Teixeira Is No Pujols

While I commend the team of Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi for thinking outside the box, I’d like to offer one simple image as to why the Cardinals should not swap Albert Pujols for Mark Teixeira.

One of these is not like the other. Teixeira is a nice player, but he’s not even close to Pujols. His best season is only better than Pujols’ worst season. In fact, Teixeira is one of the best arguments for why $30 milion a year for Pujols isn’t all that crazy. If Teixeira is worth $22.5 million per year, the difference in ability between the two is easily worth an extra $7.5 million per year.

As for the other suggestion?

That would be one of the worst trades in the history of sport.

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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.

139 Responses to “Teixeira Is No Pujols”

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  1. Andrew says:

    Amen. ‘Nuf said.

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  2. Joe R says:

    I’d be more amused at watching the NY media totally abandon the Teixeira “RBI and Great Defense” bandwagon if this happened.

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    • DavidCEisen says:

      Most of the comments on the Rosenthal article are Yankee and Phillies fans saying that their teams shouldn’t make the trade. Kind of amazing.

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      • Los says:

        Well, one of the comments is also someone saying the Angels should trade Morales, Weaver, and Trout for Pujols if the Angels are out of it at the deadline.

        You are right…those comments were amazing.

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      • B N says:

        Dude, given the contract Howard got last year- I would LOVE to trade for Pujols if he could be signed for a reasonable # of years at 30m. I would somehow bet that much less money would be wasted on that than on Howard… However, that is unlikely to happen unless the Cards whole front office is given full frontal lobotomies.

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    • Joseph says:

      “I’d be more amused at watching the NY media totally abandon the Teixeira “RBI and Great Defense” bandwagon if this happened.”

      Because trading him for a once in generation player is somehow an indictment of his ability? He IS great defender and does produce RBIs.

      So you sir are a freakin’ moron lol.

      I guess when the Yankees traded David Wells for Clemens (who has just won back to back Cy Youngs) that meant he was a terrible pitcher also.

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  3. J Bravo says:

    But what if the choice isn’t between Pujols and Teixeira? What if the choice for the Cardinals is Teixeira or draft-pick compensation?

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    • Dave Cameron says:

      There’s no reason for the Cardinals to agree to pay $22.5 million a year for Teixeira but balk at Pujols’ asking price. If they’re willing to big money for a first baseman, they should pay big money for the first baseman they already have.

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      • Luke in MN says:

        The Yanks could send money with Teixeira. Yanks pay Pujols 30 million for 10, and send, say, 4 or 6 million a year with Teixeira. For the Yanks it’s 12-14 million to upgrade from Teixeira to Pujols.

        The Teixeira no-trade is probably what makes it a non-starter though. It sucks value out of the transaction for the teams.

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      • DJG says:

        Not all “big money” is equal though. Does anybody know for sure the length of the contract Pujol’s is asking? I’ve heard 10 years. If that’s the case, then it’s not as simple as an extra $7.5 million a year.

        I’m not disagreeing with the larger point. I just think this warrants a mention.

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      • Brad Johnson says:

        Let’s also keep in mind that there are actual finite budget constraints that are independent of the general WAR model we use. All indications seem to be that the cards have 30/yr for 5 years but not 8-10 years. So the question could quickly become “do we want this good, expensive player or do we want $5 mil worth of draft picks and a gapping hole”.

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    • Adam D says:

      This is the first thing I thought of too… it’s not a choice between Pujols and Tex. It’s a choice between Tex and diddly-squat. Isn’t something in return better than nothing?

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      • Sky says:

        Mark Teixeira is a better player than Mr. Diddly Squat, yes. But D. Scott and his contract will help win more games than M. Teixeira and his contract.

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      • pbhoney says:

        To assume Tex is the best thing the Cards could get for Pujols is laughable though. You’re creating a strawman here.

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      • The Ancient Mariner says:

        He’s not doing any such thing — as you’d know, if you’d read the link: he’s shooting down actual trade ideas proposed by actual writers who cover MLB.

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      • Humzanity says:

        People seem to keep forgetting that Pujols has a full no-trade clause and has stated he will veto all trades.

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  4. Tony says:

    Pujols already said he would use his no trade clause. And even if he would, Teixeira would be unlikely to apporve the trade.

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  5. David says:

    Why use cumulative WAR of all things for this non argument?

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    • dfan says:

      Indeed. I assume that comparing year-by-year WAR would be impressive enough. In this graph, half of Pujols’ lead over Teixeira is due to his production before the age of 23.

