Poll: The Cardinals & Albert Pujols

The Cardinals have until Spring Training to work out an extension with Albert Pujols. Since he's the face of the franchise and arguably the best player in the game, there's a fair amount of pressure on the team not to let the slugger hit free agency. After all, the bidding for a three-time MVP coming off of consecutive home run titles would likely accelerate in no time. Now, the Cards have exclusive negotiating rights with their first baseman.

With just one season remaining on his current contract, Pujols has a fair amount of leverage. If the Cardinals don't meet his demands, he can resist their overtures and wait for other clubs to enter the bidding after the season. And a player of Pujols' caliber could potentially ask for an Alex Rodriguez-like deal on the open market.

Which means everyone wants to know the answer to this question:


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93 Comments on "Poll: The Cardinals & Albert Pujols"


4 years 7 months ago

They really need to wrap this up soon, let’s face facts…

1.) St. Louis needs Pujols and he needs St. Louis.

2.) Carp is now 36 with a huge injury history, I think they shouldn’t worry about his contract situation right now.

3.) They will still be able to lock Wainwright up in the long-term, and Holliday is already signed.

…that gives them Albert, Holliday and Wainwright as centerpieces for the team once guys like Franklin and Carp leave.

4 years 7 months ago

Agreed, they’ll let Carpenter walk if they can’t lock him up for a few more years on a hometown deal. STL always seems to do a great job of bringing in serviceable arms like Westbrook and Penny who do well enough for them to compete.

4 years 7 months ago

If I was a Cards fan I would look at it like this…

Carp gets injured and pitches in few games so his option isn’t picked up. Carp has a good/great season and they pick his option up at a reasonable 11 million. If the first happens I can’t see them trying to work out a contract and if the second happens they have the option to use, then if he stays healthy and puts up another strong season then they talk about a 2-3 year deal.

Let’s face facts, if he puts up a season worth 11 million the Cards will be in the playoffs.

stl_cards16
4 years 7 months ago

I agree with you, he is at the age where it’s probably best to let the contract play out and take it year by year while you can. But, I am pretty sure the option is for 15MM next year.

4 years 7 months ago

You are correct, I was thinking 11.5 for some reason.

0bsessions
4 years 7 months ago

“St. Louis needs Pujols and he needs St. Louis.”

What exactly does he need them for? I know it’s the franchise that brought him up and all that, but I’m pretty much certain that the Cardinals need Pujols a lot more than he needs them.

4 years 7 months ago

He will hurt his reputation a lot if he takes the biggest contract instead of staying in STL for a meager 200 million.

kräftig. entschieden
4 years 7 months ago

He’ll be the LeBron of baseball. Kind of.

4 years 7 months ago

I’m sure he can wipe his tears away with all the benjamins he’ll get if he signed for over 200M elsewhere. You think players care about reputation? They care about the moo-la

4 years 7 months ago

I’m sure he can wipe his tears away with all the benjamins he’ll get if he signed for over 200M elsewhere. You think players care about reputation? They care about the moo-la

4 years 7 months ago

Where else would he play exactly? Most of the high-rollers already have a 1B locked up.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

its albert pujols, even teams that don’t notoriously break the bank would unload..

Jays, Angels, Texas, Baltimore, Cubs, Nats etc etc etc could all offer a 200+ contract..

Whether or not he actually wants to go to those teams is a completely different story .

stl_cards16
4 years 7 months ago

I wouldn’t say he “needs” St. Louis. But his legacy does. Albert takes alot of pride in the Cardinal tradition. Him going down in history with Stan Musial and Bob Gibson means alot to him. If he stays in St. Louis his whole career, he will leave that much bigger of a mark on the game.

4 years 7 months ago

Precisely. Hit the nail on the head etc, etc.

jb226
4 years 7 months ago

I don’t know if “Albert takes alot[sic] of pride in the Cardinal tradition.” I don’t know him.

