The Cardinals will lose Albert Pujols for four to six weeks with a small fracture in his left arm. Here's the latest reaction to the news, which could affect the Cardinals' approach to the trade deadline this summer and the first baseman's first free agent contract after the season:
- When he returns, Pujols may face the biggest pressure of any prospective free agent in the history of the game, writes ESPN's Buster Olney. One NL evaluator opined that the fracture could cost him $50MM or more, as many wrist injuries are career-altering.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports doesn't expect that the injury will affect Pujols' free agent value as long as he returns in time to prove his health. "The only way the injury will damage his position in the marketplace is if it affects his long-term ability as a hitter," Rosenthal writes, "and does anyone really see that happening?"
- Yahoo's Jeff Passan argues that it's time for GM John Mozeliak to work out an extension with Pujols, who belongs in a Cardinals uniform. One agent suggests an eight-year, $224MM deal for Pujols, who appeared to want $300MM before the season.
- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs says that the Cardinals will be able to get by without Pujols by playing Jon Jay every day and shifting Lance Berkman to first base.
- My take on Pujols' free agent value: he had better hope the Cardinals stay in the race without him, since a standout postseason performance like the one Carlos Beltran had in 2004 could catapult his free agent value back into $300MM territory.
Tim Dierkes contributed to this post.