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      • Barkey Walker says:

        Look at the graph again, it is clearly production before age .23

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      • Brandon says:

        Yes, half of it is. However, the slopes of the lines tell a LOT — and there’s a significant difference there. Great players almost always break into the big leagues before good ones — and here’s a perfect example of that. Plus, that average difference in yearly worth gives Pujols more room to decline while still being a valuable player. Teixeira by-and-large falls into that category of 1Bmen who decline rapidly in their early 30s — useful players, to be sure, but not worth anywhere close to 22.5 mil a year, particularly considering that his D may already be in steep decline (although not everyone agrees on that).

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      • Lance W says:

        Derivatives (kinda) ftw.

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      • dfan says:

        This is a response to Brandon (I see no reply button there):

        “However, the slopes of the lines tell a LOT — and there’s a significant difference there.”

        Right, but why not just use the graph of WAR by year, which actually shows that difference graphically, rather than taking the integral of that graph and forcing people to eyeball the derivatives?

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  6. McCman says:

    Can you give us one of these comparing pujols to bonds?!?!?!

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  7. Marc says:

    You must have a lot of time on your hands, Dave, as it seems that a lot of the articles you write point out the obvious.

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    • John says:

      Wouldn’t that mean that he didn’t have a lot of time? Wouldn’t his articles get better? I think Dave Cameron must have a lot of time on his hands because his articles are frequently very, very, very good.

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      • Marc says:

        Oh, I do think Dave is a smart guy, but he seems to get bored very often that he feels obliged to write half assed, non productive articles like this one. I mean, let’s get real now. Who in the living hell needs convincing that “Teixeira is no Pujols”?

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      • joser says:

        You really need to read the article again, if that’s what you think it’s about.

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  8. Sun king says:

    I’d take diddly squat over tex. IMHO he’s overpaid, and overpaid at the uber deep 1st base position. If it’s a choice between Tex and comp picks i’d take the picks, unless I was the Yankees or redsox, mabe.

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    • B N says:

      His deal is really only one that makes sense for the Yankees, actually. Even for the Red Sox, Tex’s value/production would be an albatross. I mean, none of the Red Sox position players make as much as he does. The highest paid position player was about 14m last year (Drew). Tex is an extra 50% onto that. In order for Tex to be paid that much in beantown, he’d need a lot more upside. I think Adrian Gonzalez is a better player than Tex at this point (is his health recovers to form), and I’m still not sure if the Red Sox would offer 22m annually to him.

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      • joe says:

        The Yankees also did not give up 3 top prospects to get him either.

        They effectively gave up a 3rd round comp pick (Since they signed Burnett and CC the same year they would have lost their 1st and 2nd rd picks anyway).

        It’s not a great contract but he’s posted just under 9 fWAR (10.1 bWAR) the first 2 years… at 45mil, not great…. but an albatross?

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  9. Brian says:

    What I don’t think anyone is considering here is the trade isn’t Pujols for Texeria or Pujols for Howard…it’s Texeria or Howard instead of 2 draft picks when Pujols signs somewhere else. If the Cards can’t sign him now, they aren’t going to do it if he hits the open market.

    I also don’t think it’s the yearly salary that is holding back the Cardinals, it’s the number of years. If they were to trade for Texeria or Howard, the length of the contractual commitment is going to be much less. That’s the value for the Cardinals.

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    • Dave Cameron says:

      This is the same argument the Angels made by choosing Vernon Wells over Carl Crawford. It’s penny wise and pound foolish.

      Pay Pujols or go cheaper at first base.

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      • Brian says:

        Dave – I disagree. The Angels didn’t have Crawford to lose. The Cardinals may very well choose to take the picks and go cheaper at first base. But a straight comparison of Texeria/Howard for Pujols doesn’t take into account the entire situation.

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      • Dwight Schrute says:

        Dave, I would understand your “Pay Pujols or go cheaper at first base” argument if Pujols was asking say 20 or so million more than what Teixeira is owed but if the 300mm rumors are right he’s not even in the same ballpark. So just because they’d beable to pay 135MM for Tex doesn’t mean they can afford to pay the 300 for Pujols. Just for reference you could get a Cliff Lee or Carl Crawford with the difference in salary and still have money left over.

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      • chuckb says:

        right! It’s Pujols or 2 draft picks + $25 M or so to play with to upgrade their myriad other holes.

        If they can’t re-sign Pujols, they need to upgrade at other positions and go cheaper at first base. They could start by getting someone who can play the middle infield.

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      • B N says:

        I agree with this strongly. Tex and Howard are not going to provide the value that Pujols does. It would be silly to trade for them (especially Howard), when you can get guys who will provide almost as much production with way less commitment. Pujols is a guy who is offering like 7 WAR per season. Tex is offering about 4 WAR. Given the way the 1B market works, you’d end up paying this kind of money per production:

        7.5 WAR: 30m
        4.5 WAR: 22m
        3 WAR: 12m

        I mean… one of these is not like the other. For some reason, teams lately have been compensating the jump from 3 WAR to 5 WAR by a lot, after which the super-elite price range seems to kind of plateau off. I have little other explanation for deals like Tex and Howard, given that they’re actually producing like one would expect.