But I’m pretty sure “greatest hitter ever in baseball” is an awful big legacy. “Greatest hitter ever in baseball and oh yeah, he stayed with one team” is a marginal difference, and that’s being generous.

A player, particularly one with as much talent as Albert Pujols, who stays with one team for his entire career is a nice story–but it’s hardly important to their legacy. Even their legacy with that particular franchise. Ask a Cubs fan what they think of Ron Santo’s time with the White Sox if you need any proof of that, and Santo wasn’t half the talent Pujols is.

Maybe it’s personally important to him; like I said, I don’t know the man or his motivations. But no, Pujols’ legacy does not need the Cardinals. The good news for the Cardinals is that they don’t NEED him either. He’s a damn-near irreplaceable presence in a lineup, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the $25-30MM/yr he’s likely to get on his next contract can’t be equally-well or better spent.

stl_cards16
4 years 7 months ago

He will go down as one of the greatest hitters no matter where he goes. But if he stays in St. Louis, he will be a legend, right there with Stan the Man. Now if he spends 11 years in St. Louis and leaves, then spends 8 years in another city, probably 4 of which are declining years, his legacy just won’t be the same. He will be the face of the Cardinals for the next 40 years if he stays, I just don’t see that happening with another team because he spends the end of a career there. He will be a great no matter what, but in my mind there is a big difference.

0bsessions
4 years 7 months ago

“He will go down as one of the greatest hitters no matter where he goes. But if he stays in St. Louis, he will be a legend, right there with Stan the Man”

Stan Musial is a legend because he’s Stan Musial, not because he wore a Cardinals uniform. The laundry is close to irrelevant.

Pujols is the greatest hitter of his era, he’ll be a legend regardless of where he plays out his last big contract.

MaineSox
4 years 7 months ago

+1

4 years 7 months ago

-2 Your wrong there’s something about a player staying with the same team that gives his legacy an edge over team hopping.

MaineSox
4 years 7 months ago

+1

jb226
4 years 7 months ago

I don’t know if “Albert takes alot[sic] of pride in the Cardinal tradition.” I don’t know him.

But I’m pretty sure “greatest hitter ever in baseball” is an awful big legacy. “Greatest hitter ever in baseball and oh yeah, he stayed with one team” is a marginal difference, and that’s being generous.

A player, particularly one with as much talent as Albert Pujols, who stays with one team for his entire career is a nice story–but it’s hardly important to their legacy. Even their legacy with that particular franchise. Ask a Cubs fan what they think of Ron Santo’s time with the White Sox if you need any proof of that, and Santo wasn’t half the talent Pujols is.

Maybe it’s personally important to him; like I said, I don’t know the man or his motivations. But no, Pujols’ legacy does not need the Cardinals. The good news for the Cardinals is that they don’t NEED him either. He’s a damn-near irreplaceable presence in a lineup, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the $25-30MM/yr he’s likely to get on his next contract can’t be equally-well or better spent.

4 years 7 months ago

Exactly. If I were him I’d be looking for 6 years at $19-21 million a pop. I don’t know why he can’t just take a ‘home-town deal’ if it means $20 million+ at this point.

stl_cards16
4 years 7 months ago

I wouldn’t say he “needs” St. Louis. But his legacy does. Albert takes alot of pride in the Cardinal tradition. Him going down in history with Stan Musial and Bob Gibson means alot to him. If he stays in St. Louis his whole career, he will leave that much bigger of a mark on the game.

4 years 7 months ago

yea but then payroll is paying 3 players over $65 million with young stars like Rasmus and jay to make some good money in a couple years. Ill tell you if Cards sign Pujols and extend wainwright they will have a payroll over $150 million and can they afford that?

junior1
4 years 7 months ago

The words “Star” and “Jay” do not belong in the same sentence.

