These types of issues in sports always perplex me. Albert Pujols is clearly the best baseball player the St. Louis Cardinals have, and likely the best player in all of Major League Baseball. But, with his contact up after the 2011 season, it is time to work on a new deal. If no deal happens by the end of today, talks will continue after the season – when Pujols is a free agent with a maximum amount of leverage
Ten years and $275M is the first baseman’s starting point. That is big time A-Rod type money that many would agree Pujols likely deserves. But, the St. Louis Cardinals are in a tough spot. The franchise is not among the richest in the league (unless the conversation turns to tradition). It seems if Pujols really wanted to play for the Cardinals he would move off of his high price tag and get a deal done.
So, here we are at yet another annual, typical sports standoff between star player and franchise. But, in this case with Pujols and
the Cardinals, which side is right and justified?
It all comes down to today. A deal must be agreed upon, or the deadline passes and Pujols reports to camp, where anything can happen with contract negotiations… from a calmly negotiated deal (unlikely since Pujols said he does not wish for talks to continue into the season) to a standoff that will continue indefinitely and begin to impact how effective the player can be (far more likely). Which is it? But, more importantly, which side is right?