If the Cardinals sign Albert Pujols to an eight or ten-year deal when he hits free agency after the season, they'll be counting on him to maintain his Hall of Fame-type production into his late 30s. But the Cardinals front office would be gambling on more than Pujols.
Unless the team boosts payroll significantly, GM John Mozeliak and the St. Louis front office would be gambling on themselves to fill out a roster with less spending power than they're accustomed to. Owner Bill DeWitt Jr. committed between $75-100MM in payroll every year from 2001-10. Fitting a $25-30MM player into that type of budget would limit the Cardinals' ability to spend on other needs and would likely leave them with a weakened bullpen and infield as soon as 2012.
The Cardinals' rotation alone will cost about $47MM next year, assuming the team exercises its options for Chris Carpenter ($15MM) and Adam Wainwright ($9MM). Those two pitchers, plus Jaime Garcia (first time arbitration eligible), Kyle Lohse ($11.9MM salary), Jake Westbrook ($8.5MM) and Pujols would cost over $70MM in 2012 unless Pujols deferred an unexpectedly large amount of money.
Throw in Yadier Molina ($7MM option), Matt Holliday ($17MM) and Colby Rasmus (first time arbitration eligible) and the payroll is already approaching $100MM, or more than the organization has spent in any year since Pujols arrived in St. Louis. Most teams that commit $100MM to a rotation and four position players end up cutting corners in other areas and the Cardinals would be no exception. They wouldn't have much room for luxuries when filling out their lineup and assembling their bullpen and bench.
The 'pen, which will see Ryan Franklin, Brian Tallet and Trever Miller hit free agency after the season, and the infield, which includes no sure things other than Pujols, would probably have to be constructed on the cheap if the Cardinals re-sign Pujols.
If the Cardinals continue to balk at Pujols' asking price, this won't be an issue. They'll lose him to free agency and find another first baseman. Though replacing Pujols is impossible, the Cardinals front office will have to make major adjustments in 2012 barring a substantial payroll increase or an unexpected trade. Mozeliak & Co. will face an immense challenge if Pujols leaves, but the challenge doesn't disappear if he stays.
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.
no way carpenter stays at 15 mill if they sign pujols
Holliday will donate the extra money to pay Carpenter’s salary
not donate, defer. Huge difference
/ˈsɑrkæzəm/ Show Spelled[sahr-kaz-uhm] Show IPA
harsh or bitter derision or irony.
a sharply ironical taunt; sneering or cutting remark: a review full of sarcasms.
The option will probably get declined in an effort to resign him.
Same thought crossed my mind when I read the article. Don’t know why BNS made that assumption.
I’ve been calling it for a while He’ll be a FA next year.
I did too! We BOTH can tell the future!
Holy crud were amazing.
Let him walk if his demands don’t come down. What team in the NL Central scares you if you’re St. Louis? Pujols isn’t needed to win that division. You can still pick up a very good 1st baseman for $8-10m per year and add some other impact players with the savings.
unless Pujols goes to Wrigley…
The Reds won last year, and the Brewers just buffed their weakness (pitching).
The Cards were challenged for offense last year with pujols, without pujols the cardinals are a 4th lace team in the NL central.
That’s only if you assume they don’t reinvest Pujols’ money in multiple other impact players. I don’t think that’s very likely.
‘multiple other impact players’
Holliday didn’t take less money or fewer years. Free agents don’t. Impact free agents don’t. If the rumored $21 per year is close that doesn’t really buy a lot…
Theres the Reds, who have as if not better pitching staff, as well as a better pen and offense. You also have the Brew Crew who have the superior offense and as good a rotation, about the same as the cards in the bullpen department. I bet they finish third this year behind the brewers and reds.
The Cardinals were in it the whole season until the stretch when they just blew a few games. Yes the Brew Crew are better, but so are the Cardinals. They are the same team only they added Lance Berkman who is totally capable of having an amazing season in the NL central and they also got Westbrook for the whole year. The key for the Cardinals is Jamie Garcias sophomore season. If he has a great season like last year they can easily take the central.
I’m not saying they won’t be in it, the’re still a good team. Its just the brewers are a lot better. The Reds are the same, if not a little better. The Cubs I’m not sold on, though they could compete. When you tell me you have a guy whose played 1b for a long time now, is your starting everyday RF I’d be Leary. He’s been injured playing a position that doesn’t require to much defense, plus he’s getting up there in age. I can almost guarantee you that he won’t be able to stay healthy the whole season, and he aint what he used to be.