Meenty
4 years 7 months ago

They should be able to afford that. After the new stadium opened up, ownership said they would be more aggressive in spending since the club would be profiting more. 2005 payroll was $92 million, 2010 was $93 million. I can only assume that this would be the time for them to keep their word and spend a little money for a change instead of bringing in “character” (aka cheap, bottom feeders at their position) players. Also, where else can AP go and basically run the franchise? The front office and manager allow him do whatever he likes. The fans adore him. No other franchise would allow this to happen no matter who he is.

neurogame
4 years 7 months ago

I agree with all three of your points, except the first – The Cards need Pujols but when it comes down to it, Pujols does not need the Cards. He is the best hitter in the game and will be successful and popular anywhere else he goes. One thing you have to worry about for the Cardinals is tying up a significant amount of money to one or two players (Holliday’s contract is already large) and being unable to have enough to keep other good players around. It’s a difficult situation as Albert deserves more money than A-Rod.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

I can’t see him hitting Free Agency… even though it would be awesome..

AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs
4 years 7 months ago

No it wouldn’t. There would be something seriously wrong if he left the Cardinals

4 years 7 months ago

Well, the world does end in 2012 sooooo…

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

How would it not? Any time the best player in the league becomes an outright free agent, it draws national attention, press and publicity, all of which are good for the sport…

They hype surrounding every little morsel of a possible rumor will be blown out of proportion. The guys that own this website will probably be able retire with how much traffic will happen during those times.

Obviously from a Cardinal standpoint it would be devastating. Much like it was devastating for Cavelier fans, but in general, it was an awesome event to watch.

monty4aloha
4 years 7 months ago

I am sorry that Card fan have to go thru this but I really want to see a record contract for the players and I hope there is no hometown discount. He is the best player period and he deserves to be paid that way!!

stl_cards16
4 years 7 months ago

Scott Boras?

monty4aloha
4 years 7 months ago

LOL…yea it does sound like him>>> Sorry I am just a fan of Pujols. Not of Boras.

gigantes2425
4 years 7 months ago

im sure a lot of people will be fired if he is not resigned.

johnsilver
4 years 7 months ago

Namely each and everyone responsible for ever thinking Matt Holliday was A: Worth 7/120m and B: won’t affect the Cardinals cash flow for purposes of giving Pujols the 27-30m over 7+ seasons he is almost certainly going to get somewhere.

gigantes2425
4 years 7 months ago

im sure a lot of people will be fired if he is not resigned.

4 years 7 months ago

I think he gets somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 years for 230-238. he gets the highest per year salary and the cards get their man. they shouldnt be worry about the often injuried carpenter.

gunsnascar
4 years 7 months ago

I saw albert sign for a big no a HUGE hometown discount at his last contract so I dont think that he will financially basiclly ruin the cards payroll for a huge long term 30mil per season contract.
He told them when holliday signed that they can worry about him next winter ,so just sign holliday for now and we will work my contract out later. I do like seeing guys shatter the ceiling in terms of annual sallery like arod did . Pujols deserves what he gats sallery wise because the fans come to see him hit 450 ft homeruns.

Red_Line_9
4 years 7 months ago

It would take a major botch by the St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Corporation to see Pujols leave. They’ve had years to financially structure a new contact for him. That money has probably been put aside and drawing interest or gathering value in some fashion.

4 years 7 months ago

I see an 8 year 220 million dollar contract, with a monster option/buy-out (similar to the Cliff Lee deal) at the end of it.

monty4aloha
4 years 7 months ago

I really hope he goes the free agent route. I think we will really see what is out there salaries wise if he did. I would just be curious just how much BS we get from owners on the so called budgets they actually have to work with.

PRKnight
4 years 7 months ago

Just Pay the Man!!!

ellisburks
4 years 7 months ago

The problem I see with Albert hitting the market is that two of the major bidders for him will be pretty much out of the race for his services. The Red Sox will probably have A-Gone locked up for a long time and the Yankees will still have Tex at first base for a while. So unless either team wants to sign Albert to split 1B/DH with the incumbants I don’t see them bidding and driving the price up. Although I would never count them out.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

I can’t see Albert even considering a place where he wouldn’t be the everyday 1B.

ellisburks
4 years 7 months ago

Me neither. I mean he is too young and too good a fielder to think about that kind of situation. I am a Red Sox fan but I would much rather see him stay with the Cardinals and be this generations’ Stan Musial.

ellisburks
4 years 7 months ago

Me neither. I mean he is too young and too good a fielder to think about that kind of situation. I am a Red Sox fan but I would much rather see him stay with the Cardinals and be this generations’ Stan Musial.

