Stark On Potential Albert Pujols Extension

MLB executives, owners and agents told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark that they see Albert Pujols agreeing to an extension with the Cardinals between now and Spring Training. And the deal will likely make Pujols one of the richest players in baseball history. The sides figure to agree to a deal worth $240MM over eight years, in the estimation of Stark’s sources.

Pujols, who is scheduled to hit free agency after the season, will stop negotiating with the Cardinals once Spring Training begins. And scuttlebutt from other clubs suggests Pujols and agent Dan Lozano will start by asking for a ten-year, $300MM deal.

But Cards GM John Mozeliak is unlikely to want to pay the first baseman $30MM per season while he’s in his early forties, so Pujols’ deal may not be worth more than Alex Rodriguez’s record ten-year, $275MM contract.

If Pujols hits free agency, interest will be widespread. Even clubs like the Yankees and Red Sox, who have elite first basemen, could have interest in Pujols, according to one executive. Teams like the Cubs, Dodgers and Mets could also have interest, though there’s a good chance the first baseman won’t hit the open market.

I previewed a potential extension for Pujols earlier in the month.


Leave a Reply

113 Comments on "Stark On Potential Albert Pujols Extension"


stl_cards16
4 years 7 months ago

That was actually a pretty good article about the talks. Stark didn’t try to claim he had any inside knowledge or anything, he just laid everything on the table. That was the best article, that wasn’t complete BS, I’ve read about the extension talks so far.

Jason Klinger
4 years 7 months ago

8 years, $240 million sounds like a good deal for St. Louis. I think Pujols would leave a little money on the table if it meant staying with the Cards for his whole career. He is beloved there, and he obviously likes playing in the city.

55saveslives
4 years 7 months ago

SALARY CAP!! SALARY CAP!!

wickedkevin
4 years 7 months ago

Wrong sport buddy

BlueCatuli
4 years 7 months ago

… would be awful for baseball.

Since_77
4 years 7 months ago

Smaller market teams like the Tampa Rays, Oakland Athletics and the Minnesota Twins don’t have seem to have a problem putting talent on the field or winning their divisions without a salary cap.

dc21892
4 years 7 months ago

I wouldn’t consider the Twins “small market” anymore. They have a 100M+ payroll. Fans pack that new stadium and give them the ability to spend higher now.

niched
4 years 7 months ago

The A’s play in a division with only 3 other teams, only one of which has won a World Series in the past 20 years.

The Twins play in arguably the weakest division in baseball (though that will probably change soon with the coming rise of the KC Royals).

The Rays are the Indians and A’s of the 90s. Well-managed and loaded with young talent, but that model most likely won’t work for them long term competing with 4 significantly wealthier clubs. The Rays have gotten lucky that the Yanks and Red Sox had been getting old and the O’s and Blue Jays have been mis-mangaged.

4 years 7 months ago

Past 20 years? Try forever! Besides the 2002 WS, where the Giants gave the championship over to the underdog Angels, none of the current AL West teams have won the World Series. Except the A’s of course. Who won most of their World Series when they were out east in Philadelphia.

El_Bobo
4 years 7 months ago

5 of the 8 Red Sox starters are under 29, that’s not exactly old.

wickedkevin
4 years 7 months ago

Don’t you realize how old Youk, Pedroia, A-gon, Crawford, Lester, Buccholz, Jacoby, Beckett, Lackey, Bard, Lowrie, Iglesias, Kalish, Salty ARE?!

Oh wait…the Sox have Wakefield, Ortiz, and JD Drew….Who are all in the last year of their contract!

niched
4 years 7 months ago

Dice-K, Beckett and Lackey are fairly young, but they all over 30, and last year none of them pitched like they were still in their prime. Maybe this year two of three can turn it around.

niched
4 years 7 months ago

Yeah good point. The Red Sox have done a pretty good job imo in not getting so bogged down with declining players making crazy amounts of money. They were right not to re-sign Jason Bay, and they were right to dump Manny. But is Saltamalacchia a starter? And is Ellsbury the guy in CF? They may have to go with Cameron and Varitek more than they like if they don’t find other guys.

niched
4 years 7 months ago

I don’t think the sport needs a salary cap in terms of single year dollar amounts. What it needs is a length of contract cap balanced with a second cap. No contract can be more than 4 years — something like that. Or if a contract is more than 4 years, then a player’s salary start to decrease beginning in year 5. The player’s union won’t like it, but the player’s union doesn’t have the kind of power it used to have.