        Admittedly, I wouldn’t go to 10 years with Pujols simply due to the risk involved. Paying a guy 30m annually to be out of baseball (or dead, as we seem to lose a player every few years to a car/boating/plane accident), seems like a bad idea.

        I think if Pujols wants his 10, he’s going to have to take some sort of mutual optioning or contract buy-outs. If I were the team, I’d tell that to him straight up- he’s not invincible, we’d love to pay him 30m annually to play for us, but there’s X probability of these risks involved that reduce our expected benefits- meaning the compensation must be reduced accordingly.

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  10. Shant says:

    I’m just waiting for the Pujols – PED story….

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  11. Brian says:

    Sorry your heinous: select cumulative by age and try again

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  12. MonteroSmash says:

    I think everyone really knows this; does this really warrant an article?

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  13. wfporter says:

    Isn’t the length of the contract becoming the biggest issue for the Cards and Pujols? Agreed that the swap would be crazily imbalanced, but Tex has 6/130 left on his deal — I suspect the Cardinals would happy sign Pujols for 6/150-170, but he’s insisting on 10 years, not 6 . . . The delta isn’t $8M a year, it’s $8M a year, plus $120 for years 7-10 right?

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    • chuckb says:

      In exchange for approving the trade to St. Louis, Teixeira would want something. That something would likely be a couple more years and a bunch more $. Therefore, the 6/130 now would become 8/180 or so. Not as big a difference now.

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    • joe says:

      It’s actually years 6-10…. Tex will have 5 years left on his contract at the end of the season when Pujols is looking for his 10 (or even 8) year extension.

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  14. moebius says:

    I’ll go in on the pro-trade side:

    First, let’s say that the deal is Pujols for Tex + salary relief down to $17.5 million.

    From the Cardinal’s side:
    1. Tex is still a 3-5 WAR player moving forward, and is only under contract for 6 years. This provides the Cardinals with a quality 1B who can probably earn a $17.5 million contract moving forward, and it does not cripple them for a decade.
    2. If they aren’t willing to go 300/10, what 1B are they going to find who is better than Tex at an affordable contract? Not Howard. And is 7-8 years of Fielder (whose signing is no sure thing, with the Jays and Angels out there) + draft picks really going to be an upgrade over Teixeira?

    From the Yankee’s side:
    1. They get the best hitter and defensive 1B in baseball, who will probably significantly outperform even $300 million over the life of the deal.
    2. They will already have experience paying a DH $20+ million, and for the last three years of a 10-year contract they can slot Pujols into that position (which the Cardinals can’t do).
    3. They basically have unlimited resources. The salary relief for Tex will hurt just about as much as the salary going to Kei Igwaa this year. And $30 for Pujols vs. $23 for Tex will still put them at about last year’s payroll.

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    • Eric says:

      i’d rather pay 30M for a mininum 7 WAR player than 17.5M for a mininum 3 WAR player

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      • moebius says:

        But you also have to be willing to pay that $30 million in the 7 WAR player’s age 41 season.

        This isn’t the difference between +4 WAR for +$12 million/year, which is totally worth it. It’s the difference between $120 million in years 7-10 of the contract for a player who probably isn’t worth 7 WAR anymore vs. whatever that could buy you on the open market.

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  15. neuter_your_dogma says:

    “But you also have to be willing to pay that $30 million in the 7 WAR player’s age 41 season.” Agreed, but I look at 300/10 as a salary deferral.

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    • John says:

      You also have to believe he’s currently 31. Isn’t there a weighted avg age consideration factor here as well? Perhaps you assume there’s a 50% chance he’s 31 and a 25% chance each he’s 33 and 34. Now he’s 32+ in your model and you’re talking about $30 million for a guy who might actually be 43 or 44 in year 10. There’s at least enough doubt that it has to be priced in.

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  16. Tom C says:

    You forgot to compare Pujols’ cumulative WAR versus a blank line, which is what the Cardinals will get (plus two picks) if he walks.

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  17. Brad Lidge says:

    Yes, there is a big difference between Albert Pujols and Teixeria/Howard.

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  18. steve says:

    Yeah, I was shocked that someone even suggested it. Now, Tex, Hughes, and Montero might be a fair deal. Montero could be flipped back to the AL if they decide he can’t catch.

    But of course the yanks won’t do that. Montero will be saved for the pipe dream that is Felix Hernandez.

