The Cardinals and every single Cardinals fan knew the deadline for signing Albert Pujols, and much to the dismay of all Cardinals fans, the deadline has passed and there’s no deal on the table.
Pujols has arguably been the best hitter in baseball for the past several years and he wanted to be paid accordingly. Pujols had been searching for contract worth somewhere in the ball park of over $260 million over ten years, the Cardinals were simply not ready to offer the slugger that kind of money.
The offer of around $20 million per season must have almost seemed like a slap in the face to Pujols, and there’s was no way he was going to accept it. It remains to be seen how this will play out and exactly what deadline set by Pujols really means.
But the question has to be asked, is Pujols worth the Cardinals paying him more money than any player in the history of the game, including A-Rod?
I know there’s all sorts of graphs and money ball numbers that indicate Pujols might be worth that much, but personally, I don’t see it.
Contrary to popular belief, a slugging first baseman that hits with power like Pujols comes around more than a couple times in a lifetime. We’ve already seen the likes of Mark McGwire and Ryan Howard, and while you can argue they aren’t in the same category as Pujols, a power hitting firstbasemen isn’t exactly an oddity. As far HR’s go, starting in 2006 Ryan Howard hit 58, 47, 48, 45, before dropping off to 31 homers in 2010. Pujols was no slouch himself during the same period hitting 49, 32, 37, 47, before hitting 42 homers in 2010, of course though, Pujols consistently hits over .300, making him the better hitter. But given this comparison, you can see why the Cardinals aren’t selling the farm just yet. To many Pujols fans, what I’m saying is blasphemy.
But keep in mind, if you’re comparing salaries to someone like A-Rod, a shortstop and thirdbaseman than could steal 50 bases and was the best overall player in the game, to me, Pujols doesn’t fall into that category.
Don’t get me wrong, since coming into the league in 2001, there isn’t a better hitter in the game than Albert Pujols, but I hesitate to say he’s by far the best player in the game, it’s not undisputed as was the case with A-Rod in every facet of the game.
That said, with all Pujols has done for the Cardinals, including winning a World Series, it would be a big mistake for them to lose him to a team like the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers or even the Red Sox, willing to shell out the big money to sign him.
With deadline passed, sportsbooks can now weigh in with their offerings. Will the Cards resign Pujols?