How Much Would You Pay for Albert Pujols?

Albert Pujols and the Cardinals being unable to come to an agreement on a contract extension has been the big news of the week and provoked a lot of commentary speculating on the motives of all those involved and what the implications might fall out from this.

I am uninterested in predictions about what will happen since even the best are no better than mildly informed guesses, but I am interested in how people view Pujols as a possible asset outside the abstract. That is, suppose nine months from now you are the General Manager for your favorite team and Pujols’ agent calls you up and tells you that if you offer the most money, Albert will sign there. How much do you offer? What’s your breaking point?

You can run the projected cost benefit analysis and consider or not whatever you want, but the idea is not to simply evaluate Pujols in a vacuum and rattle off how many WAR you think he’ll be worth and what that is likely to cost. Those are static assumptions based around the league average while each team exists in a different place and so is not subject to the exact same values. If you were Brian Cashman, would adding Albert Pujols be worth the cost when you already have Mark Teixeira on the team? How much trade value do you think you could get for Tex and how does that affect your willingness to sign Pujols? Would the marketing value of bringing him to New York (and denying him to Boston, or one of the LAs) nudge you higher?

Assume your team payroll cannot be greatly raised just to fit Pujols in. That’s the easy way out. Every fan wants Albert Pujols on his or her favorite team and 99% of fans would not be adversely affected is their team raised the payroll budget to fit him into it. The real question is in considering how much Pujols’ obvious on field value and nebulous off field value offsets his salary cost when factoring in your team’s actual situation.

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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.

126 Responses to “How Much Would You Pay for Albert Pujols?”

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  1. tim in mpls says:

    As an Atlanta fan:

    10 years: $250M

    They’ll probably get a lot of surplus value from Freeman, so their bid should be a lower than most.

    Personally, I wouldn’t go higher.

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    • GTStD says:

      Also as an Atlanta fan, I wouldn’t even go that high. The Atlanta payroll doesn’t have the flexibility that some do. While Freeman does have some trade value, the Braves have needs that have to be addressed in the OF, SS, and 3B in the next couple of years which would be dramatically handicapped by having a $25 million commitment.

      I think the tacit question here, as with any contract, is whether its worth it to concentrate your value in one spot. Whether you spend $25 million per year for 6 WAR on average out of Albert or for 9 WAR per year out of 2 or 3 other guys.

      If I’m Frank Wren, I would offer at most 6 years at $20 million. Albert deserves more, but I don’t think the Braves situation right now would justify any more than that.

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  2. azteccrawdaddy says:

    I’m a Yankee fan and I didn’t like the A-Rod deal at all. Albert is the better player right now, but in 3-4 years, I think it’s very possible that he’s in A-Rod’s situation: 4-5 win player who struggles to play 130 games a year. It just seems like anything beyond 4-5 years ends up badly for the team.

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  3. Glomp says:

    If I were the National’s GM, I wouldn’t go beyond 8 years, with a mutual option for years 9 and 10, maybe. But Rizzo has shown that he’s been willing to overpay for free agents, and the Nats have very little salary tied up beyond 2012; the Nationals could end up being the highest bidder.

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    • Danmay says:

      Somehow I never even thought of the Nationals as a potential landing spot. With Pujols, Zimmerman, Werth, Strasburg, Zimmermann, and Harper they might actually be a pretty threatening team if they can get the budget high enough to surround those six with decent players.

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      • Mark says:

        The Nats owner is worth $3Billion according to Forbes. Bumping the payroll from the current $70M neighborhood to over $100M shouldn’t be a big issue. DC is a top 10 TV market, so, the money should be there for an expanded payroll. The team has only been in DC for 6 years, and they’ve been awful for the last 5.5 years. I’m pretty sure that with a real team on the field and real shot at the playoffs, the folks here would pack Nats Park.

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  4. Jonathan says:

    10 years 300 million. Theres no player who can change a franchise the way that he can, and he deserves to be the highest paid player in the game. No question.

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  5. BennyG says:

    As a Rangers fan I would go 10 years, $275mil. We don’t have a sured-up 1B and adding that bat to the lineup would guarantee one of the greatest lineups in the last 20 years. We have proven that the DFW crowd can get behind baseball so the extra interest and revenue would pay for his salary.

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    • MikeS says:

      Because the the last time the Rangers handed out that kind of contract it worked out so well.

      Just kidding. Things are very different now. A-Rod was kind of a first piece, the assumnption would be that Pujols is the last. Stll, you just know that question would be asked every day for months. It would get really tiring for any fan with a brain.

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    • RogPodge says:

      Hey buddy, it’s shored up, it’s not sured-up. Shore up.

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  6. Cubs should be calling Pujols’ agent right…about…now

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    • tim in mpls says:

      That would be some serious tampering. Would love to see the lawsuit.

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    • MikeS says:

      He’d probably be a good fit (where wouldn’t he be) but the CUbs have written some awfully bad contracts the last few years. No matter how good this guy is, that has to wiegh on them. If somehow it all goes south, they have to hear “Soriano, Zambrano, Bradley, Fukodome…and now thye can’t even get this right.”

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  7. Humzanity says:

    8/250, but long term contracts often look bad, even when successful (eg. Beltran). If he puts up 7.5WAR the next two years, 7 the following two, 6 two after, and 5 for the last two, he will be worth $255 million@$5million/WAR.

    The length bothers me more than the total sum or yearly cost since, well, he absolutely deserves $30 million a year.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    As a Cards fan, I would sign him for ~250mil for 8 seasons. I also think his final contract will be with the Cards for about that amount. Pujols unfortunately has to deal with a “smaller” market after the season is over I think, so that’s why I see this even taking so long to get done and the Cards making that proposed “fair deal” earlier this year. Also is it really true he isn’t really concerned with the years so much as the money? If I was Pujols’ agent, I’d tell to him to be quiet.