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  19. J W says:

    for giggles, how would a cabrera for pujols trade stack up??

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  20. phoenix2042 says:

    i think it would be more telling to see the graph of nth best season rather than WAR by age. obviously it just furthers your argument that pujols started 2 years earlier which makes him look that much better. of course he has been better every season, but you add two extra years of WAR on top and he looks 10 times better. it makes your already strong argument look facetious when it’s in fact quite accurate. it’s overkill and you don’t need to cherry pick to make pujols look better. he simply is better, without cherry picking.

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  21. AndyS says:

    This graph needs serious work. First of all, as my friend pointed out, Pujols started with 20 WAR before Teixeira started playing? And he has such a dominating lead? No way!

    Also, if you wanted to show us rate of WAR, why not plot precisely that….the slope?

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  22. brad says:

    As a Yankees fan, of course I want this to happen, but it won’t. Maybe if it were Teixeira plus one of the stronger pitching prospects plus money (Montero and Teix in the same package seems more than likely to be redundant), but the hang-up really is Teix’s no trade clause. The idea that he’d renegotiate and get a few million more per year and added years sounds nice, but if it’s then Teix for 7 at, say, $27 per year vs Albert for 10 at 30, then it’s just f***ing stupid for Stl to even consider it, even if the Yanks send $35 million in it. (Which would, I believe, then add Selig approving the deal as a potential variable into the mix.)
    I want it to happen, but I just can’t see it.

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    • brad says:

      Actually, maybe I’m shortchanging my own potential package. There’s lots of moving pieces in this rumor/my pipedream of Pujols in pinstripes, but from Stl’s perspective the package I came up with isn’t half bad. The salary savings between Teix for 7/$27 and Albert at 10/$30 = $111 million, plus $35 million, plus a pitching prospect worth somewhere between $10-20 million equals something in the ballpark of $160 million in potential value. At that level I have to wonder if the Yanks would even be better off making the move, and how stupid I am for suggesting such a deal.

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  23. Fred says:

    I especially like the linear curve to Pujols’ career and the already insipid demise of Teixeira and especially Ryan Howard.

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  24. KTEvent says:

    The trade is absurd. PUjols in pinstripes patrolling the Bombers outfield in ’12 is not.

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    • PG says:

      The idea of Pujols changing positions is absolutely ridiculous.

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      • fredsbank says:

        yeah, the idea of a guy who started his career splitting time on the corners in the infield and outfield, and who didnt become a full-time first baseman until 2004, IS absolutely ridiculous.

        granted he hasnt played the outfield since 2003, so whether he could go back or not i dont know, but personally, i’d have a little faith in a guy like albert before writing him off so casually

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    • adohaj says:

      Why wouldn’t they just have Pujols and Tex switch off DH duties?

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    • Felix says:

      The reason Pujols is playing 1B anyway is because of his balky elbow and they don’t want him blowing it out by making too many throws over the course of a season.

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  25. filihok says:

    Maybe this should have been the one image that Dave referred to


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  26. Ivdown says:

    Rather than a stupid trade for Tex or an insane trade for Howard, if there was a possibility of trades, they should look into a trade for someone like Longoria, perhaps Wright, Hanley, Tulo (though I think this is less likely than any I mention), or another young(ish) stud player making a ton less money who I’m sure teams would be very willing to swap if they decide the money won’t be an issue.

    Ok, so maybe Hanley wouldn’t be a good choice here, but the idea of Longoria for Pujols intrigues me a bit.

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    • Daniel Leroux says:

      Why would the Rays trade Longoria for Pujols?

      I mean, it takes two to tango here.

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      • Tono73 says:

        now why would the “Rays”give-up “Longoria”for”Pujols”!! what i think is that these “Sport writer’s”sit around with nothing to do then “Boom”it hit’s them,let’s stir-up our reader’s! let’s start with,”Pujols” 4-Tex!! then will throw in Howard & Longoria!!! this should get them going,(hahahahahahaha)!!!!…i guess there’s nothing else to write about….need to write about something more interesting,but i guess you guy’s can’t find anything..

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    • fredsbank says:

      with the possible exception of wright, none of those would ever happen… ever

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    • Evan3457 says:

      Because the Rays, Mets, Marlins and even the Rockies can’t afford to pay Pujols what he wants long-term at this point.

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  27. azteccrawdaddy says:

    They would only do this if they think Albert is absolutely going to leave town on his own. If there is a chance of re-signing him, you don’t make this trade. If he effectively says “F U STL” and the Yankees have this on the table, you take it. It’s not news that Pujols is better than Tex; it’s that having Tex is better than having Jon Mabry.

