Reactions To Albert Pujols & The Cardinals

The Cardinals and franchise player Albert Pujols failed to come to an agreement on a long-term extension before today's deadline, meaning the first baseman will hit the free agent market after the season. As you'd expect, plenty of reactions have poured in, some from team executives. Let's recap…

  • Team owner Bill DeWitt says the club "will honor [Pujols'] wishes and not discuss this matter until the completion of the season," reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). "[We] remain hopeful that Albert will finish his career in St. Louis," added DeWitt, according to Ed Price of AOL FanHouse (on Twitter).
  • "Albert is an iconic player," said DeWitt at an afternoon press conference. "We made every effort to extend his contract." Jon Heyman of SI.com passed along that quote (on Twitter).
  • Pujols' agent Dan Lozano released a statement, saying the "expiration of today's deadline does not eliminate the possibility of Albert returning to the Cardinals in 2012, but simply delays negotiations until the conclusion of the Cardinals' season." Bob Nightengale of USA Today passed that along.
  • GM John Mozeliak told Heyman that he believes Pujols wants to test the free agent market (Twitter link).
  • Joel Sherman of The New York Post compares a Pujols extension to Derek Jeter's new contract with the Yankees, saying that "teams have to stop paying for what players did and concentrate on what players are likely to do over the course of a contract."
  • Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports says that rejecting the team's offer(s) was the right move for Pujols.
  • Jeff Gordon of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Cardinals should now go "all in" to win in 2011.
  • A source told ESPN's Andrew Marchand that the Yankees have no plans to look into Pujols' availability. Earlier today we heard that the Cardinals have no intention of trading their superstar despite not reaching a deal.
  • Cubs manager Mike Quade wouldn't comment on the Pujols situation when asked by Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune. Chicago's north siders are believed to be a potential match for Pujols if he does hit the market. 
  • Rosenthal says the Cardinals are taking a big risk by letting Pujols hit the open market.


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51 Comments on "Reactions To Albert Pujols & The Cardinals"


4 years 6 months ago

“Jeff Gordon of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Cardinals should now go “all in” to win in 2011.”

excuse me for not realizing that going all in will win you your division. man they should have done that last season

4 years 6 months ago

i mean, just imagine how the pirates would do if they went all in…

quintjs
4 years 6 months ago

Its not just about not paying a player for past performance, it is that most comparable contracts are not brilliant either. A-Rod’s current contract is too long and plays him too much, including all those HR bonuses (especially when there were no other bidders), no one wants Howard on his contract that is about to kick in. So the Cardinals are right to have reservations, but it still sounds like they are lowballing him after getting a major major discount over the last few years. And I am sure Pujols and his team are pointing towards Hollidays deal which again was too long and too much when there were no other bidders.

Vmmercan
4 years 6 months ago

The Yankees bid against themselves when it comes to A-Rod (A Hank S. exclusive), but I disagree with your statement about the homerun incentives. A-Rod was coming off a 50+ HR season pre-steroids when he signed that extension. Should it have been less years? Yes, by at least two or three. Is the money about fair? When you have a third baseman coming off a 50+ HR season and he has been a 40+ hr cleanup hitter with speed and no injury history and he is set to break one of the most coveted records cleanly in your uniform, how do you argue against 27 million per and homerun incentives?

A-Rod should have gotten basically 8 years/215 million with the homerun incentives considering everything we didn’t know then.

Yankee_Baal
4 years 6 months ago

I understand why people doesn’t like when their teams overpay for the twilight years of players, but why don’t they criticize home discounts as well? Pujols should have been a free agent after the 05 season and instead he signed a very team friendly contract in 04. Why wasn’t that contract criticized? Or Longoria’s? or Pedroias’s? or Tulowitzki’s? If it’s true that teams shouldn’t overpay for twilight years based on gratitude, it’s also true that players have to stop giving teams home discounts and go more and more into arbitration. It’s the only way that you could consider a completely fair scenario for both the economy of teams and players.

But still, would that be truly fair? If a player that goes every year into arbitration gets injured the team will just cut him loose and save the money. And any intelligent team will barter discount and extra years for a player’s security on his initial years. So, basically, the only chance players have to secure their financial future long term is when they get to free agency on their thirties. It’s not a perfect system, but I really don’t see how could it change.

