Steve Berthiaume: “Cincinnati Reds tried for Albert Pujols.”

I’m going to have to credit a Cardinals blog with the assist on this one.

Last week on the Jonah Keri podcast, ESPN’s Steve Berthiaume (whom we love) was the guest. He spoke about the Cincinnati Reds coming thisclose to acquiring former Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols:

“I think, think they (the Reds) were a lot closer to getting Albert Pujols than anybody knows or anybody talked about. I think the Votto money was targeted for Pujols in the off-season and when that didn’t pan out that they said, OK, let’s keep our guy, let’s give it to Joey Votto. I think those two were more connected than anyone realizes.”

Alright, before you start with the ‘I don’t buy it’ business, remember that Berthiaume is way more connected than you or even I. I do buy it.

Look at the money the Reds gave Votto. I think there were rumblings in the Reds front office about going after Pujols. And I think that Walt Jocketty used Pujols as a way of convincing Bob Castellini that the Reds could write a contract like this up to begin with.

When the Reds missed the mark of how much Pujols wanted, those numbers still worked for the guy already under contract and all the Reds needed to do was change the name written on the deal. A right handed hitter like Pujols helps the Reds more than Votto does.