Each day, I’m getting inquiries about Albert Pujols. People want to know how much do I think he’s going to get per year. They want to know if the Cardinals are going to get this done. They want to know where he’ll land if the Cardinals don’t re-sign him.
Today, Jon Heyman of SI is reporting that the two sides are far apart.
While neither side is talking publicly, early word is that Pujols has used A-Rod’s contract, the richest in baseball and one that guarantees him least $275 million over 10 years as the only comp … The Cardinals, meanwhile, are said to have initially suggested a contract that would guarantee Pujols at least a bit less than $200 million. The exact particulars of their offer or offers aren’t known, but there is a belief around the game that the Cardinals are hoping to keep the deal to seven years or less.
Obviously, it’s Jon Heyman. He’s been inside the game a lot more than I have. Good reporter, and if he says something you can usually take it that the smoke leads to fire.
But if I tell you that it’s Easter–you better start coloring you eggs on Friday.
Ultimately, I see the fold before a lot of people do. I guarantee you that the Cardinals get this done. It might drag out past the purported deadline. It might look bleak and send people in the land of the golden arch into a panic. Reports and stories all over blogs will break that Pujols is destined for Anaheim, the Bronx, Los Angeles, etc.
And the Cardinals will get something down in the perceived 11th hour to keep him a Cardinal for lifetime. Trust me on this.
The Cardinals aren’t going to allow the greatest player in the modern history of their franchise and maybe this game altogether to walk out of town. It’s just not going to happen. And even if it’s going to take some shuffling, Pujols will remain a Cardinal.
If I’m in charge of the Cardinals or I own the team–I try to see how we can get this done feasibly. If it can’t get done feasibly, then I see what parts can be moved to free up the funds to get it done because if I don’t it’s going to mean serious loss and a possibility of never recovering. You don’t just replace Albert Pujols with a blue chip prospect. I don’t care who it is, it’s not going to put butts in the seats or have people perusing your website like this legendary figure does. It would be bad business if they let him walk. And you’re not going to trade the guy. That’s disaster waiting to happen.
Look for the Cardinals to move one of the big three of Matt Holliday, Chris Carpenter, or Adam Wainwright if they must. Look for them to get creative. But don’t look for them to ever let Albert wear another uniform. You heard it here first. Pujols isn’t going anywhere.