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Now that Albert Pujols will officially (more like theoretically) become a free agent at season’s end, you can go ahead and do it. You know you want to. Indulge yourself.

You’re allowed to picture him in Cubbie Blue for just a little while.

Three competing executives say they expect the rival Cubs to make a big push for Pujols and, indeed, they do look like the greatest outside possibility at the moment. Wouldn’t that cast him in a new light for Cardinal Nation? The Cubs have the resources and the need, and execs feel they will pursue either Prince Fielder or more likely Pujols.

“They’ll give him the A-Rod deal,” one exec opined.

“They’ll give him $33 million or $34 million for seven years,” guessed another exec. SI.com.

Of course, the mere threat that such a thing could occur will probably be enough for the Cardinals to get a deal done when the day comes.

Still, it’s nice to think about – even if only for a day or two.

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  • CubsFanatic

    I’d give him 30M for the first couple seasons, but then I’d have it decrease after about 3 seasons to about 28M with incentives. And have it continue to reduce as he ages. But I’d slightly increase the incentives each year. Hopefully he doesn’t instasuck if he does sign with the Cubs.

    • Art

      good thinking but don’t think that’s what he’ll settle for.

  • Art

    it really depends on where the Cubs are at end of 2011. will they be a good team one Pujols away, or average needing a lot more then Pujols? no doubt he’s a great player, but he’ll resign with the cards, I believe.

    do you think they are one Pujois away? well do you punk? oops got carried away,

    Clint Eastwood.

  • CubSouth

    The Cubs are not one Pujols away, we need a lead off and some speed on the bases. Plus I believe it depends on how our starters do this year. Will Cashner be what we hope he is, where will Big Z’s mind be. I love the idea of decreasing his contract and adding more incentives. If nothing else, just give him a nice $150 million/ 5yr deal and go from there. I would love to have Pujols, but not in a bank breaking or a bad contract way. There is still the option of Fielder, and that’s not so bad.

  • Hogan

    Fielder isn’t going to come cheap either, and he seems a lot less reliable. He is a few years younger, so he has that in his favor though.

    • Hogan

      I also dont know how important a prototypical leadoff hitter is to a teams success is, but you nailed it with the pitching point. The staff we have has the potential to be among the best, but there are a lot of if’s(like the rest of the team) that need to fall on place. I really believe it could happen, and that we aren’t much further than a Pujols away if our young guns live up to thier potential, but I am fully prepared if the if’s are not reality yet.

      • Jeff

        If you don’t know how important a prototypical leadoff hitter is, then you need to pay closer attention. The Cubs have been boom or bust and that leads to inconsistency and 3 and out sweeps in the playoffs when no one is getting on base. A good leadoff hitter would not only be on base 40 percent of the time, but would ideally be in scoring position for the big bats.

        I think Pujols is a hell of a player, but I would rather use the 300 million dollars on a leadoff hitter and a top 3 starter. Unless this guy cheats like Bonds or is freakishly good into his 40′s, then the next Albert Pujols contract will be the new standard for albatross deals. If Pena hits anywhere near his normal level this year, I would rather bring him back, and possibly sign Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle, than give all that money to Pujols.

        • Hogan

          Teams with the highest OBP from the 1 spot for 2010: Arizona (65-97), Seattle (61-101), LA (80-82), Cincinnati (91-71), Washington (69-93) and

          • Hogan

            and Cleveland (69-93). Teams with legitimate sluggers fare far better than teams with legitimate leadoff hitters. I would enjoy having a good leadoff hitter, but the best hitter in the game is a little more enticing in my humble opinion.

  • CubSouth

    Exactly, I understand that Fielder won’t come cheap, but he is younger and left handed at that. I honestly would rather have Fielder IF we can get him at a better price and a couple of more years (maybe player or club option) and see if we can make an offer he couldn’t refuse. I do believe we should get either Pujols or Fielder and see where our Starting Pitching is at, if we need to get a guy or two. I would like to see a legitimate lead off hitter, I wasn’t so keen on seeing 12 guys lead off last year. Just from who is hot or not. Byrd is definitely not a lead off, that made me cringe to see last season.

  • steve

    every team is one pujols away. he instantly makes us a contender. look at the cardinals. before they signed matt holiday they were just pujols and a bunch of scrubs for the most part.

    • wax_eagle

      This isn’t basketball, that’s just not true.

      Even in his best year Pujols provided about 10 wins above what you can find in AAA (10 WAR). That’s about 8 wins better than an average starter ( 2 WAR). The Cubs last year finished 75-87 getting basically 0 WAR from 1B (DLee, Hoff and Nady combined for .2 WAR). If Pujols produced his best career year, and the Cubs had had a AAA player at 1B (which they basically did last year), with everything else equal they would have been 85-77. That would not have made the playoffs (FYI the cardinals were 86-76 with Pujols).

      1 super star is enough to take you from a real contender to the top of the division, its not enough to take you from mediocrity to the top of the division.

  • Bleacherboy

    I’d love to see Albert on the North Side — but Ricketts hasn’t shone desire to be deep pocket owner, and Soriano’s contract is an albatross for another decade or so. Even if it doesn’t happen (and we all know it’s unlikely), it’s fun to imagine and to tease Cardinal Nation. Hope he doesn’t re-sign too early, I’m psyched to wear this to the series at Wrigley in May:

    http://www.cubbytees.com/ShirtPages/PujolsCub.html

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