SportsCrack Blog

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Would Albert Pujols really pull a Lebron?

As you probably know Albert Pujols will be a free agent after the 2011 season. He is the greatest right handed hitter of the past 50 years. Maybe ever. And yes he deserves a shitload of money. But would he really leave the only franchise he has ever played for and a city that absolutely loves him for more money from say the Chicago Cubs?

I hope not.

First and foremost I have no horse in this race. I'm not a St. Louis Cardinals fan. I'm a baseball fan. I have paid money on numerous occasions just to see Pujols play in Turner Field. I love the way he plays the game and I honestly think he is underrated in a way. People still talk about Bonds or A-Rod as being the best player of their generation. Negative. Pujols is by far the best player in baseball. No questions asked. But would the best player in the game pull a Lebron James and ditch the city and fans who have given him nothing but love and admiration for most of his career?


Pujols supposedly wants a 10-year deal worth $300 million. He is currently 31 years old so he is already technically past his prime. With PEDs gone from the game (except in Canada) you can no longer expect an aging slugger to hit 40 plus homers in a season in their 35-40 age years like Pujols did in his mid 20's. So is Pujols worth $300 million realistically? Absolutely not. But I do believe he is worth $30 million a season right now. Especially to the Cardinals and their franchise.

Personally I don't want to see Pujols pull a Lebron and ditch St. Louis. I like seeing great players start and finish their careers in one city. The Cardinals are owned by the Busch family. I'm sure they can afford to give Albert what he wants. But Albert and his agent need to be realistic. If he did get a $300 million dollar deal from St. Louis or any team minus the Yankees and Red Sox it would seriously cripple the team's ability to compete by affording other players on the roster. Pujols is a team player from what I have seen. He plays hurt and he has carried a lineup with little protection throughout his entire career in the arch city. But if he really wants this massive deal and is willing to leave St. Louis because they won't give it to him then he is as big of a dick as Lebron.

The solution to all of this is a 5-year deal for $150 million. It's fair for both sides. Pujols deserves $30 million a season and St. Louis should give it to him. But he doesn't deserve anything past 5 years in my opinion. He won't be crushing the ball as much and he will lose significant bat speed by his mid 30's. It's not up for discussion because it's a fact of life. Whether or not Albert is willing to take such a deal is up for discussion. And if he isn't then I would be disappointed because all along it was just about the money.

In a way it would make him worse than Lebron. We will find out by noon tomorrow either way since Pujols set a deadline to make a deal done before shutting it down till after the season. If you thought Cleveland was bad with fans burning Lebron jerseys after he decided to leave for sunny Miami you can only imagine the carnage that would be left behind if Pujols left to sign for the Cubs.

What's it going to be Pujols? Hero or villain? The baseball world awaits.


Thad Ryan said...

In being a cardinals fan i am not too worried about alberts "deadline" for a new contract. The one thing about albert is that he just wants to win and he feels that having negotiations throughout the season will hinder his ability to help the cards win. ESPN is really pissing me off with not saying anything about this fact. They just want a juicy story and it can be tough to make Albert a juicy story. He will re-sign with the cards because A he has more class then any other "superstar" athlete out there and B he loves the city of St. Louis. He knows that if he stays there he will own that city the rest of his life.

Matt Fairchild ( said...

I think he will eventually sign with St. Louis Thad but what if C) Cardinals offer him less than what he is worth.

I've heard rumors they have offered him a contract that would pay him top 10 money in terms of annual salary. If this is true then he is gone. Pujols is a classy guy so he won't vent to the media but this is going to be a huge distraction all season for the Cardinals franchise.