Cardinals went to the World Series Chris Duncan playing LF. Im not worried about Berkman, any Major Leaguer especially a veteran has the capabilities playing just about anywhere. Yeah, he is injury prone but Im sure if we know that the Cardinals know that as well and will be keeping a close eye on him. Hes basically the new Larry Walker. When the Cards traded for him people said the same thing. Anyways hes an add on. Cardinals are still the same team as last year without Berkman so there really is no serious risk here and the guy turned down a larger 2 year offer to play here for 1 season.
As for the Reds… we’ll see. Im still convinced they just clicked and had a good season last year. There is a high chance they could just be the reds next year. Rolen is just as injury prone as Berkman.
The thing is theres a lot more running in the outfield than there is at 3B.
but colby can cover a ton of groud which helps ease the load on berk. They have hoping that he bounces back and adds a strong bat to their line up after holliday. Plus he was supposedly hurt all last year so many be will come back strong
So can Rios, but theres only so much those two can do to make up for the lack of coverage. We saw last year to keep Quentin healthy we had to take him out because that much running could shatter his glass bones.
“Theres the Reds, who have as if not better pitching staff…”
You lose all credibility based on those 11 words alone. Saying Arroyo, Cueto and Volquez are as if not better than Wainwright, Carpenter, Garcia is the funniest thing I’ve heard today. Thanks for the laugh.
The top of the Cards rotation is clearly better, but the Reds staff if much deeper. After Carp, Wainwright, & Garcia there are serious question marks. The Reds have Arroyo, Volquez, Cueto, Wood, Leake, Bailey, and Chapman if needed. There are also pitchers like Maloney and LeCure that can jump in at a moments notice.
Your welcome, but lose all credibility. I’d rather have the reds than the cards. Sure you have Pujols, but you have him for one more year than what? You’ll get two compensation picks for him. Carpenter is good, but his age is catching up with him, Garcia will regress a bit as the league catches up with him. Wainwright will still be a stud.
why is garcia not a question mark? Apparently no one has had a great fluke season for the cardinals as a pitcher….. The thing about the cardinals is if they have no injuries they’ll be in it, sure. But you take out one of pujols/wainwright/carp/holliday and you’re back with the astros in fifth. Please stop trying to sell us berkman cards fans, unless larussa is already injection him too.
I’m not trying to sell the cards. If you read I actually believe they’ll finish third or fourth depending how the cubs do. Garcia will regress as all rookies do, but I still think he’ll be a good 3 or 4 starter, especially in the NL>
Are you serious? Yes they do need him to win the division.
You are on crack.
I still think the Holliday contract was a mistake given the position it’s putting them in regarding Pujols. Add in the fact that they were bidding against themselves and ended up overpaying and it’s hard to see that being a good contract for them even if he does technically play well enough to earn his money. When you know you’re going to have to pay Pujols that far in advance you should be planning for it, not wasting money on players like Holliday.
the mistake was the Loshe contract.
Holliday wasnt a waste.. Do your research. So far Cards contract to Holliday is a win for the Cardinals, not Holliday.
Check Fangraphs, I believe they estimated Hollidays last season as a 27 mil player.
Plus by signing Holliday, pitchers will actually pitch to Albert.
Unlike if the Cubs pay Albert 37 million a year to get walked. Who are you gonna put behind Albert? Soriano? HA!
Simply saying he’s outperformed his contract doesn’t discredit the above point that they overpaid. It always appeared that St. Louis’ offer far exceeded what other teams were valuing Holliday at. I don’t have certain evidence of that but a lot of media outlets basically came to that same conclusion. Be it a million or two million, etc that they could have saved would be extremely helpful to their cause of retaining Pujols but they can’t get that back no matter how well Holliday does or doesn’t play.
As far as the Cubs protecting him or any team for that matter, we’re talking about a guy signing a deal with a minimum of 7 years on it. Think about how much a team can change over just 2 seasons. Any deal Albert signs could see his team getting solid support at some point from guys that aren’t even in college yet.
Had the Cardinals not signed Holliday… The headlines today would read
“Pujols will wear another jersey next year”
This is exactly right.
Take another example – Vernon Wells. I’ve heard Angel fans suggest that if Vernon can repeat his 2010 campaign for the next 4 years that the trade will be a good move (zero probability of that happening but whatever). The answer is still NO. Wells could win the MVP over the next 4 years and the trade would still be bad. Not because of what Wells did post trade but rather because the team could have landed him for significantly less money had they played the negotiating game better (or at all in the case of Wells).
Holliday may be worth the money and still turn out to be a bad signing because the team spent more resources than they needed to in order to sign him.