$1529282
4 years 7 months ago

I think if Pujols actually hit the market you’d see a lot of teams willing to throw epic amounts of money at him. Both the Nats and Orioles would be willing to over $200M (both made offers on Tex, after all), Cubs, Giants, Angels, Rangers, Cardinals, and really I can’t even rule the Yankees out of that scenario… maybe offer split time at 1B/DH to Pujols and Teixeira. You know that if he hit free agency, there’s no way they don’t show some serious interest.

ellisburks
4 years 7 months ago

No doubt there will be mega bucks thrown around by every team to try and get him but with the Red Sox and Yankees being the big boys on the street with no obvious holes at his position that could hamper things. He will get paid though no matter where he goes. I just hope it’s back the The Cards.

ellisburks
4 years 7 months ago

No doubt there will be mega bucks thrown around by every team to try and get him but with the Red Sox and Yankees being the big boys on the street with no obvious holes at his position that could hamper things. He will get paid though no matter where he goes. I just hope it’s back the The Cards.

The_BiRDS
4 years 7 months ago

Agonz hasnt signed anything long term with the Sox.

ellisburks
4 years 7 months ago

Not yet but they will. The Sox aren’t going to trade premium talent and NOT sign Adrian to an extension.

4 years 7 months ago

But yet, they did just that. There are no guarantees.

ellisburks
4 years 7 months ago

Not yet but they will. The Sox aren’t going to trade premium talent and NOT sign Adrian to an extension.

The_BiRDS
4 years 7 months ago

Agonz hasnt signed anything long term with the Sox.

gigantes2425
4 years 7 months ago

But for a player like pujols, you make him your everyday first baseman and make other guys your bench players. I bet Tex wouldn’t mind being the everyday DH. That would put their other players who were to be the DH on the bench.

gigantes2425
4 years 7 months ago

But for a player like pujols, you make him your everyday first baseman and make other guys your bench players. I bet Tex wouldn’t mind being the everyday DH. That would put their other players who were to be the DH on the bench.

alexchicago14
4 years 7 months ago

i’m sure jim hendry would have something to say about that.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

What makes the situation with Pujols even more interesting is that the Red Sox and Yankees both have 1B locked up long term… With 2 of the biggest spenders out of the equation, it could make the bidding (if he does reach FA status) a lot more interesting…

I don’t know Albert personally (obviously) but I don’t see him as player who would push to get a record contract (even though its deserved) if that contract is going to be a hurdle for the team to win.. I can’t see Pujols resigning a monster deal, which leads to STL having to shed payroll else where.. I’m sure he still wants to add a few more rings to his collection to solidify his place amongst the best in the game.. For that reason, I can see him signing a pretty team friendly deal with the cards. … of course this is all fact less assumption

peterherman
4 years 7 months ago

Not just the Red Sox and Yankees, but the Phillies too. They’ve starting throwing serious coin around in the last couple of off-seasons, but have Howard locked into a really questionable deal.

As far as big spenders with a viable shot at the off-season year in and year out go, there’s not much of a market for Albert outside of St. Louis. I think there was a link to maybe a Buster Olney piece that mentioned Albert’s people should anticipate about a 20% reduction in his market price if he hits FA due to the teams who already have a 1B locked up for years to come.

alan09
4 years 7 months ago

give him 20-25 mil per year & make him part owner of the team. Albert is an icon to the cards just like Jeter is with the Yankees. Albert will NOT become a Free Agent!!!

dc21892
4 years 7 months ago

If Pujols hits free agency it’s going to get nasty in St. Louis.

dc21892
4 years 7 months ago

If Pujols hits free agency it’s going to get nasty in St. Louis.