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  28. KS says:

    This seems like a ridiculous comparison to me. If you’re considering a potential trade of two players, isn’t what’s important their production going forward? Just because one out-produced the other in the past doesn’t mean it’s a bad trade. The question is, what will they produce in the future, and what are the possible alternatives, such as, losing Pujols to free agency and getting two draft picks, or having to pay him so much money as to force your franchise into a financial straight-jacket for a decade.

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    • Bill says:

      What better indicator do we have for judging future performance than past performance? Because Pujols was better in the past with all things being equal, he will likely be better in the future. Why would Tex suddenly get markedly better or Pujols suddenly get markedly worse?

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      • KS says:

        Yes, past performance is a good indicator of future performance, but it’s not everything. First, they’re different players, they may well age differently (I don’t now, but you’d have to look into it). What’s more important is the context. You have to weigh a potential trade against several alternative realistic scenarios, not look at it simply as a question of one player being better than the other. If that were how trades were made, you’d never trade a proven major league performer for prospects who had never produce anything at the major league level. Cameron’s analysis is accurate but so simplistic that it’s not very useful.

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  29. GoJays says:


    Pujols signed by the future greatest GM, post millennium, Alex Anthopouloulos.


    Damn Yanks at it again.

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  30. GoJays says:


    None of the above.

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  31. pft says:

    Yankees just have to wait for Pujols to be a FA and sign him, then move Tex to DH and if he is unhappy enough to waive his NTC, then trade him.

    Unless Tex bounces back from an awful 2010, his contract will be hard to move w/o the Yankees eating some of the contract.

    Pujols speculation is foolish given he is a 10/5 guy and will not approve any trade. I could see the Cardinals making such a deal if they determined Pujols was too expensive for them and would agree. Tex is locked up for 6 years and they have Pujols for only 1 year. Six years of Tex is better than 1 year of Pujols, and he should deliver 24 WAR over the next 6 years to Pujols 6-8 for 2011.

    That said, if they could deal Pujols, they would probably be better off making a deal for someone cheaper and younger than Teixeira. But not worth the time to speculate on who that might be.

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  32. Marshall says:

    Why don’t teams ever consider front-loading a contract?

    If you are relatively certain that Pujols can be a 7+ WAR player over the next 5 years, why don’t you pay him $35/year over the first 5 years, which comes out to $175m. Then, you can simply do a sliding decrease for the last 5 years to make up for the decline. Essentially, it’s the polar opposite of a back-loaded contract.

    Obviously the team has to be able to cover the initial cost, which isn’t always desirable, but it seems to make more sense to me. Why backload (or keep even) a contract which you know the player is unlikely to perform to in the end. Moving a back-loaded contract is also more difficult in toward the end.

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    • andy s. says:

      You always want to backload due to inflation. You can always send money with a trade.

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    • Lance W says:

      Marshall, I always say the same thing. For the team, it’s more about paying a player realistically for each year of the deal than it is about losing purchasing power/total wealth. For the player, it’s the exact opposite. A-Rod’s deal paying him $32MM now and $20MM at the end makes infinitely more sense for both sides than just paying $27.5MM throughout. I haven’t seen too many other examples of this being implemented, but I definitely recommend it for Pujols.

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    • chuckb says:

      “Why don’t teams ever consider front-loading a contract?”

      Time value of money. Teams pay less overall by not front-loading the contract.

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      • Jim Lahey says:

        This a thousand times over.

        The guys that are rich enough to own a team I imagine know a little bit about investing their money.

        Paying $35m in the Final year makes more sense in terms of the money you set aside in year 1.

        If you backload the contract, at these rates:
        $19m, 22m, 25m, 28m, 31m, and last 5yrs @ $35m each (assuming 8% rate of return, payout of entire year salary at the start of the year) you’ll make about $120M in on your investment.

        If you reverse the contract and frontload it, you’ll make around $95m on your investment.

        This is overly simplified because I don’t know how often the players get paid or the schedule of such, so I’d assume that the team stands to gain even more money than I calc’d from backloading because they’ll keep more of their money around longer.

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    • Evan3457 says:

      Hank Steinbrenner waves his Alex Rodriguez contract at you and says, “hi”.

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  33. CubsFan says:

    This isn’t terribly relevant to the discussion but here it is anyway. I’m not a Pujols fan due to him playing for the arch rival of my favorite squad but his greatness is undeniable.


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  34. CubsFan says:

    Cumulative WAR by age for the above link is just ridiculous

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  35. Randy says:

    I’d give Pujols 10 years if he can DH.

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  36. kick me in the GO NATS says:

    It can’t be a lame article not worthy of mention if the comments go on and on.

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  37. Lance W says:

    Dave, can you take a break from making so much sense in such a timely manner once in a while? What’s a college student who wants to write about this without plagiarizing to do?