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  9. Jono411 says:

    As a jays fan, 10 years, $300mil. Supposedly the team has the money to spend for the right player(s), and pujols would definitely the right player. Given that we have a big opening at 1B (put lind back at dh), and that the early (ie good value) years of the contract would match up with our expected timeframe for competing, this just seems like a no-brainer. 10/300 might be a bit of an overpay in a vacuum, but i think given the jays situation it makes sense.

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  10. Costa Galanis says:

    My two favorite teams, Cleveland and Oakland, have nowhere near the budget to make a reasonable offer for him, so I’ll go down to the next rung on my ladder, the Jays. I’m thinking they could go 8 years, 225 million.

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  11. Pete says:

    I would never do 9-10 years…

    He should be highest per year guy…


    8 years, $240 million seems about right.

    Though, if they do it in relation to Jayson Werth’s deal, it should probably be 15 years, $600 million

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  12. Lukehart80 says:

    As an Indians’ fan, I’m not sure I’m allowed to even make an offer. Will he accept payment in tickets for friends? There are a lot of those in Cleveland.

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  13. Wade8813 says:

    For the Mariners? I think he’d be a much needed infusion of hitting, but we need to rebuild. You can’t do that by giving one player all of your money.

    If I were with a team that I thought was going to be fighting for the playoffs, and I had a good place to stick him (in other words not replacing a star player), I would come close to the $300/10 he’s asking if we could somehow afford it. Heck, even if he would be replacing a star player, as long as I could trade/sell that guy for a decent deal – who cares?

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    • gu03alum says:

      The Mariners could definitely use Albert Pujols in 2012. They will be losing Milton’s ugly contract and the money paid to Yuni and Silva along with Jack Wilson’s contract. If all goes to plan Ackley (the lefthand Edgar Martinez) will be manning second by then and Pineda and Bedard will combine with the King to make one of the best rotations in baseball. Who knows, maybe Nick Franklin will be able to contribute at Shortstop by 2012 with Ryan playing backup to both. That lineup would be awesome. With Figgins and Ichiro getting on base for Albert he might break Hack Wilson’s record for RBI’s. If Smoak can learn to play left field I think we would have a World Series contender.

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  14. patrick says:

    As a Royals fan, I wouldnt touch him at anything that resembles a reasonable offer. However, if im a team like the Cubs, Nationals or Blue Jays I’d probably go up to 8/240 with two player options at $18 million or so. It puts him over Arod money should that be his primary goal. It doesnt hamstring the team in the last couple years nearly as much.

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  15. Schu says:

    As a Mets fan… I wouldn’t take him. He wouldn’t be enough by himself to push the team into contention.

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  16. RogPodge says:

    I’d give him 6 years, $175 million. The breaking point would be 6 years. He’ll almost certainly receive a better deal.

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  17. RogPodge says:

    Oh, but as a Brewers fan I don’t want him on the team at all. No one player is worth almost a third of the team’s payroll. He’s great but the financial burden is just too great for any team that isn’t carrying $130m+ on the books.

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  18. KB says:


    That would be my highest offer. There would absolutely be no way that will come close to what he gets, but IMO these kind of deals are more risk than reward.

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  19. Eddy says:

    As a Marlins fan, I’d offer him the chance to be the GM and President of the team.

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  20. Everett says:

    For the Mariners (or anyone, really), I’m not going over 8 years. I’ve got no problem with the 30m/yr, so lets call it 8/240.

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  21. earlweaverfan says:

    As a Jays fan, I most of all would not want to face him in the American League, or even in the post-season. So, I would push the bidding up higher than any team than the Cubs would want to pay, then let the Cubbies win the bidding at such a high number that they could never afford to strengthen the rest of the team sufficiently to reach the post-season over the 8 years of Pujols.

    Add that to the Cubs’ natural talent at losing, I would consider that a fine outcome. Now if the Jays could land Pujols at 8 years of $240 MM, I would take that deal and run.

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  22. JJBell says:

    I don’t want him when he’s 41+

    8/240 and if he really thinks he’s still worth $30 a year at 40, throw in some additional years that vest based on plate appearances.

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  23. deadpool says:

    In 2008 the Padres had a payroll of $73 Mil, so with their obligation to pay 37 in 2011 and less in 2012 they can afford him. If I’m running that team I consider that I might have enough cost controlled talent to surround Pujols for about 3 years. If I get lucky and can juggle guys as they get expensive for younger talent I can maybe extend that for 2 years. I’d offer 8/270, and hope that I can win a WS or two in those first 5 years.

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    • Travis says:

      I was looking for a Padre estimate. I actually would go the other way, and would offer something like 6/150. Again, not suggesting what he’s worth, or will get. But I don’t think he’d be great in SD for more than that. And I’m a huge AP fan.

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  24. hildebeast21 says:

    I’m a Jays fan. Assuming they sign him for the entire 2012 season:
    1-$40million-7.7670WAR-32 years old
    2-$39million-7.3522WAR-33 years old
    3-$37million-6.7720WAR-34 years old
    4-$34million-6.0417WAR-35 years old
    5-$30million-5.1757WAR-36 years old
    6-$25million-4.1874WAR-37 years old
    7-$19million-3.0897WAR-38 years old
    8-$12million-1.8946WAR-39 years old
    TOTAL 8 YEARS $236million

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    • Matt says:

      Would you ever agree to work for a company that told you on the day that you were being hired, “We don’t give raises. Instead, every year you work here we’re going to cut your salary.”

