The Albert Pujols contract controversy isn’t over yet. In fact, the Albert Pujols contract dispute stands to be a major story for another 10-12 months. Today was the last chance to fix that, as the budding Cardinals’ legend set a deadline of noon today for a deal. If they couldn’t reach one, then negotiations would halt until next offseason, and the Cardinals would have to compete for him in free agency. With no Albert Pujols contract agreement on the way, that worst case scenario is now all but certain.
It may seem incredible that baseball’s most feared slugger, and potential home run king, hasn’t been resigned yet. Given his value and importance, other teams wouldn’t hesitate to give him whatever he wanted – though they may get to test that next fall.
The Albert Pujols contract dispute centers on the Cardinals’ refusal to pay $30 million a year for 10 years. That would give him a record $300 million deal, although many would insist he’s worth it. However, the memories of Alex Rodriguez’s $275 million agreement with Texas may be giving some pause.
The Rangers only kept Rodriguez for three years, and when the Yankees got him, they had to pay even more a few years later. This set an often troubling precedent, with Jayson Werth’s $126 million deal with Washington used as another example.
The main problem over the Albert Pujols contract demands may center around years, however. Paying $30 million a year might not be a problem for the Cardinals, but doing it after he turns 40 might be. Under this proposal, he would be 41 at the end of it, and even he could be in decline by then.
Continuing to pay this much in 2021 could harm the Cardinals down the line, if the slugger isn’t pulling his weight anymore. But considering the high standards he has set in his career, no one would be shocked if he kept hitting 20-30 home runs in his early 40’s. If he’s close to the home run record by then, there would be even greater benefits – assuming there are no steroid accusations.
Putting off the Albert Pujols contract negotiations until the offseason will be the big story in St. Louis all year. Even if the Cardinals make a World Series run, this stands to overshadow everything in Busch Stadium. If he has one of his MVP years, and leads them deeper into October, it could put more pressure on management to give in – or on another team’s management to out bid them.
Before the Albert Pujols contract mishaps, the MVP had been hailed as the least controversial mega star in baseball – or at least the cleanest. Yet that reputation now stands to be put to the test all season, and in the weeks and months after that.
MSNBC.com- “It’s over for now: Albert Pujols and the Cardinals have reached the deadline with no deal”
PilotOnline- “Pujols’ exorbitant demands will be costly for baseball”