RahZid
4 years 7 months ago

Teams won’t like it either since it removes their ability to backload contracts. On a normally distributed FA deal (same salary per year), the players salary essentially decreases already due to inflation, just be glad the players union doesn’t want future salaries adjusted to account for it.

niched
4 years 7 months ago

Good point. They could still backload. They’d just have to backload within the parameters of the discount structure. The other problem is that a limit on the number of years would drive up the salary of individual years. Not saying it’s perfect, but I think teams would rather have a discount structure after a certain number of years than worry that they lost the ability to backload. Backloading helps teams save money, but not nearly as much as some kind of cap would help them save.

Lanidrac
4 years 7 months ago

So when the Cardinals signed Pujols to his current contract, you’re saying the Cardinals should be getting discounts in his age 28-31 seasons?

niched
4 years 7 months ago

If the league had something like I suggested, then the Pujols agreement as it is would have a discount kick in after the 4th year. But that’s why Pujols would never have signed an agreement for more than 4 years if the league had something like I proposed. That’s the point of a deal like this. It discourages players from taking longterm deals, and it limits teams from getting in over their heads on these crazy 8, 9, 10 year deals. Pujols is the rare case where any team would want to lock him up for as long as possible when he was in his mid-20s. With the luxury of hindsight, I’m sure the Cards wished they could have signed Pujols to a 15 year deal in 2004. But most of the good players who sign these longterm deals are already pushing 30 or are over 30.

4 years 7 months ago

If anything teams need a cap on how little they can spend. It’s a insult to fans when you only put out a 30 mil team while others spend on avg 3 times that. Not to say that money buys teams, Rangers had the 4th lowest payroll and went to the world series but when fans see the team investing on players it gives them a reason to invest back into the team by going to games. Maybe add a salary cap on draft picks. Signing a player in the first round who normally wouldnt go until the later rounds just because you cant afford him is against the point of being able to sign earlier picks.

start_wearing_purple
4 years 7 months ago

I gotta wonder. If Pujols really signs a 10 yr/$300M contract and doesn’t sign with the Red Sox or yanks will people still scream it’s disgusting?

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

yes, we will blame the red sox/yankees for driving up the salary prices and setting the bar so high. :)

start_wearing_purple
4 years 7 months ago

Thank you for not disappointing me 😉

RedSoxDynasty
4 years 7 months ago

Nope! They’ll cheer it instead!

jwsox
4 years 7 months ago

if he signs a 10/300 contract for any team other than the bosox and yankees baseball will shut down but the fans over every other team will give albert a stand ovation

Lanidrac
4 years 7 months ago

No, because no other team will do it.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

The only thing I’m skeptical about is the impact that another big contract commitment to the Cardinals will mean for the next few years..

I mean, can anyone anticipate Pujols agreeing to a 8/240 knowing that the contract will hinder the cardinals ability to field a better team in those years?

I don’t know the man, but winning has to be on his mind and signing a contract that is counterproductive to his overall goal might not sound that appealing to him .

dc21892
4 years 7 months ago

I’ve been wondering the same thing my self. Locking Pujols up kinda pins the Cards. The core 4 is going to be making the majority of the teams self imposed payroll limit. It might be a problem.

Lanidrac
4 years 7 months ago

Keep in mind that Carpenter’s expensive option is unlikely to be picked up next year, and Lohse’s albatross deal will be up after 2012. Meanwhile, Wainwright’s got an extremely team friendly deal through 2013.

jwsox
4 years 7 months ago

it only hurts the team depending on how the money is set up…look at holliday a ton of people thought his contract would hurt the team but there is a ton of that money differed. With albert I would start at 250 for 8-10 years. but i would defer some of that money. At his age and what his age will be at the end of the contract its not a bad idea to difer the money for another 10 years after the life of the contract with no interest to give him some security…so a 20 year deal but 10 of those years are playing years

Lanidrac
4 years 7 months ago

He’s already getting $1.2M a year through the 2020’s through his current deal. How much more deferred money does he need?