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      • Ryan says:

        If they paid a lot up front ,heck yes I would! If they said, we’ll pay you twice what you need to live on right now, and each year we take away 2.5%, I’m taking that deal in a heartbeat. You take what you need to live and put the rest away to earn…when you salary gets lower than you can live on, you quit and enjoy the rest of forever off the interest!

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      • Ari Collins says:

        You would if they frontload the contract to make up for it. Money now’s better than money later.

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      • Los says:

        I don’t really see the paycuts as an issue from Albert’s side. The Blue jays have incentive to backload the deal however as the money is more valuable today than it would be in 8 years. Pujols however does not really need the extra $10 million in year 1.

        But if my employer told me I would be working with them for 8 years, I would gladly take a front-loaded contract.

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    • ThundaPC says:

      This contract looks hilarious after taking inflation into account.

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  25. sweets says:

    As an O’s fan I would go up to 7 years at 30 million per. Any longer than that and you’re just asking for trouble.

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  26. wrinklebump says:

    If the anonymous source close to negotiations making the rounds on ESPN, etc. is to be believed (the Cards met the years, but not the money) the offer was probably $230 million for 10 years or $220 for nine. That suggests he probably asked for A-Rod’s second deal.

    Any takers? 10/280?

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  27. Anthony says:

    I’d have an infinite amount (sort of). The contract goes 40, 35, 30, 30, 25, 25, 22.5, 22.5, 20, 20, then it vests 15M a year from there if he averages 450 or more PA the previous 2 years, otherwise if he’s still playing, 10M. Once he retires, he gets 3M a year until he dies.

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  28. Jim Lahey says:

    Jays Fan

    8 years guaranteed at $240M
    2 player options at $15 M

    Total Value: 10 years, $270 M

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  29. Anthony says:

    o yea, and similar milestone bonuses that A-Rod has for like 3,000 hits, 4,000 hits, 500, 600, 650, 700, and record HR.

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  30. GordonBacon says:

    He wouldn’t be on my team because I wouldn’t give a 31 yo an eight or ten year contract…forget about it. I wouldn’t sell my future. If I thought my team could make a push, I’d offer 3 year 100mil.

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  31. nyanks says:

    5 years. 30m per. Pujols listed at 31 yrs old, but quite possibly 34 yrs old. regardless, he won’t be a superstar after six more seasons and it’s bad business to give him a longer deal unless it’s incentive based.

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    • Travis says:

      Have any evidence that he could be older than his listed age? This comment has been repeated for nearly a decade now, and I have yet to see a shred of evidence that doesn’t appear tainted with subconscious racism.

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    • bender says:

      He went to school in the US…

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  32. Grant says:

    As a Sox fan, I’ll assume for a second there’s no AGonz extension. I go 8yr/260, giving 10 years is insane and simply not a good valuation as far as I’m concerned. There are way too many things that could happen in between now and then that would make the contract highly regrettable.

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  33. Monroe says:

    As a Reds fan, no thanks. These deals are insane for a team that can’t afford to make such a huge mistake – you’re completely paying for all the upside while having no protection on the downside. The last time the Reds team signed a huge deal it was for Griffey Jr. – a “bargain” at 9 years/116.5 million. The greatest player of his generation would begin playing his age 30 season in Cincy and the Reds would go 82-80, the one and only time they would play above .500 with Griffey on the team. Due to injuries on the field, Junior quickly became a shadow of his former self, generating less than 13 WAR over the next 8 1/2 season. I’ll take that as a cautionary tale.

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    • Aaron Lehr says:

      Finally a Reds entry!

      Agreed. Not a fan of anything longer than 5 or 6 years at his age. Considering we have the reigning NL MVP manning the position I wouldn’t even bother since an amount equal to what his value would be to the Reds has to be way less than what another team will offer.

      Ignoring Votto at the moment, my “breaking point” would be 5/125.

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  34. kick me in the GO NATS says:

    I am a Nats fan, so lets see……hmmmm, Werth 7 years $126 million. Using that yardstick maybe 15 years and $1 billion?

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  35. the tourist says:

    5 years, $175m–less guarenteed money, but the possibility of another cash in.

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  36. Bob says:

    Cardinal fan here.

    It’s been widely reported that Pujols’ agent set 10/$300M as the starting point, so I’ll assume they’d take a somewhat lower number. I’d offer $280M for 10 years. Highest AAV and biggest total contract. I can’t imagine he’d say no–or that he’ll hang around if he’s mediocre by age 37, 38.

    Pujols, as I see it, is actually more valuable to St. Louis than almost any other team in baseball–because he’s the difference between being a bit over .500, and being a 90-93 win team (i.e. likely playoff participant).

    Can the Cardinals “afford” $28M a year? That is not the question. The question is, what *total* player payroll should Cardinal fans reasonably expect. I’d say $110-115M this year, with modest increases that roughly keep pace with revenue boosts. (Recession or no, MLB revenues have gone up more than 25% over the last three years, and historically, well, they never go down.)

    Can a mid-payroll team be successful with the game’s highest-paid player? Of course, as long as he’s also a GREAT player. ;)

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    • Jeff in So. Indiana says:

      I think you’re insane if you think anyone other than Gil Meche will retire and leave millions on the table. Pujols will still be chasing who knows what all-time numbers at 38, 39 and will play even if it’s at .275 18 HR clip or whatever. Stats accumulate.

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  37. Anthony says:

    I don’t like that people see STL as a mid payroll. To me that could and should be just a step below the uppers. Think about this, there are no pro teams at all south, or very far east or north, no real good teams west, so basically, Columbia, Missouri, all south (Memphis) and a ways into IL and up north is all Cardinal territory. They have a HUGE market and they consistently sell out in the top 5.

