Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Cardinals should try to extend Albert Pujols' contract soon, instead of waiting until the first baseman becomes a free agent after 2011. Here's his reasoning:
- Already a two-time MVP with a batting title, a World Series win and the fourth highest OPS of all-time, Pujols could finish his career as the greatest right-handed hitter ever.
- He's a good defender and a smart baserunner.
- Cardinals fans love him and would be devastated to see their star leave.
- Baseball Prospectus projects Pujols to be an elite hitter well into his thirties.
- An injury between now and the end of the 2011 season could prevent him from playing, limit some elements of his game, or lower his market value.
- They can wait a year and a half and still have exclusive negotiating rights next winter.
- It's hard to imagine Pujols ever having more negotiating power than he does now.
What do you think the Cardinals should do?