KeithLawSucksInStl
4 years 7 months ago

10 years, 280 million (so they can say it’s the largest) with 3-5 million deferred each year sounds good to me.

The Cards deferred money with Holliday (And Carp too if I’m not mistaken?) so they seem comfortable with the concept. Get this thing done.

4 years 7 months ago

Cards need Pujols… Pujols needs the Cards… GET IT DONE AND LET’S PLAY BALL!!!!!!!!!

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 7 months ago

Ummm.. Pujols doesn’t need the Cards. I can think of 29 other teams that would shell out $25mil+ a year for him.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

Not even close to 29 teams.

His list of serious potential suitors, who have a spot at 1B and can afford the 250+ million comment comes in less than 10

4 years 7 months ago

I can easily think of 12 teams that would be willing to shell out at least $25Mil for Pujols and at least three that would be willing to shell out at least $30Mil. Could you imagine if a team like the Cubs picked him up? Strenghening your team and weakening a division rival at the same time? That is always awesome…

Just look at the Blue Jays and their now small payroll. By shaving both Rios and Wells from the system by finding two teams to take on the entire contracts, they freed up over $180Mil from their payroll. Even they could afford Pujols with that kind of cash floating around.

So there are a lot of teams that will step up of the Cards try to cheap out on the best player in baseball. Pujols has already stayed with the Cards longer than he had to… no more discounts. Pay up or shut up.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

Yea because Alberts dream has always been to come play in Toronto.. lol We’re you one of the guys talking about how Lebron might come here too last year??

He’s not going to leave JUST for money. He’s going to leave for a combination of money and a chance to win… Do cubs fit in to that heading?? hmm doubtful, if he’s going to leave its go to be for a team that in on the cusp on winning, has the money available and spot at 1B available…

I can only think of a few.

Texas
Angels
Dodgers (If this whole ownership thing gets straightened out)

Sure there are teams who could afford him and give him a spot at 1b

Mets
Jays
Cubs
Baltimore
Nationals

but c’mon he’s goin to leave the cards are go to the cubs? or Orioles?

no disrespect to those teams, they’re on the up.. but why would Albert take the chance?

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 7 months ago

If he wants to win, then I agree with you. If he wants to get paid to afford a golden jockstrap, he’ll take the top dollar.

Also, I don’t see the Mets on the upswing.

niched
4 years 7 months ago

I agree. I think Albert doesn’t want to leave St. Louis, so if he does leave it’s going to be for a team that pays him a lot of money AND is a place where he wants to be. Still, I could see Albert in Chicago. Cards fans would never forgive him, but Chicago is a big market team and a great city. Sure Chicago always blows it, but so did Boston until 2004. I don’t see Albert wanting to go to New York, either to the Yankees or the Mets. Maybe Boston, but then the Red Sox would have to convince AGon to move to DH or they’d have to not sign him, trade him, etc. I doubt the Dodgers or Angels could lure him. Both of those teams are a mess in terms of their management. I doubt the Rangers can afford him, and I doubt he would want to go there. No way he goes to the Jays, Nats or Orioles, and I’m an O’s fan.

jwsox
4 years 7 months ago

when a player like albert(could make an argument that he will go down in history as the best ever to play the game) every single team if given the chance to sign him(assuming money is no option) would make a place for him….there is no other first basemen i would rather have…if your an AL team you move your current 1st basemen to DH(or have the current 1stbasemen and albert split time at both to keep both as healty as possible) if your an NL team you either see if your current 1stbasemen can play left or right and if not no matter who it is you trade him

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

I’d say close to 50% of the teams in MLB can’t afford a 300 million dollar commitment

Sure the Rays would LOVE him but lets be serious.. a small market team would never recover if something happened to him.

vtadave
4 years 7 months ago

Somehow I think the Yankees and Red Sox would fine a spot for him…

Mr. Teixeira – welcome to left field!

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

yanks need a new SS lol

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 7 months ago

“And now pinch hitting for the New York Yankees, Mark Teixeira!”

Lanidrac
4 years 7 months ago

Maybe they could, but Pujols wouldn’t accept a deal with them if they made him a DH or forced an excellent defensive 1B to DH to make room for him.

