From the moment Albert Pujols declined to sign an extension with the Cardinals by his self-imposed deadline, thus (theoretically) ensuring his ascendency into free agency after the season, we all knew an Obsessive Watch was coming. So here we are. That said, Pujols feels like he deserves something special, on the order of OMG Brian Roberts. I’ll be thinking about it, though suggestions are welcome. We have plenty of time.

Ok. Enough meta. Inevitably, current Cubs will be asked about Pujols, and the prospect of playing with the superstar next year. For his part, Aramis Ramirez was impressively diplomatic in his response to just such a question.

Chicago Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez knows Albert Pujols is the best player in baseball.

But when asked about speculation that Pujols could be a Cub next year, Ramirez politely declined to discuss it.

“How many major leaguers are there, like 300?” he said. “If you ask all of them, everybody wants Pujols on their team. At the same time, we’ve got Carlos Pena here. You’ve got to respect your teammates. You can’t be talking about that stuff when you already have a first baseman here. But to answer your question, anybody would like Pujols.” Chicago Breaking Sports.

Ramirez deftly showed respect for his new teammate Carlos Pena (I imagine that the words would have been a bit warmer had Pena been his teammate for more than a few days) while being frank about Pujols.

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that front office types have discussed the matter with Cubs players, and suggested ways to respond to a season’s worth of Pujols questions. If so, we might receive little more than these kind of pre-programmed, polite responses from players; in which case, here’s hoping someone pushes Carlos Zambrano on the subject just a little too hard – otherwise, we might not get anything worth discussing.

  • greg

    Pujols Patrol?

  • CubsFanatic

    I like how everyone is already talking about the off season just because of Pujols and this season hasn’t even started…But I like that A-Ram was respectful.

    As for the obsessive part… APR (Albert Pujols Report?)

  • Dan0mite

    The irony is that if the Cubs get Pujols it will be because they didn’t pick up A-Ram’s option.

    • CubsFanatic

      I though that too. But what other option do they have besides A-Ram? Not much to pick from in FAs and we all know Vitters isn’t ready.

  • Ace

    Interesting suggestions. Keep ’em coming.

  • Bric

    I’m just curious if I’m the only Cub fan that doesn’t want Pujols. I question his age and ability. I’ve never had anything against him personally I just think he is a product of the LaRussa steroid era which is over (thank God).

    Karnak prediction: this season he’ll hit .296 (against alot of weak pitching which means nothing in the playoffs) and have 38-40 homers at the real age of around 34.

    Anybody that signs him for 8 years- 300 mil is only going to get three years of declining production. 100 mil a year for three years as his body starts to fall apart like Sori’s? Forget it. Am I alone?

    • Ace

      If, at the end of this season, things are falling into place such that it looks like the Cubs could be legitimate contenders in 2012 (i.e., Garza looks poised to be a star, ditto Cashner or another young arm, Brett Jackson and Starlin Castro are on the verge of fulfilling their destiny as actually successful Cubs positional prospects, etc.), then yes – sign Pujols for as many years and as much money as he wants. If, however, the Cubs looks pretty much like they do right now, then you have to think twice.

  • Hogan

    The third base market is super weak after this year, but even with that in mind, Rammy would need to perform to justify that expendature. If he can produce, the thought of his clutch hitting behind Pujols makes me giddy. This is probably all a pipe dream, but with a 140 million payroll and good young talent (both here and on the way) we could build some sick teams around the Machine. If we didn’t win a series with that setup, I would believe in curses!

    • Hogan

      If Pujols regresses for the last three years of an 8 year contract, but brings us a series before that, nobody will be giving him the Soriano treatment. This is the best hitter in the game who has shown no signs of slowing, lets not jump to comparing him to Soriano.

      • Jeff

        No signs of slowing except for the drop in almost every major statistical batting stat last year. Less hr’s and rbi’s, his average dropped to a career low, he struck out more than he has since his rookie year, his slugging percentage dropped signifigantly, as well as his obp, ops+, and his WAR dropped 2 points. These numbers aren’t a guarantee of a decline, but he looked human last year, and if the trend continues this year, look out.

        Giving an 8 year deal to anyone in their 30’s (I believe he’ll be 33 next offseason) is absolutely a bad idea. Unless the guy starts using the Barry Bonds stay young and good formula, I can’t see paying any one player almost a quarter of the teams total payroll.