Matt Johnston
4 years 7 months ago

When it comes down to it, I believe Pujols is a man of honor and character. He is close with Stan Musual. He is great in the community and plays hard every game. I truly believe he will stay as long as he is respected. It is nice to see these negotiations stay private. For the press to say what is going on, are strictly making things up to be in headlines. I just want to say Thank You Pujols for all you do on and off the field.

kräftig. entschieden
4 years 7 months ago

The Nationals will pursue Pujols if he hits the free market. They’re one of the only teams that will be able to pay him in the 25-30 million range (and they’ll still be under $100 million) and not be handicapped. They have LaRoche under a two-year deal, but as long as he has one of his normal seasons in 2011, they won’t have any issues pushing him for cheap onto another team. The fit is almost perfect.
That said, it won’t happen. It’ll be the same deal as when the Nationals put in the highest bid for Mark Texiera, or a huge deal for Cliff Lee, or $18 million per year extension for Greinke. Players simply won’t go to the Nationals unless they show a marked improvement on the field. If Pujols hits free agency, I still see him ending up with the Cardinals. There simply isn’t enough competition; the Nationals, Cubs, and Cards are the only real good scenarios, and in terms of those three teams, the Cards have the greatest chance of winning come 2012.

dc21892
4 years 7 months ago

They’ll definately pursue him but where will they move LaRoche? First base isn’t really a pressing need in MLB. Guess we’ll have to see where this all goes starting spring training.

dc21892
4 years 7 months ago

They’ll definately pursue him but where will they move LaRoche? First base isn’t really a pressing need in MLB. Guess we’ll have to see where this all goes starting spring training.

gunsnascar
4 years 7 months ago

why do you say that they have the greatest chance of winning in 2012?
did the reds suddenly loose all their great young players?
are you forgetting that the cubs have ramirez, pena, fukudome, silva and several others comming off the books in 2012.
I wouldn’t count the CUBS out of this if jose albert hits free agency.
With that said I have a very hard time seeing him play for anyone other than the cards ,after all he signed at a disciount once there I can see him doing it again.
If he stays in STL they should give him a 8 yr 240 mil contract with a team option for 9th and 10th years at 30 mil per season also.

monty4aloha
4 years 7 months ago

The Rangers have the money>>> and would be a great fit..

4 years 7 months ago

He’s not even a free agent yet and this is getting more ridiculous than the Lebron crap.

STLscubaSTEVE
4 years 7 months ago

Just give the man a blank check…

4 years 7 months ago

He would be stuck on a team who is in no position to contend for at least 4-5 years.They don’t have the farm to really to be a contending factor for the next coupe of years. With resigning him they wouldn’t be able to afford to sign anyone else in St.Louis.Why does he need them.Why not continue his career with a team who can actually do something maybe the Yankees, Giants, Mets, Dodgers, or any other team that possibly could get involved. Its going to take some pretty good money to keep in missouri

stl_cards16
4 years 7 months ago

Are you suggesting the Cardinals are in “no position to contend for at least 4-5 years”
The Cardinals have MLB talent to be a contending factor for at least the next couple years, then after that you will start to see a re-built farm system getting close to the majors. I’m not positive on this stat, but I believe Albert Pujols has played in more playoff games than any player in baseball since coming to the bigs. To say it won’t be happening again with the Cardinals, is foolish.

dc21892
4 years 7 months ago

The issue is locking Pujols up for a crazy amount of money. They put extra money into Holliday for no reason and Pujols is set to make 25-30M UNLESS he takes a discount. They have a self imposed 100M cap and it will be tied up with Pujols, Holliday, Wainwright and maybe Carpenter. Am I the only one who sees that being an issue? They either have to spend more money to get other talent around these guys or start drafting and developing very well.