4 years 7 months ago

I think the overlooked major player if Pujols hits FA is Texas. Yankees are blocked, Red Sox have Agonz, Detroit has Cabrera, Minn has Morneau. Texas has new ownership who are willing to spend and manage an organization properly. That would be a match made in heaven. Pujols and Hamilton…

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

I agree I think Texas is a competitive team that could give him a big contract and a chance to win . . . Still need an ace too though

Encarnacion's Parrot
4 years 7 months ago

My point basically is, since he’s, you know, the best player in the game and all, all teams would be interested and would be willing to offer that kind of money. Even teams like the Padres and the Rays would at least consider breaking the bank to acquire him.

Pujols in a Jays line up would be pretty epic, but I won’t start having pipedreams until next offseason.

4 years 7 months ago

If Pujols signs with the Padres (which he will not) he wouldn’t be the franchise player..he would be the franchise based on their payroll..

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

bada bump chiii

Seals
4 years 7 months ago

The Cardinals need Pujols, but not at any cost. If he turns down the Cardinals’ biggest offer — which will be huge — I’d rather get a load of prospects in trade than have a crippled salary structure.

Lunchbox45
4 years 7 months ago

I couldnt even envision a Pujols trade..

dc21892
4 years 7 months ago

He would certainly fetch quite the return. Guess we’ll have to see come spring training where they stand. If they don’t come to terms maybe the do unload him and get the most prospects back that they can.

Lanidrac
4 years 7 months ago

I’d rather take a shot to win in 2011 and try to get Pujols to reconsider the offer after he explores the market than trade him. Besides, he’s got 10 & 5 rights and would never accept a trade.

Seals
4 years 7 months ago

Difficult, yes, but I don’t know if you can ever use the word never. 5-and-10 rights usually mean “show me the money and I’ll agree to it.”

As a Cardinals fan, I’d just rather see them get more than draft picks if he leaves.

4 years 7 months ago

I haven’t looked but will a huge Pujols contract put the Cards into luxury tax territory? That may be something they try to avoid as well.

Lanidrac
4 years 7 months ago

You must be kidding. It won’t affect this year’s payroll, and although they may have to raise payroll some, they’ll only hit about $115M max, nowhere near the luxury tax limit. The Cardinals are in too small of a TV market to ever get close to that territory.

Alex Gomez
4 years 7 months ago

If Frank McCourt would sign Pujols to a 10/300 deal. That contract would be deferred, and it would be spread for the next 30 years “knowing” his broke ***.

jwsox
4 years 7 months ago

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

jose+bard+bucholtz+gonzo(and at least 30% of his contract) and you a starting point

4 years 7 months ago

I think a potential deal with Albert pujols from any club is more than just the contract.What I mean is he’s probably looking into the future and where he will be. For example Albert is on pase to break the all time homerun record and I’m positive he would want the contract to overlap the year he figures to do so. I dont see him breaking it in 8 years unless he’s averaging over 45 hr’s a year. I see him asking for a 9-10 year contract and not agreeing to anything less.

If Im the cardinals, I am not so sure I would want to give him a lengthy contract like that where he’d be 40 41 years old in his last years of the deal being it is the National league where Albert would have to play the field.

I believe this is a tricky situation for the Cardinals mostly, and if they want to keep there St. Louis star around for the rest of his career then they’re obviously going to have to take some risk. A risk I’m not so sure is a good one from a business standpoint.

In my opinion this could go either way, and I’m excited to see how it unfolds.

Lanidrac
4 years 7 months ago

If he insisted on that, he wouldn’t get any contract seeing as the Yankees and possibly the Red Sox are the only ones with enough money to get away with doing something so stupid.

4 years 7 months ago

Everyone seems to forget that Albert has played third base before and was willing to do it the last couple of years for the Cards. So you could find a spot for him on teams with a firstbaseman oh by the way he has a awesome arm too.

stl_cards16
4 years 7 months ago

His arm is awesome? Really? Yes he can throw hard, but the biggest reason he moved to first base was his elbow troubles. If he would have played any other position over the last seven years, he would of probably already lost a full season. The idea that you are going to take the best hitter in the game, pay him 30MM/year and stick him in the OF/3B, when he is clearly ONLY a first baseman, is insane.

4 years 7 months ago

8 yr $220 million w/ $30 million dollar player opt.

