points, cardsfan.

I'm with you, I do believe a deal done. They've shifted the 'deadline' to Wednesday out of respect for Stan the Man's Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony tomorrow. Rightfully so.

The painful part of this is seeing fans and writers take sides. HE'S GREEDY. CARDS ARE CHEAP. There's not many people setting up in the gray area between both. The Cards aren't cheap, they consistently have a payroll north of 100 million bills. They're not a huge market, though they are a huge baseball market. That's a substantial number. And Pujols isn't greedy, he wants what he's owed.

If I'm a player, I want all the stability I can get. Sounds like the hang up is that Albert wants 10 years, the Cardinals are (rightfully so) hesitant to do that. I'm with cardsfan, a 7 year deal with options would be great. Maybe not what Albert wants, but you never know, he goes along and down the road, they could always extend his contract down the road. It doesn't have to be hard.

By the way, this is the longest the Cards have been in the national news for quite some time. If not McGwire's 'admission' and his comeback as a coach, surely the '06 World Series.
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Re: The Giant Pujols Debate

Postby #1ELPBluzFan » Mon Feb 14, 2011 4:34 pm

I don't see Albert going anywhere...and I really don't think that he'd go elsewhere simply because the pay would be better - I think errrrr I HOPE he's better than that!
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Re: The Giant Pujols Debate

Postby dmiles2186 » Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:27 pm

Deadline has come and gone. I'm so glad this this will not be a distraction during the season.
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Re: The Giant Pujols Debate

Postby DaDitka » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:43 pm

Bye - Bye Albert!

In the great St. Louis tradition, the Cards will let their greatest player walk and get nothing in return. The only thing that would make this more familiar for us Blues fans is if Albert wore the #16 this year.

Want to know where not signing and not trading your best player (even though you know you have no chance of retaining him) get's you?

I present to you...the 2010-2011 Cleveland Cavaliers. :okman:
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Re: The Giant Pujols Debate

Postby philco_3 » Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:13 pm

DaDitka wrote:Bye - Bye Albert!

In the great St. Louis tradition, the Cards will let their greatest player walk and get nothing in return. The only thing that would make this more familiar for us Blues fans is if Albert wore the #16 this year.

Want to know where not signing and not trading your best player (even though you know you have no chance of retaining him) get's you?

I present to you...the 2010-2011 Cleveland Cavaliers. :okman:


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Re: The Giant Pujols Debate

Postby cardsfan04 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:39 pm

I was thinking about this, and there are two rather significant silver linings if we can't get a deal done.

1. We likely re-sign Carpenter. He wants to stay here, but we can't afford him with Pujols. If we aren't paying Pujols 30/year, then we will have money to bring Carpenter back. Having 2 aces pretty much automatically qualifies a team as a contender. Of course, he's getting old though. There also is a chance that we don't lose Pujols until late into free agency and Carpenter signs somewhere else in the meantime.

2. After signing Carpenter, we would still have a lot of money to spend. Say we give Carpenter a 5mil raise (we won't which strengthens my point). We will still have $25mil to spend that was delegated for Pujols (assuming $30mil/year). I doubt they put all of that into a major signing or trade. But, we will have lots of options with an already solid team. Hell, if Berkman works out, we could move him to first and acquire an all-star OF of some sort.

I really hope we get him, but it might not be such a disaster if we don't.
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