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    • wrinklebump says:

      Yeah that’s an interesting point actually. St. Louis isn’t that big of a city but the team’s fans cover a whole lot of topography. Kinda similar to what Baltimore had going for it before the Nats moved in.

      Unrelated, but the thought of Pujols wearing a different uniform (especially pinstripes) gives me the creeps a little bit. I’m not even a Cards fan, geographically speaking, but the idea of a historically great franchise player leaving over money is just un’merican. Or maybe too ‘merican.

      Either way, Pujols – Cardinals = Yankees feels like dividing by zero. Some star somewhere is going supernova over this shit.

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    • Paul says:

      The huge territory may help bring fans into town to help pack the house, but it does little else for revenue. It seems like it’s an incredibly stable organization, which may let them take on a few more risks, but they just don’t have the money that big market teams do.

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      • Anthony says:

        who says they don’t have the money? We don’t get to see their books. having a huge territory doesn’t really help you pack the house that much, do you really think that many people commute from Memphis or Iowa City, or Springfield, MO? They have a broad TV coverage, which means they can sell broadcast rights to more providers. I live in Springfield, MO, which is about equidistant between Kansas City and St. Louis. Because they’re a better team, they (Cards) get top billing on all the local channels and their Fox channel is of way better quality, mostly due to them charging higher broadcast rights. They have a AAA team in Memphis so I wouldn’t doubt most places in TN and KT carry them. That’s a LOT of people that watch their games. Like I said, bigger than mid-market (like Atlanta) but smaller than NYC, LA, CHI, and probably PHI.

        Look at the blackout map on wikipedia. the cards have at least partial coverage in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana. That’s a HUGE area that sees their games and thus, more broadcast rights. Not to mention more online merchandise sales.

        It’s not just about stadium revenue (which they sell a lot of too) but in every aspect they should be near the top. I bet they have lots more money than they let on.

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      • Anthony says:

        let’s just say they’re upper middle class. they’re not in the gated community, but they make more than anyone in their subdivision.

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  38. Brett W says:


    5/170, with 6th and 7th year mutual option vesting at 600 PAs for $30M (or a team option if it doesn’t automatically vest), plus years 8-10 team options at $30M, $27.5, $25M respectively.

    This seems fair for everyone. It guarantees the highest per-anum in league history; it protects the NL team against an aging asset; and it can be sold to the free-agent player by showing the potential to be the biggest contract ever, and not just by a little bit.

    If an NL team guarantees 8+ years at stud money, it’s like essentially punting the second half of this decade.

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  39. Paul F. says:

    Rockies fan.

    Seeing as we just spent all of our money for the rest of the decade on Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, I think I would offer Pujols, say, 5 years at $60 Million. Sounds reasonable, right?

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  40. Andy T. says:

    I would offer 9yr/$230M ($25.6M/yr)

    Gives nearly the length he’s looking for, while providing the second-highest average annual value in the majors. At the same time, if the last year or two are busts the team signing him could still come away with a relatively fair deal.

    If he wants ARod AAV then max out at 8 years, $220M (27.5/yr), or 7/210 (30 per year).

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  41. Rob says:

    I’d go with the reported $30 M per season he’s asking for, but I wouldn’t go any longer than 6 years. So max 6yr/$180M

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  42. dorasaga says:

    I’m a Cubs fan, and here’s what I wrote elsewhere… I don’t believe Pujols will accept an incentive-laden contract. And I like my proposal, which is nothing innovative but “renovating,” that the Cubs can make Pujols a shareholder*. I explained already.

    An incentive-laden contract is plausible, but there is pride involved. Four years ago Fukudome would rather not sign with the White Sox or Padres for their incentive-based contract of a similar four years, although those contracts by themselves could sum up bigger than the Cubs offer, if most qualifications matched (and we know Kevin Tower loved to tempt with those incentives).

    Pujols might not like that. He wants to be respected, like D.Jeter, or maybe in a different way, I guess…

    Here’s an inspiring quote from the Royals owner, courtesy of MLBTR:

    >>”He would not sign a player to a $300MM deal. “You might as well give them the franchise,” Glass said.”

    I actually love to see Pujols be signed with a 20 M x 10 yrs., flat out, plus a stake in the Cubs future as a shareholder, say 2%. Why can’t players be like, what? before 1920s? Before the Federal League came in? Way back then, the players could own part of the franchise.

    That way, a competitor and Hall of Famer like Pujols would be motivated to work his best, help the team wins, and attract more fans.

    And the point is the gate receipt plus, plus, plus all Cubbie marketing benefits which follow.

    Like the charts of Forbes say, even in a time like 2009, when the Cubs was a mess and in transition, they could still earn 246 M of revenue, and Pujols would love his 2% piece of cake here (that’s 5 million from 2009) to increase in the near future.

    *I know Bud Selig, the Ricketts, and all these greedy owners in baseball will NEVER agree. But hey, P.K. Wrigley and his fellow friends didn’t agree with Branch Rickey when he proposed to bring in Jackie Robinson. Guess what happened? And Pujols is worth every change the Cubs SHOULD make to produce a winning franchise built around this Hall of Famer.

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  43. Candlestick Parker says:

    Pujols would be valuable to the Nationals at a higher price point than most other teams. Sandwiched in the lineup between Zimmerman and Werth, he might well lift them into respectability or even contention in 2012. Washington has the need and the cash.

    I am a Giants fan, and can’t see SF making any kind of bid for Albert.