Fifty_Five
4 years 6 months ago

Isn’t it a little late to go “all in” now?

Kaiser_Wilhelm_II
4 years 6 months ago

If the Cardinals can give $7-million to a clown like Brad Penny last year, I’d hate to think its only a few million per year that held it up. With inflation, 30 million per year might look like 20 million in today’s dollars by 2020.

Look at what Loshe got 2 years ago from Mozeliak.

At the same time though, i won’t be too upset if Pujols departs. I’d be fine with taking that theoretical 30 million and budgeting it out over 4 or 5 good players, and not getting too top-heavy and hamstrung on one guy. Besides, a first-baseman who can pop 25-30 HRs is fairly common and cheap.

I’d be fine with letting Pujols go and then making a play to acquire Fielder at mabye a fraction of the cost of Pujols. The remainder of the money can be used to finally shore up the team depth (which is badly needed.)

Atm, the Cardinals are incredibly top-heavy with their superstars and have a very weak supporting cast. I’d rather focus on depth and getting well-rounded and versatile. While Pujols is great, I’d be completely fine with getting someone like Adam LaRoche to give you 25 Hrs, and then spend the rest of the money on pitching

That’s just my thoughts, and its uncomfortable with me to tie up so much in one player, especially when he doesn’t really pay a premium position. At the same time though, if he can’t get resigned over a difference-matter of what we’d pay a joker like Penny or Loshe, than it is frustrating

NomarGarciaparra
4 years 6 months ago

sorry…but $30mil doesn’t land you 4 or 5 good players. if you’re talking about extensions, then maybe. But you can’t sign good free agents at $6M/per…unless you and I have significantly different definitions of “good”.

rayking
4 years 6 months ago

I agree with everything you say… except Adam LaRoche. In seriousness, they are indeed “top heavy” as currently constituted. More specifically, a better middle infield would be a wise way to use money if Albert departs.

Kaiser_Wilhelm_II
4 years 6 months ago

I was more thinking someone like LaRoche. Berkman could be the guy.

And yeah, 2 or 3 decent players is more realistic.

4 years 6 months ago

Props to Mo and Dewitt for not giving into Pujols. With Pujols gone, Prince will look sexy in a Cardinal uniform next year. :)

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

They’re worried about giving Pujols big money late in his years but you think Fielder is realistic? Yes, he’s much younger but that body type will make him virtually imobile at first base by his early to mid 30’s unless he loses some weight. He’s not going to be an AWFUL defender, but he’ll be around average. In that case, I’d rather have a 40 year old Pujols, not going to lie.

BrocNessMonster
4 years 6 months ago

If you won’t give Pujols $250MM, why give Prince $150MM? (I’m guessing at those figures based upon what’s been reported, you know what i mean though.)

4 years 6 months ago

Pretty sure Pujols wants around 300MM, none the less, more than 100MM is a lot, and I never said Prince would sign long term.

chucktb
4 years 6 months ago

There’s no way the Cards pass on Pujols and then give tons of money to Fielder. Fielder will end up in the AL where he can DH after 2-3 years.

RedSoxDynasty
4 years 6 months ago

1. Fielder and Boras are gonna want 200 million!
2. Pujols is much better than Fielder now and will be throughout a long term contract!
3. I’m stunned at the lack of love from Cards fans after all Pujols has done for them. Don’t worry though, there are 29 other teams that will love Albert in 8 months!

bmorecardsfan
4 years 6 months ago

I, too, am amazed at the lack of love for Albert. I think the fans are pulling away right now but they’ll be back. As a lifelong Cards fan, I’m bummed but still hold out hope we’ll sign him to a fair (and reasonable) contract either during or after the season.

CutTheString
4 years 6 months ago

Yup, at the back end of whatever deal he gets, he probably won’t be worth it.

Yup, the Cubs should absolutely sign him anyway.

Guest
4 years 6 months ago

No way the Cubs sign him. The ownership group is in the 2 year of owning the team and are learning from the lessons of giving Yankee-style contracts to players, regardless of the player. And whose to say that Albert won’t accept less years, with highest avg salary per year in his deal.