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  38. Bob says:

    I’m confused by the notion that paying Pujols $30M a year somehow “hamstrings” the ownership group.

    If the Cardinal owners are willing to raise player payroll to a Minnesota Twins-type level next year (about $114M), then increase by a modest $3-5M annually going forward, they can certainly afford Pujols *plus* a supporting cast that includes Holliday, Rasmus, Molina, Wainwright, and Garcia.

    The only catch? The bullpen, and two or three of the starting eight, will need to be cheap. (Which is the way it already is.)

    Average MLB revenue was about $235M last year, according to Bud Selig, and StL owners say they were 10th in revenue. So, you gotta figure Cardinal revenues were roughly $250-260M.

    Sounds like a team that can afford a $120M player payroll, or even $130M, and still turn a tidy profit. ;)

    Finally, does anyone here really think Pujols would stick around at age 40 or 41 and play baseball, if he’s batting .275 with 16-18 homers? I just don’t see it, $30,000,000 or not. The man is too proud.

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    • Felix says:

      You’d also have to factor in operating expenses other than player payroll and stadium payments. I have no idea how those numbers would shake out but those additional expenses aren’t exactly insignificant.

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  39. RaymanSK says:

    The question is:
    Teixeira + 7,5M$ or 2 draft picks + 30M$.

    How much WAR you can have from a good middle infielder (10M$?) (Cards need middle infielders), a cheaper first baseman (10M$?) and 2 cost-controlled players?
    If we assume that Cards can have the same production of the WAR —> $ comparison, they ‘ll have 4.0 WAR (a bit less, probably) + WAR of two cost-controlled players.
    Superior than Teixeira’s WAR, that we can assume will be declining because his good defense will probably decline with the age.

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  40. Ralph Q. Public says:

    I am not so sure that Pujols going forward is as valuable as some including Cameron seem to think. Here are my reasons in no particular order:

    (1) His stated date of birth is 16 January 1980, so he is at least 31 years old. However, he was born in the Dominican Republic so he might be even older as birth certificates, etc. are frequently unreliable.

    (2) He has had elbow problems which probably won’t get any better with age.

    (3) He seeks a 10 year/US$300 million dollar contract. Let’s say you bargain him down to 8 year/US$240 million. That is an astonishingly enormous financial commitment.

    Teams that are thinking of acquiring Pujols whether by trade or free agency have to be sure that they are paying for probably performance going forward and not past achievements.

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  41. Ralph Q. Public says:

    Sorry I meant *probable* performance going forward

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  42. Johnny Joe says:

    Further to Ralph Q’s argument and Dave Cameron’s contention that a trade of Pujols for Ryan Howard would be one of the worst trades in the history of sport: I don’t think this trade is bad at all IF Pujols is traded and then awarded something like a 8 year/$240 million deal.

    I would bet the house that Pujols will outperform Howard over the next five years. But then Howard is off the books and you still owe Pujols for 3 years and $90 million.

    My point is that Pujols may prove to be a huge, huge, HUGE albatross around any team’s neck during the back end of that contract. His value in WAR has to be considered relative to the average annual salary payable under his contract AND the total financial commitment.

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    • chuckb says:

      Howard’s extension doesn’t even begin until 2012 or 2013 so Howard’s contract only comes off the books 1-2 years ahead of that 8 year deal Pujols signs. The Howard extension is Vernon-Wells-bad.

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  43. jnolan33177 says:

    Since Howard came in the league HE HAS MORE,…..MORE HOME RUNS AND MORE RBIS THAN PUJOLS. Base all your stats on WAR idiot

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  44. Matt says:

    Teixeira and Howard combined 2010 WAR: 5.5
    Teixeira and Howard combined 2010 Salary: $39.6 mill

    Pujols 2010 WAR: 7.3
    Pujols 2010 Salary: well below $39.6 mill

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  45. Gregory says:

    I completely agree Pujols is better than Tex or Howard. In fact, he’s been the best player in the league ever since entering it, however calling either of these deals “the worst trades in the history of sport” is a rather poor argument given your usage of a single parameter.

    Events cannot be analyzed within a vacuum. If the Cardinals cannot sign Albert or simply don’t want to at his price tag, then it would be a good trade to move him and receive a high quality player in return rather than just letting him walk. Moreover, the potential $7.5 million in savings between an Albert and a Teixiera could be used on other positions within 25 man roster.

    WAR has become a new favorite among sabremetricians, but you have to realize its limitations in an analysis, namely that if does not take into account an entire major league roster, or even the other 8 starting positions.