LioneeR
4 years 7 months ago

At the end of 8 years there is no way he’d get over 30 million in the open market, so that basically makes it 9/250$M. If it was a club option + buyout that would make more sense.

4 years 7 months ago

If you are agreeing that there should be no limit to salary, then how do you justify limiting years? Is it due to your personal frustration in thinking a player is too old to be making the remaining money off their 7-10yr contract?

Everyone acts like Scott Boras held a gun to the Rangers organization and robbed them blind. The GM/Owner still had to approve the contract, because they could see value at the time. Are they always right? No.

Catztradamus
4 years 7 months ago

Look, there is NO WAY that St.Louis expected to have to pay any less than 27 to 30 mil/year. They have the money to do it, and they have one of the smartest owners in Baseball.

They also have one of the smartest owners in baseball. Someone who is not going to cripple his franchise for the next ten years if the deal looks like a bad one.

Pujols is worth 30 million a year. Thats not the question. The question for how many years is he worth that kind of money? I think St.Louis may have underestimated the length he was looking for.

If a deal doesn’t get done (and I think it will) It will be because they won’t go the length he’s looking for, not the AAV. And if it doesn’t get done, there is not a team in baseball who couldn’t pull off a trade with St.Louis to get Pujols, if they were willing to go the length and dollars he’s looking for.

Texeira is the same age as Pujols and signed through 2016 at 22 mill/per

Ryan Howard is signed through 2016, also the exact same age, at 20 million for the next three years, and 25 million for the following three (with an option with a club buyout for 2017 at 23 million/10 million) so thats 23 million per.

Either the Yankees or the Phillies, IMO would trade Texiera or Howard plus throw in something else for Pujols in a heartbeat, if they were willing to pay him for the years he was looking for.

johnslenich
4 years 7 months ago

the cards would not trade pujols for a texeria or howard deal. If the cards did that, they would pay howard or texeria 22-25 million a year, why not just keep pujols for an extra 5-8 million? 5-8 million would not make or break a pujols contract. in my opinion, the only way i see a pujols trade is for a major league ready 1B and a boat load of top prospects. anyway, all this talk doesnt even matter bc the cards are going to sign albert, they dont have a choice.

Lanidrac
4 years 7 months ago

Here’s my scenario of what happens if they tried that:
1. Pujols turns down the deal with his 10 & 5 rights.
2. Mozeliak is fired as GM the next day and run out of town by an angry mob.
3. Distracted, Pujols only hits .285 with an .800 OPS for the rest of the season, causing the Cardinals to miss the playoffs after being in 1st place at the time of the proposed deal.
4. Still having strong support from the fanbase, his manager, and the ownership (who were against Mozeliak’s idea in the first place) even after the disasterous last 2 months, Pujols resigns with the Cardinals the day after the World Series for 7 years, $210M plus a team option for another $30M.

bomberj11
4 years 7 months ago

The DAY he retires, they better make him hitting coach…

4 years 7 months ago

yeah…b/c at 42 with $300 million plus in the bank he’s going to want to travel full time to make a million or two rather than spending time with his handicapped child who wont have all that much longer to live

baseball islife
4 years 7 months ago

i really hope he doesn’t sign with the cards cause the mets would have money to spend next off season and could possibly land him

roberty
4 years 7 months ago

Pujols career would become a joke if he ever wore a Mets uniform.

baseball islife
4 years 7 months ago

your talking from a now perspective in 2012 the mets are going to have about 50-60 million free some good pitching, and other hitting and i could see pujols signing with them

roberty
4 years 7 months ago

The Mets are a punch line. Even when they were good they were the butt of some beautiful cosmic joke. A poorly run team that has nothing besides money going for it. As good as Pujols is, you can’t add him to a bad team and guarantee they will be good. Albert knows that. He is going to get a huge contract, it might as well be from a team that knows how to win. Even with a lot of money to spend you can’t construct a winner when your farm system produces three good players per decade.

disgustedcubfan
4 years 7 months ago

Not that it is likely, but I think the Cubs have a legit shot at Albert ( if he makes it to free agency).
They can afford him, they need him and the buzz he would create on the north side.
As much as he loves St. Louis, maybe Hendry can sell him on what he would mean to the city of Chicago and professional baseball if he could lead the Cubs to a World Series.

4 years 7 months ago

worked with Donny Walsh and Lebron