Soriano. Ramirez. Lee. Fukudome. Zambrano.
= 11 games back from the playoffs
is this like a JEOPARDY question? ok i will play
What are five biggest reasons Jim Hendry should be fired?
Cubs have no Lee. They traded both Derrek and Hak-Ju. They have a guy named Pena, who won’t be here when Pujols would. Same goes for Fukudome, won’t be here.
And chances are neither will Ramirez.
They signed Holiday for fair market value, there were several teams involved in pursuing Holiday, but the main reason that some of the huge market teams backed off was because it was probably evident that he was going to remain in St. Louis once his market value was determined and a fair contract was agreed to.
Players cannot just sign for nothing, in a perfect world, players would take a lot less money to play in a place they are comfortable, but the MLBPA isn’t going to allow that, and its disrespectful to under cut other guys in the Union that way. I know, its a union of millionares but its still a union.
The Cardinals are more than capable of signing both, its not a matter of matching bids with teams that have endless streams of revenue like the Yankees or Angels, its about finding out what Market Value is, what the Cardinals best offer is and determining if its close enough to satisfy all the parties involved from Pujols and his agent, to the Cardinals front office, to the MLBPA and Major League Baseball.
Holliday couldn’t have signed for nothing, especially when Baltimore made him an offer. You can give a hometown discount, (which I think Pujols will give the Cardinals) but you have to at least come close enough to market value to satisfy all the parties involved.
The contracts that we could do with out, are the ones such as Kyle Loshe, who earned that contract, but hasn’t performed since his contract was signed, and Brad Penny who was worth a gamble, but eventually got hurt and disappeared. You take those 2 contracts, plus what Pujols is already getting combine it and you’ve got a pretty good annual salary.
This is serious revisionist history. I would suggest that you go back and look at the archives. There was NOBODY else that was talking 7 years. In fact, there was a strong probability that Holliday would just take a one year deal (ala Beltre) and hit the market again after the season ended.
I don’t think the contract, when reviewed from a value perspective, is a bad one at all. I like Holliday. Think he is a fine player. Wished that he was on my team. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the Cards bid against themselves and expended resources they didn’t need to.
I think Carpenter’s 2012 15MM option is a seriously unlikely pickup. Wainwright’s 2012 9MM and 2013 12MM options are forced because of a contract clause (top 5 finish in 2010 or 2011 Cy Young vote), but if he keeps form they’re great deals. Holliday’s offer was for salary deferral, not salary return.
Really depends if 2010 was his true talent level or just another blip towards regression. Even after a “disappointing” season, the guy racked up 3.7 WAR. That makes 1/$15 type deal sound very, very good.
This is especially true with a guy like Carpenter where you don’t worry so much about the talent as you do the injury risk. Limiting your exposure to 1 year on a guy like Carp is the right way to handle things.
Cincy, Milwaukee and Chicago for starters. No, Pujols isn’t needed to win that division, just as Joey Votto and the Reds proved last year and Derek Lee and the Cubs proved in 2007-08.
Cincy, Milwaukee and Chicago for starters. No, Pujols isn’t needed to win that division, just as Joey Votto and the Reds proved last year and Derek Lee and the Cubs proved in 2007-08.
Two questions that failed to be answered here, 1. The addition revenue lost if Pujols walks (ticket sales, pujols merchindise, etc.) 2. Trade value and the assessed market value of free agency. Thiers no true replacement for Pujols production but tradeing for major league ready prospects and signing one-two plus free agents with the amount they were willing too give pujols may soften a potential pujols loss.
The problem with the trade idea is that you one punt on this season, and two and much more importantly, is that Pujols controls his fate, he has 10-5 rights and has said he isn’t going to approve of a trade to anywhere. So getting prospects back isn’t an option, they either pay the money and keep him, or he walks and they get the 2 draft picks (while hoping the cubs don’t suck and get a protected pick or any other team that signs him)
Ticket sales have not been shown to improve when marquee talent comes or goes. Check out attendance in St Louis before Pujols and then after. You can see the same effect with Texas and A-Rod. Fluxuations that appear all fall within reasonable margins of error for normal trend lines.
The problem is that you can’t trade Pujols. If I’m the Cards I absolutely beg him to waive his NTC but I don’t see it happening. The Cards could really take a huge step forward with acquiring some serious talent but it isn’t going to happen.
the cards should just trade pujols and carpenter right now they could rebuild in one year, they would easily get 3-4 A prospects and solid major league talent, they already have an ace in wain and a stud player in holliday….
get montero and wahtever for carpenter
then sell pujols to the highest bidder
Why are people still talking about a trade for Albert?? There is 0 chance that happens.