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  46. Bogart says:

    I don’t agree with people like Matt’s argument – just because Pujols had a greater WAR than Tex or Howard last year doesn’t mean that trading him straight-up for either Tex or Howard is awful (or, in the case of Howard, is the “worst trade in the history of sports”).

    Think about this for a second – if he gets an 8 year/240 deal – you are paying him $30 million a year for his age 32-39 years. Does anyone honestly think that he will be worth $30 million a year for the last 3-4 years of that contract? And if not, will he SIGNIFICANTLY outperform his $30 million paycheck in the front part of that contract such that you can justify the lower performance in the back end?

    I just don’t see it being worth it.

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    • P says:

      On the other hand, if you trade him for Howard, you’re paying Howard ~$22-23 million a year (on average) for his age 31-36 seasons. How good do you expect them to be, compared to Pujols?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  47. CircleChange11 says:

    With Pujols, it’s not the annual amount that’s the BIG issue. It’s the LENGTH of the deal.

    Surprising that was not mentioned.

    Saying that Teixeira is not as good as Pujols, or anywhere near close really, is not a revelation.

    Pujols is worth 30-35 M/y … just not that amount of 10 years. If StL signs him for 300/10, I can live with it, although it’s not ideal for the team. I’d much prefer 35M/y for 6-7 years.

    I have NO idea why anyone is talking trade with NYY or even PHL. AP5 has already said he will veto any trade if a deal is not done by ST.

    Also, why are we discussing 1-for-1 trades that include the best hitter of the last 60 years? I understand that the point is that Pujols is worth the extra 7M over Teix’s contract. I think that serves two purposes [1] it shows how good Pujols is, and [2] it shows (yet again) just how much the NYY over-pay, just because they can. They are stupid big. They are such a big and unique market, that even when being dumb, they can thrive (just as they did in the 50s & 60s with prospects, pre-draft).

    Anyway, ia few things to consider, if AP% does earn the value of the contract over the 1st 4-6 years, then he’s going to be approaching some significant milestones/achievements in th elatter part of the deal. Not only that, but he will be, without question, THE St. Louis cardinal, which considering Musial, Gibson, and Smith, that’s saying a ton. I’m a cards fan, I go to a handful of games per year. There are A LOT of #5 jerseys in the house. I don’t mean there are as many #5 shirts as there are #29 or #50, I mean there are only (essentially) #5 jerseys, just as it was with the Bears and #34 in the 80s.

    I also agree with another poster who stated that AP5 will not be playing at age 39 if he’s batting 280 with 15 HRs. He’s very much like Mike Schmidt in that regard. He’s not going to embarrass himself like that.

    The risk is that he experiences lost seasons to injury, and is so competitive that he keeps coming back. When you’re paying someone 30-35M/y, even an 8 WAR season the following year does not make up for a lost season.

    The Cradinals left on very bitter terms with their last “face of the franchise” (Ozzie) and he has yet to return to the organization. I don;t StL can do the smae with this one.

    I understand the 10y deal being a major concern. But, I don’t think it’s THAT major, unless somehow the deal is guaranteed. If one considers the surplus value that AP5 has already provided the Cards, then there is simply no way that they can overpay him. I know teams/analysts would not think of it that way … but for his career he is going to provide the team with more value than they paid him for.

    3 hours.

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  48. Monsanto says:


    Your comments consistently suck.

    Don’t ever think that any organization, Cardinals or otherwise, can’t part with any player. The team rolls on no matter how good the player or how acrimonious the departure.

    -6 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • CircleChange11 says:

      Man, it’s like a bunch of 7th grade girls around here with the personal comments. Is this the part where you send a mean comment to my facebook page and ask the other girls not to like me?

      Just address the sucky comments and explain to me where I’m wrong. Simple as that. Just keep it relevant to what I said, and not various perceptions of what might have been said.

      The opening article stated that sure AP5 is worth 7M more than Teix. No doubt.

      That’s not the issue.

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      • superhans says:

        Hahaha. I’m totally unfriending you.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • CircleChange11 says:

        First my mom and now you. Why do I even keep the facebook page open?

        My concern with the Pujols deal is NOT that the organization will fold if he is not signed.

        My concern is that Pujols is so good that erases a lot of shortcoming in and from the front office. If they do not sign him, then they will either [1] not replace his 8 WAR/y, or [2] end up spending more than 30M/y in order to replace the 8 WAR.

        I understand not wanting to do the 10 year deal. If that is AP5’s demand or that the money be guaranteed, then there should be some performance minimums attached to last few years. While I don;t think that he’s the type of guy that would show up and hit .275 with 12 homers or play half-seasons … it would be difficult for anyone to just walk away from 30M/y.

        This will not work out well for StL. They don’t have a particularly smart FO. They will not take the money saved and find good values. They’ll overpay another again veteran to try and compensate for the loss (we’d be the team to give Adam LaRoche the 7y/84M contract he’s looking for).

