We are but a couple weeks away from Albert Pujols’ self-imposed contract extension deadline, the start of Spring Training. Pujols is a free agent after the 2011 season, and if we are to avoid a LeBron James-esque Decision next Winter, Pujols and the Cards will need to work something out soon.
But to date, things aren’t looking good.
Contract talks are fluid, and a breakthrough toward a record extension might be only one phone call away. But the Cardinals are balking at Pujols’ price, sources say, increasing the possibility that Pujols will become a free agent at the end of the 2011 season.
Pujols, 31, wants a contract that reflects his status as the game’s premier player, one that likely would vault him ahead of Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who signed a 10-year, $275 million, free-agent deal at the same age.Sources paint an increasingly pessimistic view of the negotiations.
While the Cardinals are making a sincere attempt to complete a deal, they are not in as strong a financial position as other clubs in larger markets. The team is frustrated that Pujols’ aggressive negotiating stance does not match his public declarations of loyalty. FOX Sports.
Pujols has been seeking a 10-year, $300 million deal, according to many. In my view, on the open market, Pujols could get either 10 years or $30 million per year, but not both. His apparent desire to achieve one of those two benchmarks is hampering discussions with the Cardinals, and puts the team in a difficult position: commit $50 million per season for almost a decade to just two players (Pujols and Matt Holiday), or let the face of their franchise walk (perhaps to their primary rival).
I said it before and I’ll say it again: the longer this drags out, it’s only good news as far as Cubs fans are concerned. Call is sCardenfreude.