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  44. Agent007 says:

    As an Orioles fan I’d go eight years, $240 million and I’d throw either Haiti as a fixer-upper or the Camden Yards hot dog franchise.

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  45. superhans says:

    8 @ 27

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  46. Scout Finch says:

    No player should make over 20 mil per season. No contract should have value in excess of 100 million. All existing contracts are recalibrated accordingly. Ticket prices comes down. Beer & nachos prices recalibrated accordingly. Yankees and Red Sox salaries capped and all nuclear stockpiles to rust in peace.

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    • Shane says:

      Ticket prices aren’t up to pay for player salaries, ticket prices are up because people keep buying them at a higher price.

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  47. Ghost of Rogers Hornsby says:

    8 years, $242 million, BEGINNING 2011. Tear up this years contract of $16 million. Albert gets over $30 million per year. Cards get years 31-38 with $226 million of new money. Cards look good to their fans. Albert under severe (internal) pressure to accept this and not leave that much money on the table. Albert stays in St. Louis PLUS if he is still playing after age 38, he signs another contract for additional years/dollars.

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  48. Clayton H says:

    As a Braves fan, we have a cheap first basemen in Freddie Freeman. But this is Albert Pujols baby. Heyward Pujols? Give me a break. I’d go as high as 240/8 and if he was serious about that deal, he could probably coax a couple of player/team options out of me after that.

    I think he ends up somewhere besides St. Louis. It sounds like they were nowhere close here and unless something changes during the year, I’m not sure they are going to meet his demands. Hello Chicago.

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  49. Shane says:

    I’m a Red Sox fan, and if the AGon deal goes through, I don’t think I’d make Pujols an offer. In a vacuum I could see 30million a year for 10, but the Sox would have to pay somebody 22million+ to be a DH. Now if Pujols could play 3B, then you’d have AGon at 1B, Pujols at 3B, Youkilis at DH, perhaps I’d go for something short term 30 million a year for five years. I know he wouldn’t accept that, but the Red Sox don’t have as great a need for him.

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    • Crafty Theo says:

      After Pujols misses 80 games this season with a broken ankle, the Red Sox will offer a one-year deal worth $30 million.

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  50. Fred says:

    As a Mets fan we would have to over pay for him to come to our awful hitting park and deal with our mess of a team. it would cost 320/10 most likely and who wants a 41 year old first basemen. We have a low cost option in ike and should run with that for now.

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  51. BWOzar says:

    How about 6 years, 200 million? It allows Pujols to blow away the AAV record and, assuming he’s actually 31 now and productive at the end of the deal, should allow him to capture a Derek Jeter-esque deal that should get him close to his goal of 10 year, 300 million (perhaps he ends up at 9 years, $260 million total – give or take inflation so that later number could end up bigger?).

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    • JohnnyK says:


      Still tough to compete against an offer that guarantees him – say – 275, but IMHO it’s the best approach to pry him from STL without potentially harmstringing your team.

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  52. CircleChange11 says:

    Is this like the fantasy baseball thread where people just give some lip service for what they will pay for certain guys, only to ignore the statement wants it comes down to bidding? *grin*

    Your other choice is to end up with more affordable guys, that won’t get you to where you need to be.

    I would pay Albert 200/6 (my preference) or 300/10 (what he wants).

    I would do this for 2 basic reasons ….

    [1] I want him on my team.
    [2] I don’t want him on yours.

    He’s a 7 WAR player, and cost-effective replacement might be 3 WAR. So he leaves, and you’re -4 WAR.

    If he goes to a division rival and provides them a +4 WAR upgrade. That is now an 8 WAR “swing” in their favor. -4 to you, +4 to them. You’ve just been leap-frogged., and well, it’ll probably cost you your job.

    People keep talking about the age 39-41 seasons. That’s killing me. Aren’t there 7 years before that? Does anyone really think he’ll still be trotting out there at 40 to be a 2 WAR player?

    I don’t think he’s going to decline as the average path. He’s not reliant on speed, bat speed, playing a demanding position, etc. He’s a 1B that makes a lot of contact, has a lot of plate discipline, has a swing path that enable him to hit well to all fields, etc.

    Albert Pujols declines to become Edgar Martinez, and that may be 5 years away.

    No player should make more than 20 Million

    Why should any player make over 300K? Or 1 M? Why should any of us make more than 20K given how many impoverished people there are in the world.

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    • CircleChange11 says:

      Are we supposed to factor in that the other options is Lance Berkman at 1st, and Jon jay in RF?

      Or some combination of that including Allen Craig.

      Not signing Pujols turns 9-10 WAR (Pujols + Berkman) into 4-5 WAR (Berkman + Jay/Craig).

      I’m curious as to what free agents will be available after 2011 and what their probable contract and value may be. Prince Fielder is now a really heavy consolation prize (wanna talk about rapid again curve).

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    • Doug Lampert says:

      I like the people who keep saying he’s worth $30 million, and then offering things like $180 million/6.


      He’s probably a 7+ win player for the next year or two, that’s worth $35 million WITHOUT accounting for the fact that player values aren’t actually linear with WAR because it’s MUCH easier to find two cost controlled 3.5 WAR players than any 7+ WAR players and you only have 13 starting slots to fill, and those 13 or so players need to produce MOST of the 42 or so WAR you need to get to the playoffs.

      Usually a player makes up for the non-linear value of getting high WAR in a single package by taking a longer term deal.

      Hence Pujolds wants a ten year deal. But if you offer him a 1 year deal, or even a 6 year deal, then you need to be prepared to pay MORE than $5 million (plus inflation) per expected WAR. And that comes to substantially more than $30 million per year for the early years of the contract.

