Agent: Pujols “On An Island By Himself”

Albert Pujols' representation hinted on Friday what their expectations might be for a long-term contract, writes Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Asked about how Ryan Howard's extension would impact Pujols' negotiations, agent Dan Lozano of Beverly Hills Sports Council indicated that Howard's deal wouldn't necessarily be used as a baseline:

"We have to pay attention to any significant multi-year deal, especially one signed by a big first baseman. But the reality is that there are no comparables for Albert. He is on an island by himself."

The 30-year-old slugger said over the winter that he might be willing to give the Cardinals a discount if it helped the team improve, but the Howard deal calls into question what would qualify as a "discount." According to Strauss, rival executives believe the annual value of Pujols' next contract will top Alex Rodriguez's $27.5MM average yearly salary and could approach or exceed $30MM.

Although the Cardinals say they've budgeted a hypothetical Pujols extension into their payroll projections for the next five years, it's unclear exactly what figures they're using. If Pujols receives close to $30MM annually, St. Louis would be paying over $45MM per season to their two stars, Pujols and Matt Holliday. For an organization whose opening day payroll has never exceeded $100MM, that would represent an enormous commitment.


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48 Comments on "Agent: Pujols “On An Island By Himself”"


Member
bomberj11
5 years 2 months ago

Baseball needs Albert to stay a Cardinal, no matter what it takes.

Guest
5 years 2 months ago

Why does baseball need Albert to stay in St. Louis? Because you heard that cliche somewhere and repeated it here? What do you think would happen to baseball in Pittsburgh if Albert signed there? Wouldn’t that be a bigger benefit than having him stay in St. Louis?

Member
Triteon
5 years 2 months ago

For the same reason that it’s good for Mauer to stay a Twin or Jeter to stay a Yankee. Having a superstar develop through a system is refreshing for the fan base and helps build a lasting interest in the sport and loyalty to a team, especially in kids. The beginnings of free agency in baseball were born in St. Louis and, while the sport will always have vagabond players, it would be nice to see at least a partial end to seeing the best athletes out there change cities frequently.

Member
bomberj11
5 years 2 months ago

Exactly. It’s just nice to see players stay with one team their whole career, like you said, players like Jeter, or Mauer.

Member
peterherman
5 years 2 months ago

It’s heartwarming, sure. Ultimately though, it’s not as much of benefit to all of baseball as it is to the specific teams in question. What do the Kansas City Royals gain from Pujols staying in St. Louis? Not much of anything really. It’s good for St. Louis, and it’s especially good for the Cardinals organization who will continue to sell a lot of Pujols jerseys, but for baseball as a whole it doesn’t really do that much to see Jeter retire a Yankee, Mauer a Twin or Pujols a Cardinal. The Phillies just handed out a ludicrous contract for Howard based in part I’m certain on this line of thinking.

Member
markjsunz
5 years 2 months ago

You are correct , but not all fan bases are the same. No matter how much the owner of the Dodgers destroys that franchise they are always going to be near the top in attendance. Dodger stadium is more of a destination stop then anything else on a warm summer night, they will continue to draw regardless. They do not have a knowledgeable fan base like a midwest or east coast team. The fans come in droves around the third inning, and leave in droves after the seventh inning. It is an LA thing.

Member
markjsunz
5 years 2 months ago

You are correct , but not all fan bases are the same. No matter how much the owner of the Dodgers destroys that franchise they are always going to be near the top in attendance. Dodger stadium is more of a destination stop then anything else on a warm summer night, they will continue to draw regardless. They do not have a knowledgeable fan base like a midwest or east coast team. The fans come in droves around the third inning, and leave in droves after the seventh inning. It is an LA thing.

Member
TytheSportsGuy
5 years 2 months ago

Albert will sign for less money than people think. He is already a part of the StL community, and his family wouldn’t want to leave. He wants to win and the Cardinals give him a chance with their 10 championship resume. I wouldn’t be surprised if Pujols shocked the world and signed for 7 years 140 Million. Pujols has stated in the past that he wants to win and he needs other players to do it. Why not set a great example for Superstars and take a 20 million a year paycut for his work. People underestimate the greatness of Pujols and the Cardinals organization time and again, and this time people will finally realize.

Member
fitz
5 years 2 months ago

You really are a dreamer aren’t you?

Member
Triteon
5 years 2 months ago

He’s half a dreamer — there really is a different attitude among athletes who have established roots in St. Louis. One of the great local criticisms — before the steroid issues came to light — about Mark McGwire was that he never even appeared to “stay local”; McGwire was on a plane for the west coast before the seats were cold at Busch following the season’s end. Pujols is an established citizen and has treated the region with the same respect as we’ve given him. But in terms of the money — no, he’s going to get paid…a lot.

Guest
5 years 2 months ago

If Pujols would “shock the world” and sign for $20 million a year….. why hasn’t he done it yet? Why did he rebuff the Cardinals last year when they approached him about an extension? Albert is a human being first and whatever else he has in his life the Cardinals fit in there somewhere. Does that mean he’s willing to forgo potentially massive earnings just to make St. Louis fans happy?

He’s going to get paid, and it will be a heck of a lot more than $20 million and it may just come from a team other than the Cardinals.

Member
Triteon
5 years 2 months ago

He didn’t rebuff the Cardinals, they were concentrating on Holliday and the bench. Pujols has never in his career discussed a contract situation during the season…his choice. Plus, the contract isn’t an issue yet, as he’s signed through this season with a 2011 club option. And, again, there will be no $20MM contract for him, it’ll be far higher.