Pujols can and will veto all trades
If Albert signs the extension they do not pick up Carpenters option. Carp walks, Cards work a deal with Buehrle to replace him.
So you’re going to let Carpenter walk rather than pay him $15MM and then pick up a free agent pitcher who is currently making $14MM? Exactly what kind of discount do you think you’re getting here?
Buehrle is not worth 14. Next year he’ll probably get 8. I don’t get why people say he’s the top FA starter available next offseason. All he is a number 4 or 5 in the AL a 3 or 4 in the NL. He is not an ace. He shouldn’t get paid like one.
Agreed on Buehrle but have you seen the rest of the FA starters available next year? There isn’t much. He may get more than you think.
Buehrle wants to play for STL.. he lives down the street
You must have an amazing pitching staff. Buehrle has averaged about 4 WAR over the past 4 seasons. Lots of teams out there get 4 WAR from their 4th/5th starter?
By next year, Buehrle is a decent back end of the rotation guy at best. You lose a lot of wins if he takes Carpenter’s spot.
Pujols is 31 and currently has 408 hr. At this pace he could break the single season HR record before he is 40. You would think the national media attention and the fans that would come to see him would make the Cardinals want to keep this guy. As far as we know he is clean (steroid free) and would go down as one of the all time greats.
There’s a “pace” to break the single season HR record before the season has started?
Now THAT’S advanced stats, people.
Yeah – you meant career HR record.
Of course, A-Rod will break it first. Who knows if Pujols will last another 10 years. You can’t sign a guy to a $30/year deal so that in 8 years from now he might have a chance to break a record.
For what it’s worth – he’s already one of the all-time greats. More years will simply add to his counting stats. His greatness and place in the game is established and beyond dispute.
If Cubs get Albert what are you guys gonna do with your witty “Cardinals take it in the Pujols” shirts?
Guess youll have sloppy seconds?
I just have to say how hilarious I find it that Cardinals fans, who talk as much crap as they can about the Cubs on a daily basis on this site, are getting pre-pissy about Pujols and potential interest from the Cubs.
I dont think Pujols has any interest in the cubs.
You saying Cubs fans dont talk crap on here? You must be new to this website
He might have to develop an interest in the Cubs, because they are one of the few teams out there that can afford him. At the very least, the Cubs have already become a nice bargaining chip for him.
Cards fans are getting “pre-pissy” about a potential Pujols/Cubs union. Love it. You are absolutely right though, go back and read through this tread again and you can sense the fear and disgust in some of the Cards fans comments.
Look, it’s a long shot. Calm down folks. Pujols is still likely to remain a Cardinal and his artificial deadline probably doesn’t mean anything other than he was trying to gain a bit of leverage in negotiations. I wouldn’t be surprised if he got extended before the season starts. Either way, don’t let the Pujols to the Cubs talk get to you Cardinal fanboys, it “probably” won’t happen.
its really not that nerve raking in my mind. 2012 might be a little rough but after Lohse and Westbrok are gone and replaced by hopefully minor leaguers or cheaper veterans. Carpenter’s option won’t be picked up but might be reworked into a multi-year extension at a lower AAV which is what i here a lot of people saying(not just fans).
Westbrook was a good sign
never said he wasn’t. We didn’t have anyone to put up #4 starter production as sad as it is to say but 2 years down the road, we will hopefully.
How much is Pujols worth in merchandise sales and revenue sharing from away games? $14 million a year? The Cards were filling Old Busch before Albert got there. Chances are they’ll be filling New Busch after he leaves. So yes, the incremental $14 million he would cost the club will come right from the bottom line. Unless DeWitt increases payroll just to account for Albert’s salary.
Merchandise has no impact on Pujols or the Cardinals.
Unless the Cards raise their self imposed 100-110M cap, it’s going to be tough for them to keep a good team together when Holliday, Wainwright, Carpenter, and Pujols are making 50-60% of the teams total payroll.
How long do you want to keep a 36 year old Carpenter??
Thats a private matter that we cant discuss till the end of the season.
I’m not a Cardinals fan, so I can’t answer that. If I’m guessing what I think he’ll get… well 2 years with an option would work. He’s still very productive.
Wasn’t it just last week you were claiming the cards had a “self imposed 90-100MM cap” Until I pointed out to you that the payroll is already over 100MM. You are really stuck on this subject. I’m pretty sure it was the same exact post besides the numbers.