      $300/10 years is giving a BIG discount/windfall on the early years in exchange for the big payout/albatros at the back end. Long contracts always work that way. You can shorten the contract, but in doing so you need to go up quite a bit on the $/year.

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      • Aaron Lehr says:

        Hasn’t it been shown that player value actually IS linear vs WAR? I thought I read that on THT or something.

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      • Doug Lampert says:

        My understanding is that free agent PAY is roughly linear by WAR, but that contract length goes up with higher WAR, because the full value is not linear. A team of all below league average players can still have substantial WAR, 22 of the 70 games they win are above replacement. How valuable is that?

        Wins aren’t linear in value, neither are WAR, but WAR pay is linear because contract length can also go up. $300 million/10 may be too high for Pujolds (it probably is, that’s his agent’s anounced starting point), but that doesn’t make him a $30 million/year player now.

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      • dorasaga says:

        ?hank you, Doug, for point out the reality and there really is no fantasy baseball in MLB that gives you 20 starting positions for players who need to field.

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  53. ARODMVP says:

    I’m not sure why everyone assumes that Pujols should be paid more than AROD’s 10/$275M purely on WAR stats. If you compare their WAR graphs, AROD is just a smidge ahead entering their age 31 season…and this was just before AROD’s insane 2007 season. People seem to be dismissing AROD’s contract based on hindsight and the last 3 years, but just looking back at that time, it’s not very clear that Pujols is that much better than AROD (not even taking into account the possibility that Pujols is actually older than he claims). Albeit WAR isn’t the only stat, but its a good one and one that people seem to be using.

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    • ScottyM says:

      Yes, but A-Rods early-mid WAR years were juice aided and Pujols’ has, mostly likely, clean stats. A-Rod will decline much fast without the use of PEDs and Pujols decline will be slower if you believe he never touched PEDs due to a higher natural skill set. I am assuming he acheived the same WAR as A-Rod without PEDs. He also plays a position that gives less WAR credit to fielding and therefore is more weighted toward hitting. Pujols decline should be slower.
      That said I think the decline starts well before his age 38 season and I would agree with Ghosts of Rogers Hornsby that the deal must replace his 2011 salary and offer the following:
      7/210 or
      8/230 or
      I heard they offered rights to buy into ownership at the end. I would also offer 5% of franchise at retirement to keep him in the family if he forgoes his deferred money which would be approx. $30-40 mil of offer.

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  54. B N says:

    As a grad student, I don’t have the money RIGHT NOW, but I would definitely give Pujols 5, maybe 10 thousand dollars of what I have to play for me. I’d love to give more but times are tough and I need to pay rent at the end of the month. Maybe if I could loan him out to some baseball clubs, he and I could split some of the surplus funds between us and he could make more than that…

    Though I’m still confused why you asked how much I would pay for Albert Pujols. I mean, it’s not like I’m a baseball team owner or something.

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  55. Brandonkey says:

    Yahoo! said Giants should be in the mix.


    His bat will add value to the team, but I don’t think Pujols is going to add any extra value to the team. With a World Series Trophy and plenty of fan favorites, Pujols isn’t going to move the needle enough. It’s clear the Giants’ payroll budget doesn’t want to go too much over $100 million, but Pujols isn’t going to bring enough fans to the seats that make up for the hole he would make in the budget.

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  56. Cos says:

    Assuming time travel is perfected by the next offseason, I’d like the Phillies to destroy the Ryan Howard extension and chuck 10 years 280 million at Albert.

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  57. Mike Ketchen says:


    The Cards grossed $200 Mill last year.
    There Payroll was about $100
    Pujols wants about a $15 mill raise
    The Math seems pretty easy to me

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  58. Chris Hall says:

    Braves Fan -

    10/275M+$1, making him the highest paid player in the game. We can trade Freeman for other needs, and once d-lowe comes off the payroll it becomes managable. We have a ton of young, cheap pitching over the next 5 years and won’t really have to add payroll other than through arb, which means we can hold our current payroll without making significant cuts. In the worst case we could trade Uggla, move Prado back to 2B and fill in LF with whatever we get for Freeman. The move would immediately make us World Series contenders and get fans to the games, which has been more difficult in recent years. Heyward plus Pujols for the next decade means we’d at least be competitive no matter what else happened.

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    • Brett says:

      The Braves didn’t draw crowds when they were dominating the National League, I’m not sure Pujols would be that big of a draw, unless he played like he does, but was a siamese twin bearded alligator woman.

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  59. Michael says:

    Yankees: 8 yrs., $275M.

    Essentially have to take the gamble that no one is going to offer him ten years and inflate the per-annum rate to make up for it to appease him.

    Teixeira is probably my favorite Yankee, but hey, he’s not irreplaceable.

    Assuming Rodriguez can bounce back to a solid .300/.400/.550 hitter, which isn’t entirely unreasonable, the line-up would be particularly devastating for the next five years.

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  60. Ari Collins says:

    As a Boston fan, he only makes sense if you don’t resign Gonzalez. It’d be a bit tough to swallow the sunk cost of having traded prospects for him, and it might depend on how “understood” the Gonzalez extension is and/or how much you want to back out of it.

    But if you somehow end up with Gonzalez NOT resigned, Pujols is the clear superior option, even for the extra money and years you have to throw at him.

    If the bidding goes crazy, I’d be willing to go 10/300 with a pair of vesting/team options. Which is a crazy commitment, but Pujols/Youkilis/Pedroia/Crawford/Lester/Buchholz is a crazy core.