Member
aaronanderson16
5 years 2 months ago

Ok there is no way Pujols signs for 20 mil but I wouldnt be surprised if it was 27 mil a year for 7 or 8 years with options for the last 2 or 3 years. But what cracks me up is you cubs fans will find anything to try to make yourselves feel good about. Since we all know you are not going to a win a world series this year you all must be getting in groups talking and hoping pujols signs elsewhere. The cubs suck, they have for a century, and you all need to find something to be excited about. This reminds me of when we signed Holliday you all were saying yes this is going to be like soriano. Well unlike soriano, holliday works his ass off to stay healthy and stay in shape and be a good baseball player. Another thing that helps is holliday is 30 years old, while soriano is probably 37 right now with still some years left on his deal.

Member
MasterDave
5 years 2 months ago

He said he didn’t want his contract to be a distraction from the team making an effort at contending.

ie: I don’t want to take away Matt Holliday’s money, please sign him so we can continue to embarrass the Cubs.

He’s probably not going to sign for less than 25m/year, but you will probably be surprised as to the nature of the contract and how it will help the team in the short-term while it pays Pujols in the long-term. It’s not going to be a typical front loaded contract that cripples the team. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him clocking 2-3 mil/year (inflation adjusted) from 2020-2050, while taking “only” 10m/year in current year values for a $200m (rough guess) contract.

Member
Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

You really wouldn’t be surprised to see Pujols defer money for 30 YEARS? Pujols can’t even guarantee himself he’ll be alive in 2050.

Member
MasterDave
5 years 2 months ago

I’d like to think an athlete in pretty good shape would be able to last until he’s 70.

I’d really like to think that a millionaire who keeps in pretty good shape would REALLY be able to last until 70.

Is there a rash of athletes that have died in their 60’s (other than football players on steroids) that I’m unaware of?

Whether or not it’s a financially viable idea for either side, hey who knows. 30 years of payments, 20 years of payments, whatever. I’m just saying that a greatly deferred contract seems the most likely scenario here based on the inability of St. Louis to afford 30m/year on a single player AND still field a competitive team for the duration of the contract.

Member
Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

I also believe that it is likely Pujols will live to see age 70, I was just claiming that it’s something he’d have to think about if the Cardinals came to him with a contract like that, and by the way I don’t think there is any chance a contract deferring payments for that long comes to fruition.

Member
Will_Clarks_Gauchos
5 years 2 months ago

As this site reported last week, Bobby Bonilla took a deal like that. I’m pretty sure the Giants are still paying Bonds. Admittedly those deals don’t payout to those guys into their 70’s, but I think MasterDave makes a reasonable point.

Member
Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

I also believe that it is likely Pujols will live to see age 70, I was just claiming that it’s something he’d have to think about if the Cardinals came to him with a contract like that, and by the way I don’t think there is any chance a contract deferring payments for that long comes to fruition.

Member
Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

You really wouldn’t be surprised to see Pujols defer money for 30 YEARS? Pujols can’t even guarantee himself he’ll be alive in 2050.

Guest
5 years 2 months ago

Btw, just curious, how have people underestimated the Cardinals organization time and again? By picking them to win the Central and go to the playoffs most years? How have they underestimated Pujols, by picking him as MVP three time and sending him to every All-Star game and calling him the best player on the planet?

Being the unappreciated underdog is appealing I guess but it doesn’t work when you’re not unappreciated or an underdog.

Member
TytheSportsGuy
5 years 2 months ago

BTW just curious how does it feel to root for the Lovable Losers? 1908 :)

Member
bucs_lose_again
5 years 2 months ago

Whoa…this is original stuff here, folks.

Member
Drew
5 years 2 months ago

That’s what we said about Mauer…

Member
0vercast
5 years 2 months ago

Exactly what I was thinking. Just like Mauer, the discount will be in terms of years, not dollars per. He could’ve gotten 9 or 10 years in the AL East IMO, for likely the same per year or a little more.

Member
R_y_a_n
5 years 2 months ago

7/140?

Yea, if Pujols snorts loads of crack right before that contract is proposed, the Cardinals would have a chance.

And I mean LOADS of crack.

Member
empathizerightonyourbehind
5 years 2 months ago

like i said, as unconventional and “never gonna happen” as it is, i like the idea of the “the reverse wakefield” contract: give pujols a $25-million option that he can chose whether or not to renew after each season. he can play as long as he wants.

Member
Rich_in_NJ
5 years 2 months ago

How many other teams can afford to bid on him?

The Yankees have Teix, the Phillies have Howard. That leaves the RS, conceivably the Mets, and perhaps an LA team.

My guess is that the RS will have solved 1B by then, and Ike Davis could be the Mets’ 1Bman, so there may not be much competition for the Cards.

The agent likely suspects that, which is why he is using creative language.

Member
lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 2 months ago

It’s like Lebron in the NBA… teams will find a way to pay for Albert.

Member
Yankees420
5 years 2 months ago

Except teams in the NBA have been preparing for the last 2 years for Lebron to hit FA, so it’s not really that similar, especially with the salary cap and max contracts in the NBA.

Member
lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 2 months ago

Yea, the max contracts/salary cap is obviously different, but the MLB has until after 2011 for Albert… 2 years….

Member
lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 2 months ago

Yea, the max contracts/salary cap is obviously different, but the MLB has until after 2011 for Albert… 2 years….

Member
VinnyG917
5 years 2 months ago

Maybe the Yankees will pick him up for sh*ts and giggles