It doesn't sound like Albert Pujols’ representatives are going to be shy in their negotiations with the Cardinals. There are early indications that Pujols and agent Dan Lozano have used Alex Rodriguez’s ten-year $275MM contract as the lone point of reference in discussions for a potential extension, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com.
However, the Cardinals “are said to have initially suggested a contract that would guarantee Pujols at least a bit less than $200MM,” Heyman writes. Heyman’s sources believe the Cardinals would prefer not to guarantee Pujols more than seven years. One person said the Cards could offer a seven-year, $196MM deal. Other insiders suggest the team could agree to a $30MM annual salary or a ten-year deal, but not both.
Most people Heyman surveyed suggest Pujols won’t top $250MM if he signs an extension, since he is not negotiating on the open market and since the Yankees and Red Sox have established first basemen.
Click here to vote on Pujols’ future, which will unfold within the next month or so. Lozano set a Spring Training deadline for a possible extension. If the sides don’t reach a deal, the three-time MVP will hit free agency after the coming season. As I explained here, A-Rod money is not an unreasonable target for Pujols.