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  61. adam.brown says:

    I’m a St. Louis guy. I think he stays and the deal works out like this:

    Pujols starts at 10/300

    Cards counter at 8/200 – He’s made it pretty clear that 8 years would be okay, and theres no way the Cards go to 10 (7 has been their max)

    Pujols counters at 8/240 – same $30m/yr

    Obvious midpoint is 8/220 (27.5 per) but to get him over the ARod AAV, Cards offer 8/224 (28 per) and get it done.

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  62. Mike says:

    As an A’s fan, I’d go 10yrs for $300 million. He’s arguably the best player ever, so he should be compensated accordingly.
    But as an A’s fan, I’d trade him in a 4 team mid-July deal for a full starting 9 of top prospects, with a few top-tier pitching prospects mixed in there for good measure. ;)

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  63. DavidCEisen says:

    I wouldn’t offer him a contract, because four years from now he probably isn’t going to be worth the money.

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  64. TexasRanger says:

    The way I see it a ten year deal is a franchise destroyer to a player who is already 31. I’d do 6 years and 180 million. I dont think he’d be worth it towards the end of the deal. He’s already declining, striking out more and walking less, and his WAR has decreased three years in a row. Isn’t the estimation that there is a half win decline every season. I cant believe Dave Cameron thinks a 10 year 300 million deal is smart by the cards. Fair is a different discussion but I cant see Pujols providing that kind of value from age 37-38 and for three years after.

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  65. adohaj says:

    If I were the cubs

    8 years 250 million

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  66. Regis says:

    8 years and $240M seems about right.

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  67. Evan says:

    Giants fan here, and no thanks. I want us to pinch our pennies so we can lock up Timmy in a few years.

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  68. Mike H says:

    White Sox Fan:

    There’s no reasonable way to make it happen. Virtually untradeable blockages (Konerko, Dunn) for the next fews years and an already stretched payroll.

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  69. STEALTH says:

    7 years, $28 million per, no more. If 5 years, then $30 per…

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  70. Bob says:

    For me, it’s not the money it’s the years. I wouldn’t go longer than 6, maybe 7 years tops. For if you believe Albert’s listed age, I’ve got some swamp land to sell you.

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  71. Anthony says:

    what’s there not to believe about his age? He went to high school in Independence MISSOURI. Middle of the US. What’s not to believe? What’s the proof or even evidence that he’s anything other than his listed age? It’s not like he was a super prospect from the DR that came here. He was fairly unknown until he burst onto the scene.

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    • dorasaga says:

      Pujols was “an adult playing kids” during his high school and college years, as some scouts and his opponents loved to scam him. His opponents needed cover up for their failure being over-matched. And being a Latino who didn’t speak great English when he was a kid, Pujols was an easy target.

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  72. shoewizard says:

    If you are worried about his elbow, and think he is older than his listed age, then the Cardinals offer was high enough.

    If you think he’s healthy and his age is not a lie, then you go the 10/280 or whatever with the understanding that the last few years won’t bring the baseball value on the diamond, but people will come to see him so they can tell their grand kids they saw him play as he reaches various milestones.

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  73. daniel says:

    I’m a Cubs fan… I would honestly be willing to pay him his full 300 million, but I would probably start at 28mil/10 years. We have the money to afford a top five payroll near $150 million so that is really no object, it’s just a matter of spending the other $120 million or so wisely, which has, granted, been our weak point over the last decade. But a huge Pujols contract is a gamble worth taking. It could change the balance of power in the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry, it could change the course of the Cubs’ history, and it would instantly make Chicago perhaps THE prime destination for free agents. Big market, Albert Pujols, a chance to break the course? Sign me up.

    In short, I would pay a lot. haha

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  74. Neil says:

    Nats fan here, I think we are the most obvious fit besides St. Louis. Despite adding Jayson Werth, Washington projects to field a cheaper (and more competitive) team this year than last. A ten-year deal with an AAV over $30MM would not hamstring their finances, especially if the contract is somewhat front-loaded. Some of DC’s best talent – Strasburg, Harper, Norris, Desminosa, J. Zimm – is years away from even arbitration, let alone free agent dollars. The Lerners are rich, but not stupid. They’ve kept costs low in recent years due to the complete absence of anything resembling a minor league system or major league talent, excepting Zimmerman of course. They won’t throw good money after bad, but if the team has a chance of contending and drawing fans, they have the bank account to back it up. Don’t be surprised to see the Nats’ major league payroll over $100MM in a year or two.

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  75. Carl says:

    I’d offer almost whatever it took to get him. I’d love to see the Mets make a move on him, and then trade Ike Davis for value elsewhere – I like Davis, but Pujols singlehandedly makes you a contender for the next 5-6 years, and Davis has enough contract value to get some pitching back. I’d like to see the Mets offer 8/240, plus two years of (declinable) team options for 30+. If necessary, though, yeah, I’d go 10/300 or even 10/320 guaranteed.

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  76. Andrew says:

    As a Nats fan I would think that they should have no problem overpaying. Give him his $300 million and do it over 8 years. Move Andy L. to the OF for his 2nd year. Ted Lerner can’t expect to be around for more than 8 more years anyway. They might sell more than 10K seats if they do.

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  77. Dann M. says:

    As a Cubs fan:
    1) Carlos Pena is signed through 2011, Tyler Colvin is not an MLB 1B, and the only real 1B prospects in the system are entering age 23 seasons and spent 2010 at Single A Peoria (Justin Bour) and Short Season Low A Boise (Richard Jones).

    2) $60 million comes off the Cubs payroll after 2011 (mainly Ramirez, Fukudome, Silva, Pena, Grabow, Samardzija, Wood), while major pieces are still under club control (Soto, Garza, DeWitt, Colvin, Brett Jackson).

