Predicting Albert Pujols’s 2012 team is fast becoming a favorite dalliance of sportswriters everywhere, and the Chicago Tribune recently offered up a sampling. No surprise, but a majority see Pujols returning to the Cards next year.
Peter Schmuck, Baltimore Sun
Stand by for months of Albert angst in St. Louis and rampant free agent speculation in each of Major League Baseball’s large-market cities…and it will all be much ado about nothing.
If he isn’t a Cardinal in 2012, my three well-regarded Tribune Co. colleagues, I will come over and wax your cars.
The Cardinals will keep him if they have to tie him to a chair and bring in a cult deprogrammer to turn him against his agent, but that probably won’t be necessary. He knows the value of staying with one team for his entire career and the Cardinals know that he’s worth almost whatever they have to pay to keep him.
Frankly, I don’t even believe that Pujols and the team will honor their agreement to suspend negotiations until after the season. The compromise will be nine years for $253 million. How’s that for being specific?
A mild surprise, however: none of those pooled see Pujols with the Cubs next year. They were quick to throw out the Yankees, Red Sox, even the Royals and Nationals – but no mention of the Cubs. I’ll chalk that up to an effort to say something a little different – there’s no doubt that *if* Pujols reaches free agency, the Cubs will be a bidder.