        I do think that the Cardinals need Pujols more than he needs the Cardinals. His “brand” will go with him. His “performance” will go with him. The Cardinals do not simply have another player or combination of guys that can provide 8 WAR for 30M. Nor are they smart enough to find it in the market. I wish they were, but they aren’t.

        If I thought the money saved might go into a good deal for AW50, a good extension for CR28, a short-term, high-dollar deal for CC29, etc I’d go for it. But it won’t.

        StL would be more like the team that would trade AP5 to NYY for Teix, and they’d throw in Rasmus and his “attitude problems” to boot. The cardinals organization has been far too reliant on Pujols’ dominance, Duncan’s magic, and a weakish division.

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  49. Sandy Kazmir says:

    Yankee fans are garbage

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  50. Rick says:

    So they shouldn’t swap because of their cumulative WAR? I get the point, but it seems like a poor way to make it. The fact that Pujols started his career at a younger age and has been playing longer makes the cumulative comparison apples and oranges.

    There are other WAR graphs available on FanGraphs that would have been more appropriate. In fact, either of the other two graphs would have been more instructive.

    Or you could just say this: In Pujols’ 10 year career, he’s had just one season worse than Teixiera’s and Howard’s best season. Or alternately, Pujols has had 9 seasons better than Teix and Howard’s best. Or maybe, neither Teix nor Howard has a had a season in which they were better than Pujols.

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  51. SamC says:

    I almost died reading the Yankees fans comments on that page.

    “I would keep Tex for his gold glove.”

    I guarantee that 99.9% of the people that commented on it don’t even know what WAR is…..let alone simpler stats…..

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  52. BigMarc says:

    It’s not just Tex…The Yankees will put a package together with maybe Tex, Joba & Montero for Albert… 3 for 1 Deal…

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  53. long dong schlong says:

    Why would the Cardinals take on Tex and his HUGE contract and give up the greatest player in baseball??? If they are going to spend huge money, wouldn’t it make more sense to sign the player that is head and shoulders above any player in baseball????? DA! it’s a no brainer. Tex is not even close talent wise, not even close. Tex is a slow starter and also a CHOKER in the post season.

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  54. Bob says:

    How about this comparison:

    Pujols has averaged 8 WAR in his career, and 8.5 WAR over the last three years.

    Teixeira has averaged fewer than 5 WAR over the last seven years, and just under 6 WAR for the last three.

    Ryan Howard has averaged 3.6 WAR over his five full seasons, and the same over the past three.

    Carl Crawford? Throw out his awful first season and a half, and he’s averaged 3.7 WAR overall, and 3.8 for the last three (slightly better the past two years).

    If the current marketplace says these are $21-25M players, then even at $30M a year Pujols is (incredible as it sounds) a bargain.

    Also, if Team Pujols *began* the negotiations with a 10-year, $300M request, doesn’t that by definition mean they’ll accept less than that? Like, say, a year or two less, and a million or two fewer per annum?

    And 8 or 9 years at $28-29M AAV would be very do-able. (All the amateur thinkers who say $25M per year for Pujols is a great deal, but $30M would somehow “straightjacket” the owners apparently need a remedial logic course.) ;)

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  55. I think them Yankees are very stupid if they trade Texiera for Pujols.

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  56. Richard Neimeyer says:

    You’re kidding, right?

    Pujols has to be juicing up somehow.

    Anyway here’s the reason why the trade should not happen.


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  57. Jason Pluma says:

    Tex is hitting what .170 in the playoffs as a Yankee….ARod is getting better but its all about their stats with those two.

    How about this. Pujols for AROD and TEXERIA then send AJ to Texas for Michael Young…

    Lock that up and I’ll deal with a season or two searching for some starting pitching.

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  58. DCN says:

    I think people have a tendency to look for rivalry in sports, even when one player is unrivaled, especially in sports like baseball where it’s hard to tell who’s better without tracking stats over an extended period. Hence pairings like Bonds/Griffey, Jeter/A-Rod, Snider in the same conversation as Mays/Mantle.

    There’s also a tendency to look at the biggest cities and best teams, which is why there’s less discussion of closer peers like Longoria/Zimmerman.

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  59. Bob D says:

    St Louis would be crazy to do that deal.
    As a Yankee fan I would love it, Tex is overated as as hitter.
    Pujols is almost as good a fielder.
    The Yanks could throw in Swisher and Granderson, then both clubs would benifit and maybe even pick up part of Tex’s salary

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  60. Sam says:

    Who would trade Tex?

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  61. Tammy says:

    It would be like the trade for the (not so great) Arod

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