4 years 6 months ago

Lets look at this in the light of a teams total payroll compared to the players salary.
The Yankees with their insane 207M payroll have the 4 highest paid players, yet Arod only accounts for 16% of that total.
If you look at the St. Louis Cards, and their 100M payroll by comparison you would have Pujols at 16M. Players need to understand that not everyone has pockets like the Yanks, Red Sox, Phillies, Cubs and Mets, unless you are willing to play for one of those teams and they have a need for your services.
To me Pujols is not worth much more than a younger, just as impressive Miguel Cabrera who makes 20M. Cabrera is 3 years younger, a huge difference.
I think players and the union get too caught up in $$$ to see how paying one player huge percentages of a teams payroll affects the rest of the team around them.

Jntg4
4 years 6 months ago

Ya, Pujols has to agree to play with the Cubs or take much less. Probably less.

Vmmercan
4 years 6 months ago

Would you care to name those four highest paid players the Yankees have? Cause I find it hard to believe nobody is making more than 16.5 million in the MLB, and that’s the fourth highest annual salary on the Yankees this year (2011)

4 years 6 months ago

I was basing it on 2010 since official 2011 numbers are not out and that would be
4– Mark Teixeira [$20,625,000]
3 – Derek Jeter [$22,600,000]
2 – CC Sabathia [$24,285,714]
1 – Alex Rodriguez [$33,000,000]

Vmmercan
4 years 6 months ago

Johan?

NickinIthaca
4 years 6 months ago

I think I’d poop my pants if I made 33 million dollars in one year… I’d actually offer to do it for 33 million if there are any takers

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

I was reading above what Joel Sherman said about not paying for what players have already done. Well, if that’s the probably pay Pujols 35-40M a year for the first 5 years of the contract and decrease the value from years 6-10. You can surely expect Pujols to give you another GREAT five years. After that, he’ll start to fall down to earth. You can frontload a contract, you know. It makes a lot of sense to give him big money now and less later if you’re worried about him hamstringing the franchise later on being 39-40 years old with a 30M salary.

thegrayrace
4 years 6 months ago

Not sure why there is so much hype around what is just an arbitrary deadline. Pujols could change his mind tomorrow and reopen negotiations. I wouldn’t assume he’s destined to become a free agent until he actually is.

4 years 6 months ago

Pujols will resign just like Holliday did, as soon as he determines his value on the open market, both he, and the Cardinals will have a better understanding of what he’s worth and work out a contract. He’s said he doesn’t want to leave, but he’s got to know that he’s playing for a fair price. These other teams have no chance and they know it.

The fact that nobody knows any of the details, and nobody is trying to kill one another, and the statement released by Lozano tells me everything I need to know. He’s going to be a Cardinal for life, we just need to find out what our market value is and then we’ll negotiate from that point.

Deuces
4 years 6 months ago

That’s probably what will end up happening. Nicely said man

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

You’re very biased. Try looking at it from both parts. Him leaving and him staying. There is just a good a chance Pujols resigns as there is him walking away because his market value is higher than the Cards are willing to go.

4 years 6 months ago

I don’t assume for a second that the Cardinals are going to offer him anything close to what he’s asking for until they know other teams will. Whatever contract they proposed was a shot in the dark, right now the difference between the two is so far because nobody knows what it is. I seriously doubt there is any team willing to pay him 30 million dollars a season until he’s 42 years old. the Cardinals have to verify that. and come up with a more appropriate offer and they know this. Again as I’ve said in other post, Albert has maintained 2 things, he wants to play in St. Louis, and its not about the money. He can’t play for nothing, he’s somewhat obligated to the MLBPA to sign for a close to market value contract. But really because there’s no reason to leave St. Louis, he’s comfortable here, he’s the leader of the team and he’s got a place in history next to Stan and Rogers when he hangs it up for good. He’ll be well payed, and may even get a share of the team by the time this is all done. The cardinals are his team, he’s not leaving them.

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

How many big name free agents have we seen fall and not get around what they’re seeking? If these 300M numbers are accurate, Pujols will get it. If Jayson Werth got 126M, I think it’s safe to say Pujols WILL get a 300M offer if he ends up talking to other teams. The question is, does he take less to stay with St. Louis, or go somewhere that has a chance to win and offers the big bucks.