Taskmaster75
4 years 7 months ago

Be that as it may, they still have Rasmus and Garcia, two fairly impressive young player, still cheap. Their entire bullpen after Franklin is pretty much going to be homegrown. The team may spend that much, but I don’t see them falling off by doing it. This isn’t even addressing Shelby Miller or Zach Cox moving up, although Cox is a few years away.

stl_cards16
4 years 7 months ago

So they have a 100MM self imposed cap, but Bill Dewitt just said yesterday that payroll will be well over 100MM on opening day?

They haven’t raised payroll much since 2006 (the year of the new stadium). They paid for the stadium themselves. Their goal was to get it paid off in 5 years(to avoid paying so much interest) and hold payroll steady while they do so. The stadium will be paid off this year, and you will start to see the Cardinals payroll increasing. If/when Alberts extension gets done, payroll will be over 110MM this year.

The drafting is getting better. I have been very happy with the drafts under Mozeliak. The system has been gutted the last couple years with trades and people being promoted. There is some talent but most of it is in the low minors now. The Cardinals will be fine.

dc21892
4 years 7 months ago

The issue is locking Pujols up for a crazy amount of money. They put extra money into Holliday for no reason and Pujols is set to make 25-30M UNLESS he takes a discount. They have a self imposed 100M cap and it will be tied up with Pujols, Holliday, Wainwright and maybe Carpenter. Am I the only one who sees that being an issue? They either have to spend more money to get other talent around these guys or start drafting and developing very well.

Backup_Slider
4 years 7 months ago

The Cardinals will surely be able to contend for the NL Central for the next 2 years, but beyond then I don’t like their chances if they lock up Pujols in a long-term deal. As a fan of an NL Central club not named Cardinals or Reds, I have no doubt that this division is the Reds to own for the next 5 to 7 years given the young rising talent they have at the major league level, the depth of talent in their farm system relative to the other NL Central clubs (the rest of whom have pretty dreadful farm systems), and the financial flexibility they’ll have to add pieces when necessary.

If the Cardinals extend Pujols, they won’t have the financial flexibility to add key pieces nor will they have the depth of prospects required to deal for MLB-ready talent when that need surfaces (see the Holiday trade), which simply will make it incredibly difficult for them to contend (a whole lot of things would have to break in their favor). Trading Pujols is the smartest thing that they could do for the long-term fate of their franchise, as it would allow them to partially address the deficiency in talent at the upper levels of their farm system and afford them the financial flexibility moving forward to add MLB-ready pieces and lock up other more affordable in-house talent to long-term deals (Wainwright, Rasmus, etc.). Letting him walk and taking the draft picks is a bad idea, as they need MLB-ready prospects to offset his loss rather than guys who are 3 to 5 years away.

In short, the fate of the franchise should take priority over the face of the franchise. But I don’t see that happening, which should be good for the rest of the NL Central long-term.

stl_cards16
4 years 7 months ago

Are you suggesting the Cardinals are in “no position to contend for at least 4-5 years”
The Cardinals have MLB talent to be a contending factor for at least the next couple years, then after that you will start to see a re-built farm system getting close to the majors. I’m not positive on this stat, but I believe Albert Pujols has played in more playoff games than any player in baseball since coming to the bigs. To say it won’t be happening again with the Cardinals, is foolish.

Andy_B
4 years 7 months ago

How the hell are the Mets more likely to “actually do something” than the cardinals considering the cardinals would have Albert, Holliday, Rasmus, Waino, and Carpenter under contract? What exactly have the mets done in the last decade?

4 years 7 months ago

He would be stuck on a team who is in no position to contend for at least 4-5 years.They don’t have the farm to really to be a contending factor for the next coupe of years. With resigning him they wouldn’t be able to afford to sign anyone else in St.Louis.Why does he need them.Why not continue his career with a team who can actually do something maybe the Yankees, Giants, Mets, Dodgers, or any other team that possibly could get involved. Its going to take some pretty good money to keep in missouri

stl_cards16
4 years 7 months ago

If you want a player you have to pay him better than the next guy is willing to, pretty much sums it up. Supply and Demand.