    3) Only Soriano ($19 million in each of 2013 and 2014) and Carlos Marmol ($9.8 million in 2013) are under contract beyond 2012.

    4) Hendry has said publicly he sees his 2014 outfield consisting of Brett Jackson (presumably in final season pre-arb), Matt Szczur (rookie), and Colvin (arb-2 season).

    5) Castro and Soto plug in as moderately affordable C and SS for the foreseeable future, and system depth should provide cheap backup C and MI.

    6) Outside of Garza, questions remain about the future of the rotation, but a lot of depth exists starting with Casey Coleman, Andrew Cashner, Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Christopher Carpenter, and Jay Jackson.

    7) Marquez Smith is an “old prospect” now and Josh Vitters has yet to “put it together” even though he’s still just entering his age 21 year & first full season at Double A, while none of Ryan Flaherty, D.J. LeMahieu, or Junior Lake projects to replace the offense they’ll lose down the road with Aramis Ramirez.

    There are enough pieces in place for the future that the Cubs can afford to bring in free agent 1B and, if needed, 3B. The team needs to make sure they will be able to pay whichever of the prospects pan out once they hit arbitration and free agency between 2014 and 2018. Therefore, a 10-year deal for Albert Pujols is out of the question. I don’t like going beyond 35 for long contracts, but a player like Pujols merits an exception.

    I would be willing to sign Pujols through his age 38 season with mutual options for the following 2-3 seasons. Because the Cubs are one of the top revenue teams, they are able (and expected to) pay slightly over market for free agents, taking into account cost of living, desperation to win, and simple ability to pay.

    That being said, if we look at Albert’s fWAR from 2004 through 2010, he climbed to a peak at 28 and has dropped a bit each of the last 2 years. My financial offer would be largely influenced by how well Albert plays in 2011. If he puts up a season equivalent to a WAR no better than 7, then I’d have to consider the man in decline as an aging slugger. If he has a great season, I don’t think I’d discount it as a “playing for a contract” thing. Is a 6 WAR player really worth $30 million/year? I could front-load a contract at $30 million for a year or two, but then the numbers would have to drop along the line.

    Let’s assume his 2011 is identical to his 2010 in metric terms. I’d go 7 years with mutual options for years 8 and 9. Guaranteed would be:
    2012 and 2013: $30 million per year
    2014-18: avg. $27.5 million per year
    2019 option: $28.5 million / $6.5 million buyout
    2020 option: $22 million / $3 million buyout

    7 years with $207 million guaranteed (average of $29.57 million/year, with $9.5 million of buyouts “deferred” money), with a potential value of $248 million over 9 years ($27.56 million per year). It’s a fair offer, a realistic offer, and one that has less of a chance to cripple my franchise than one that extends further or backloads money. If Pujols is so convinced that he’ll play at this level for another decade, then he should have no problem agreeing to option years at the end: if he’s going to be that great at 39 years old, then he’ll believe now that he can merit that option being exercised, or decline it himself and enter the market to make more money.

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  78. Ivdown says:

    118 comments and not one about the Dodgers, the sad cold truth about this makes me sad :(

    I agree about not going past 8 years, 10 year contracts are insane (though 8 years is a long frigging time as well). If I were Colletti I’d go to Frank and tell him look, we should go 7 years for 33 million a year. Yes that’s going to be very steep right now, but here are some points as to why this should be doable:

    - Kuroda will be off the payroll after the year, and that frees up 12 million
    - Furcal’s 2012 option might not vest, and if Dee Gordon has a good year he could be ready by then. Option is for 12 million
    -Non-tender loney after the 2011 season, it should save about 5 million
    -Broxton will be a free agent after this season, 7 million
    -Casey Blake’s option likely wont be picked up, 1.25 buyout for a 6 mill option
    -Garland has an 8 million dollar option if he gets 190 innings, if he doesn’t reach it he will likely not be resigned

    That is a total of about 40-45 million potential dollars on the payroll freed up for next season.
    Of course there will be raises to players in arbitration, off the top of my head that could account for about 10-15 million in raises, maybe not even that high.
    Then you will have in house options filling in for Furcal (if he doesn’t get his option), Blake, Kuroda, Garland, and Broxton. Those in house players include Dee Gordon (SS), Juan Uribe(3B), De Jesus Jr (2B) Kuo, Kenley Jansen (the last 2 for the closers role if healthy), Elbert (Middle Relief), possibly Chris Withrow, Rubby De La Rosa, and/or Aaron Miller for the rotation, as well as Jerry Sands or Trayvon Robinson filling the void in LF after the 2011 season.

    Of course there would still have to be other Free Agents signed to the team for 2012, but going after pujols and then going mostly in house wouldn’t be too bad, unless every top 15 prospect the Dodgers have just falls apart.

    By doing this it would likely push the payroll from the 100 million dollar range to about 130-135 million dollars, but being that the team is in Los Angeles and is always near the top of the league in attendance (getting a top slugger like Pujols would only add to attendance), having a 135 million dollar payroll and the best hitter in baseball should be something that is completely doable.

    It’s too bad this is just a pipe dream, but it would be spectacular to see happen.

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  79. J.M. says:

    As a Giants fan, I think the question becomes: would you rather have Jonathan Sanchez, Brian Wilson, Cody Ross and Brandon Belt for 2012-2016, or Albert Pujols. Of course, Belt could move to LF and isn’t a sure bet to perform in the majors anyway. But Sanchez and Wilson will be expensive soon, maybe dealing them for a long-term shortstop solution or prospects would be the best move.
    I’m not sure.

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  80. alexander says:


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  83. ryan says:

    i wouldnt pay shit for the steroid user

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