4 years 6 months ago

Who’s to say he doesn’t have a chance to win in St. Louis and get the big bucks? He’s already won 1 world series with St. Louis, and they have arguably been the most successful team in the National League over the last 10 years. They’ve already locked up Holliday to protect Albert in the lineup and have a solid pitching staff for the next few seasons. During the 10 years Pujols has been there, quality players have played for the Cardinals such as Mark McGwire, Matt Morris, Mike Matheney, Jim Edmonds, Scott Rolen, Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Edgar Renteria, David Eckstein, Jason Isringhausen, Larry Walker, Matt Holliday, Lance Berkman, Colby Rasmus and so on. This isn’t a matter of having one superstar and no supporting cast, the Cardinals have always been able to build a team that can win, and increase payroll when they need too. But the Cardinals are different than some of the big market teams because their cheapness is somethings their strenght, remember how much money the Angels threw at Gary Mathews Jr? If and when they need to increase payroll to at least put themselves in the same competitive ballpark as what some of the big market teams are offering. I don’t see this as any different than Holliday, Everybody knew Holliday wanted to stay here, but the media was convinced that New York and Boston both needed left fielders,at the time, and both could offer any amount of money they wanted, but in the end, neitehr of them seriously even went after Holliday because I’m fairly sure they knew the reality of the situation, that he was staying in St. Louis, once his value was determined. Had Holliday been on the open market, with no desire to return to St. Louis, I’m pretty certain he would be in New York or Boston right now. Pujols may be able to get a billion dollars for all we know, but I don’t believe for a second its about the money, the Cardinals and Pujols will take into account every offer that he receives and base the proposal that will be agreed to upon that. And that being the case, don’t be surprised when some of the teams you expect to be front runners in the Pujols market aren’t their, they are more concerned signing players that they know are avalible as opposed to wasting time and effort putting forth a proposal on a guy that isn’t. Jason Werth’s contract doesn’t matter, that is a different scenario, Werth was leaving Philadelphia and everybody knew it. His contract won’t effect Albert’s,

flickadave
4 years 6 months ago

Walls of text make my eyes bleed. Please try hitting the enter button now and then.

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

I didn’t say they don’t have a chance to win. What I said was if he doesn’t come to terms before official free agency starts, he will have an offer for more money than St. Louis will offer, and it will be for a team with a chance to win, St. Louis has a chance to win every year but if Pujols hits the open market, 10 teams will be offering him more than the Cards are willing to go. Rumor has it he had an 8 year offer worth 189M from the Cardinals. If that’s only the starting point, okay. If not, bank on him leaving. Pujols value is much higher than that. Over the last 10 years Pujols has been hands down the best hitter in the game. He’s been better than A-Rod was when he got his 275M contract. If A-Rod got it, and Pujols has been better than him, I don’t see why Pujols won’t get it. I know for a fact he won’t and can’t get that kind of money from St. Louis unless they trade Holliday. They can’t have Holliday, Carpenter, Wainwright and Pujols on the same team making 50-60% of the teams payroll. You do understand what that will do to the teams ability to put a good team around them, right?

RedSoxDynasty
4 years 6 months ago

Keep telling yourself that!

jhawk90
4 years 6 months ago

As a Twins fan, thanks again to Mr. Mauer for not taking this tack and holding your club hostage all year in ’10.

dc21892
4 years 6 months ago

Mauer certainly did the right thing. There comes a time with pro althetes where the money shouldn’t matter. I don’t remember the exact number of his extension but he could have easily held out and got close to 200M in free agency. Mauer realized that at a certain point, the money doesn’t matter anymore because there is plenty and he was happy, and so was the team.

4 years 6 months ago

This whole negotiation process with Pujol’s proves why we need a salary cap in baseball. You have teams like New York and Boston setting the “market value” for these guys with figures that 26 teams can’t even dream about spending. Thats not fair at all for the smaller market teams that don’t want to lose their “once in a generation” star. People get sick and tired of seeing every star player end up a Yankee or Red Sox (Sock?).

Vmmercan
4 years 6 months ago

Oh please, Pujols is a generational talent and small market teams wouldn’t be bidding even if the Yankees or Sox didn’t set “market value”. Why don’t you bring back the reserve clause and offer to pay double for your tickets to the owners you seem to support and love so much. It’s the players going out and making the moments you cherish as a fan, not the owners. They sit back and think about how much profit they can possibly make EXCEPT for teams like the Yankees and Red Sox.