No, I said 100M. I didn’t realize this year they were a little over 100M. And I still feel the same, yes. No one realizes it can’t happen. Cards fans are still reluctant to realize it is going to very tough to compete. They have to increase the payroll. You told me once the stadium is paid off they will. We will see.
Edit – Actually what you pointed out was ownership paid for the stadium itself. And then as I mentioned, you said payroll should go up once they pay for it.
I’d just like to point out that STL pays for its own stadium and the loan is up after 2011 unlike most organizations who have the city/tax payers pay for the stadium. Thats a 365million dollar investment paid off….
Just in time for another 300M dollar investment.
They are paying $20 mil a year on a $365 mil stadium and it will be paid off in 6 years??? No wonder banks are getting bailed out…
where’d you get 20mil a year?
Forbes.com The Business of Baseball article 04/07/10
Somewhere, somehow, Tony Reagins has already screwed up negotiations with Pujols.
Time for the Cards and Puljos agent to get creative. If its impossible for the Cards to just bump payroll towards $150M, which I believe it is, then this deal is going to need some sort of differed payments or even front loading of the contract. True they need to be able to put some players around Puljos and a pitching staff as well, you dont want another Arod and Texas Rangers situation. The Cards need Puljos and Holliday and Rasmus and Wainright and Carpenter, etc. Thats the only way to win. So that being said both parties need to agree. Lets pay Puljos but lets structure the contract in a way thats no counterproductive to the Cardinals organization. GET IT DONE!!
If you saw the interview yesterday with DeWitt you would know it is not possible for them to raise it towards 150M. They made it clear they won’t.
Yeah I know I saw it. They are not the same type of market as NY, BOS, LA, etc. They need to play with the “cards” they are dealt. They are a solid middle market franchise with a good fan base and outreach beyond their 2M people metro area. They can support a payroll of about $110M right. So Puljos, the owner, his agent, and even other Cards players need embrace their environment. If everyone wants Puljos around for a long time then get it done. Do some players need to differ payments like Chipper Jones did, maybe, does Puljos need to differ some of his salary, maybe, but get the option on the table. Then at least this thing can start moving again.
The Cardinals won a world series with mediocrity around a core of players. A pitching staff that was not that great behind Carpenter. Now if (and I think they do) sign Pujols, with a core of Pujols, Holliday, and Rasmus and a rotation with a ace in Wainwright along with a cheap starter in Garcia, a mid rotation workhorse in Westbrook and some wildcards and you’ve got a similar setup to what the Cardinals had back during the days of John Rodriguez, Preston Wilson, and Ronnie Belliard.
Only problem I have is that I don’t think Mozeliak is a good enough GM to make the astute decisions necessary and I feel like this from some of the decisions he’s made in his tenure like Kyle Lohse and in my opinion Lance Berkman.
“If the Cardinals sign Albert Pujols to an eight or ten-year deal when he hits free agency after the season…”
So a nine-year deal is out of the question?
I think the Cardinals should not go above $200 million or above 8 years. I think a team option for a ninth year is stretching it.
Pujols is a great player and should have probably 3-4 more good years before his numbers and fielding start to drop. The Cardinals like most MLB team that don’t t have the name “Yankees” in their name, have a finite amount of money to spend each year, it is better to spend the money on pitching, than putting all their money into Pujols, especially if he gets injured, which is a probability.
The Cardinals should serious do a risk management strategy to see their boundaries in signing Pujols.
Shouldn’t go above 200? Really? Then the Cards have ZERO chance at keeping him
Well then they shouldn’t sign him, because the last 4-5 years of Pujols hypothetical contract will probably be way above his WAR rating..
Pujols is a great player, he should get one of the most lucrative contracts in baseball, but a team has to have limits and remember the Vernon Wells and Barry Zito contracts as reminders of long term contracts that have gone bad…
BNS assumption erroneous. If Pujols signs, Carp’s gone.
BNS is correct that the Cardinals bullpen will be constructed on the cheap. They have young depth there. It’s why they practically gave away a legit CP (Chris Perez). Motte is the favorite to take over CP duties, but someone else could emerge.
The “If Pujols signs…” dilemma is not nearly as complicated as the “If Pujols walks…” dilemma. If Pujols walks, the direction of the organization becomes less clear and Mo’s decisions immediately become more complex.
There is no need for one player to handcuff payroll like he would. I say let him walk. From what I heard the Cards offered an extension and he turned it down, so “see ya”. The Cards will be glad not to have the albatross of a contract on the books in a few years when he is in decline.