What will happen between Pujols and the Cards this year?

Albert Pujols and the Cardinals are negotiating a contract. Pujols has stated that negotiations will stop when he reports to Spring Training on February 16. If he doesn’t re-sign, he is due to become a free agent at the end of the season.

What’s going to happen?

I vote “They get a deal done by 2/16” because I am a hopeless optimist.

I assume they will sign him to a huge new contract, recognizing his likely value on the field for the next few years and his marketing value beyond that. I don’t know about the 2/16 deadline, but I would be truly shocked if he goes to FA.

I cannot rationally vote in this poll… I hope both sides come to an agreement, but it is becoming more likely that it goes to free agency.

My heart says he’s a Card for life.

Oh, I’m not voting rationally, either. I don’t have any real information to base my opinion on. Just… desperate hope, really. I kinda think they’ll get it done by 2/16, just based on my sense that both sides seem to want to make it work. But I have no clue, really.

Whatever happens

Half the fans will blame Mozelak and DeWitt for not getting a deal done sooner.
Half the fans will castigate Pujols for being greedy, since no ballplayer is worth that much.
Half the fans will decide this is the best time to maximize Pujols’ value by trading him for the entire 1927 Yankees.
Half the fans will complain that ticket prices will go up and that the owners could afford to sign Pujols and pay him out of spare change.
Half the fans will blame LaRussa – just because.

Yes, those totals do add up to more than 100%. What’s your point?

The guys on MLB radio this morning said that there is just about no way there will an agreement before 2/16, according to team sources.

If I had to bet, I’d put money on a deal getting done after the deadline though. I think Pujols wants to stay in St. Louis and they want to keep him.

He hits free agency and signs a huge deal with the Cardinals. I don’t think he wants to leave and there aren’t many teams that can pay him the kind of money he’s looking for, particularly since the Yankees and Red Sox already have huge, long-term deals with their own first basemen (and they’re not likely to move either one to DH to make room for Pujols even if they could afford him). Remember how Alex Rodriguez was a big-name free agent after 2007, and the Yankees were the only team that was ever seriously in the running? The Angels kicked the tires a little, but it was really a one-horse race the whole time. I think it’ll work out the same way with Pujols.

I agree with Marley23, that Albert will become a FA, but ultimately re-sign with St. Louis.

Yeah, I think Marley has the most likely outcome. Pujols (and his agent) have no real incentive to take a deal right now, knowing that the Cards certainly aren’t going to offer any less in the offseason. The only thing they lose is a bit of fan sentiment. And they have the potential to gain a larger offer from another team or just from the Cards bidding themselves up.

Even a major injury likely doesn’t do much to his value as a free agent (worst-case is if the elbow blows up, and TJ surgery can fix that relatively quickly).

So, yeah, that’s my vote - no deal till the off-season, but then at least a 75% chance he re-signs with the Cards.

In retrospect, I should have had options for “Free Agency but re-signs with Cards” and “Free Agency and signs elsewhere.” Sorry 'bout that.

I agree with this, though it is interesting to think about where else he could go. The Mets and Dodgers are obvious possibilities, but need to get their ownership straightened out. The Angels could be in it, but if they got scared off by Crawford, I can’t see them giving Pujols the 10 years they want. The Rangers probably have more money to spend and no real solution at first. The Blue Jays might be able to afford him with all the money off the books, but who knows if he wants to play in Canada. The Orioles probably could too for that matter. The Royals have basically no contractual commitments beyond this year, and it would let him stay in the midwest, but first base isn’t really a need. The cubs and giants could use him, but both have a lot of long term contracts already. The Nats might want to make another splash if money is his top priority. The Mariners have money and desperately need offense.

Anyone else? My guess would be the Rangers would be the non-Cardinal favorite.

I actually would have to put my non-Cards money on the <shudder> Cubs. They have a huge need and a lot of money coming off the books soon.

Rangers and Angels seem the next most likely, I suppose.

I don’t see Orioles, Jays, Royals, etc, just because one of Pujols’ main complaints has been with the dedication to fielding a competitive team. Then again, we’ve heard that before only to see players to where the money is.

From everything I know about Pujols, he’s not going to give up a shot at winning more World Series rings for any amount of money.

And that pretty much rules out the Cubs. :stuck_out_tongue:

This won’t reach FA. The Cardinals will put a horse head in Pujols’ bed to force a settlement.

It’s interesting to me that a plurality of those answering this highly scientific and signifiacant poll (~47% as I write) think Pujols will bend his deadline and a deal will be struck during ST or the regular season. I’d be happy if that happens, but it strikes me as the least likely outcome. I think this is the third year when AP has said “no talks after I report”, and he seems serious about that condition. As much as I am in awe of AP’s abilities, he has always seemed to me to be kind of an inflexible, I-said-it-I-meant-it, hardcase. I just don’t see him cutting the Cards a break on the due date.

I can’t believe the Cardinals haven’t made this deal happen, yet. Pujols averages career year numbers. His down years put him in the top 5 MVP voting. On top of that he’s a good guy that never seems to have a bad thing to say about a teammate or management. I think Pujols would be willing to give St. Louis a discount, but not an insane one. They are going to have to spend a lot of money to keep him.

I seem to be in the minority. I believe that if he becomes a free agent the Yankees will go after him. They do not need a first basemen. But, Pujols is more than just another first baseman. And, the Yankees have more money than most teams. So, I think their name will be in there. I also think the Angels would be willing to spend money for him, and maybe the Cubs, too. I am not as sure about the Red Sox, but again, Pujols is special, I wouldn’t put it past them. Sadly, the Phillies won’t even make the phone call. They already have too much money in Howard, and they can’t eat that as easily as the Yankees could a similar deal.

Now, the Mets and the Dodgers? In a perfect world they would be in on it, too. But, I don’t see either of their messes cleaned up by next year. So, I don’t think there will be more than a passing interest by either team.

I have been surprised how many people have turned against him. Maybe, they are people who already disliked him. But, people are really upset he hasn’t signed a contract yet. They are calling him greedy and without integrity. Of course, these are the comments on blogs. But, blogs that usually have a pretty intelligent discourse. Really weird.

Anyway. if he doesn’t sign by the deadline I expect him to fly the coop. Simply because, if St. Louis won’t meet his demands now. How can we expect them to meet them when there are other teams bidding and driving up the numbers?

Point being 100 divided by 5 is high school math…

They don’t have any place to put him, nevermind that this would give them four players making more than $20 million a year for at least four years (plus Jeter for several more years, and oh yes, they need a few other guys). Teixeira is going to be their first baseman for quite a while yet; he’s 30 and in the third year of an eight-year contract at $22.5 million a year. A-Rod is going to be their full-time DH within a couple of years, and he’s not going anywhere for a long time either. He’s 35 and going into year four of a 10-year deal at about $27.5 million a year. Pujols is also 30 and he’ll be looking for a contract of around eight years and money close to what A-Rod is getting.

That’s another reason I think Pujols stays in St. Louis. Yes, other teams are going to be interested (it would make sense for the Angels to try, I think), but the Yankees and Sox aren’t going to be involved in this one.

I don’t see the Yankees making a move for Pujols. Tex has first base nailed down for years and he seems to fit in very well with the team’s chemistry. He may not have Pujols’ offensive numbers but I just don’t see the upgrade in offense to be worth the increase in payroll.

Pujols is 31 now. Turns out it’s 2011!