Mauer, Howard, Cargon, Lee, Halladay, Tulo, Hanley, Werth, I can’t believe they all play for the Yankees and Sox!

You’re crying about John Lackey, Mark Teixeira, CC and who? Carl Crawford? Are those the once in a generation stars you’re so butthurt over? Because the Yankees traded originally for A-Rod after Texas set the original market value and the Sox just did the same with A-Gon….You’re talking about a team who just dropped 100+ on Matt Holliday LAST YEAR and you’re crying poverty and salary cap? Get a grip.

4 years 6 months ago

I am just saying that I would love to see all teams have a shot at getting Albert. Do you honestly think AZ or PIT or FL has a serious chance of getting him because the market has determined he is worth 30 mil/yr? Dont make stupid comments of how I love the owners so much, I am looking for every team to be able to contend every year, like the NFL has it. I guess you took it literal when I said “every” star. You and I both know its not EVERY star player, so dont list guys who havent been there and try and prove me wrong.

Vmmercan
4 years 6 months ago

“People get sick and tired of seeing every star player end up a Yankee or Red Sox (Sock?).”

Yeah sorry, I have no idea why I thought you meant every star player when you said every star player.

Anyone who wants a salary cap like the NFL has it supports the owners and not the players, yes. There’s no other way to spin it. This is why the NFL might not play next season because of all of their financial issues their juggernaut PR is able to sweep under the carpet until the CBA is up.

How do you justify you’re not just supporting owners by wishing your players get capped? It’s not like ticket prices will be cut or anything will become less expensive. Nor is there any proof teams like the Marlins and Pirates spend their cap space. They’ll still cry poor and all of MLB isn’t going to have 30 million dollar payrolls to make it “fair”. This is a free market and it’s the US, how baseball has it right now makes the most sense, not to mention as the Yankees have demonstrated, all the money in the world can’t buy you a rotation, and as the Red Sox have proven, all the money in the world can’t buy you health and a playoff spot.

How else did you want to be proven wrong? Teams like the Marlins either shouldn’t exist, or should open their books ala the Twins who were once small market and have since learned to spend. When the Marlins open their new stadium that will be all the payroll rise they need. Or at least it should be. If there is a salary cap than teams like the Yankees and Red Sox should be entitled to top 10 picks in the draft..Not to mention when Luxury tax is eliminated and the Marlins claim they can’t have higher than a 10 million dollar payroll without their welfare.

NickinIthaca
4 years 6 months ago

As much as I think there are better ways for those millions of dollars to be spent, I sure as hell would rather see the money going to the athletes who bring us to the ball park (or arena or stadium, depending on the sport) than the owners. Revenue sharing seems to be a much better way of handling the disparities between teams than a salary cap, regardless of how flawed it is at the moment…

Guest
4 years 6 months ago

Are you implying that the Yankees and Red Sox are the only team to acquire him? Actually, I think SF has as good a chance as any team, to obtain him.

RedSoxDynasty
4 years 6 months ago

Offering under 20 million annually to the best player in the game is a far cry from making every effort to extend him! Mozeliak is a liar and Pujols is definitely insulted at their lack of interest! Good for him and his new team in 2012!

Stl_Great
4 years 6 months ago

I hate you Pujols, i’ve burned my pujols jersey .

Guest
4 years 6 months ago

Look they still could negotiate during this season. I sorry I don’t believe the reports or statement of a deadline.

greeniie55
4 years 6 months ago

link to baseballplayground.com

idk i agree i think he will be a cub too….good points on this post

Bernaldo
4 years 6 months ago

This will be interesting to watch. Assuming Adrian Gonzalez signs with the Red Sox, the two biggest spenders in baseball, the Yankees and the Red Sox, will be sitting on the sidelines. The Cubs, Giants, and Rangers seem to be the most likely three teams to compete for Pujols (along with the Cardinals) but can any of them really afford to go to $300 million if indeed that’s what it will take to sign Pujols?

Vmmercan
4 years 6 months ago

check that, not open their books, but raise their payroll

Yankee_Baal
4 years 6 months ago

I had this exact same thought more than a year ago, before the Phillies gave Howard the worst contract ever (or a close finalist). The Phillies had the money and the means, and given the situation of the (then) potential free agent market for 2012 first basemen it would’ve made sense to gamble on getting either Pujols or González rather than giving Howard all that money.