Blog Entry

Cubs, Marlins, Cardinals talking Pujols

Posted on: November 29, 2011 11:29 pm
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Albert Pujols has new company in his fireside chats this winter: The Cubs have expressed interest in the iconic, free agent first baseman, joining the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals as Pujols' three primary suitors, according to sources with knowledge of the talks.

It remains early in the process and it is not known how serious the Cubs' interest is. But new president Theo Epstein's desire to turn things around quickly combined with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement draft rules plus weak free agent classes the next two winters could spur them to action.

Pujols' only offer thus far is believed to be from the Marlins, a reported nine-year offer for less than the $200 million bar the slugger is thought to be seeking. The Cardinals, while continuing to talk with Pujols, are not believed to have made a new offer since last spring.

Industry speculation continues to put Pujols back in a Cardinals uniform in 2012. But St. Louis failed to make much of a move during its exclusive negotiating window with him following the World Series. Maybe the Cardinals think the market simply will not materialize as much as Pujols hopes, or maybe they're simply thinking nine years is too long to commit.

Whatever, the staredown is on, and the intensity is expected to pick up significantly next week as baseball convenes for its annual winter meetings in Dallas.

Pujols already has visited Miami and received a tour of the Marlins' new stadium. And though the Marlins' offer is said to be light, it also is the only one in Pujols hands right now.

The Cubs are an interesting case. General manager Jed Hoyer said on SiriusXM radio Tuesday that they're specifically looking for a left-handed hitter, which, among the top-shelf free agents, would be Prince Fielder, not Pujols. New manager Dale Sveum is the former Brewers hitting coach and was tight with Fielder, so for those looking to fuel speculation, there's your entree.

They're also one of the handful of clubs in the game that can play in Pujols' financial league. Their payroll currently is some $50 million lighter than it was in 2011 after Aramis Ramirez and others dropped off.

And they have nothing to lose by entering the negotiations because at the very least, even if they do not sign Pujols, they perhaps can drive the price up for the Cardinals and sting their NL Central rivals -- and defending World Series champions -- that way.

Stay tuned.


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Comments

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 4:38 pm
 

Cubs, Marlins, Cardinals talking Pujols

GIVE IT UP CUBS Albert Pujols WOULD NEVER, NEVER BECOME JOIN THE CUBS

I don't think that the Cubs are that Interested in signing Pujols, The Cubs are looking for a left handed power hitter which is not Pujols. But if they show enough Interested in Pujols maybe St. Louis would over pay Pujols, just to keep him from joining the Cubs.





Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 4:32 pm
 

Cubs, Marlins, Cardinals talking Pujols

The only reason the Cubs are reportedly in to this thing is to drive up the price. Epstein and Hoyer aren't stupid
I agree that Cubs are hoping that St. Louis over pay Pujols, that will leave less money to sign other players.




Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 4:24 pm
 

Cubs, Marlins, Cardinals talking Pujols

As a Chicago native and a lifelong Cubs fan, I have to say that as great as it would be to have Pujols for a few years I think that it will be a repeat of most of the deals the Cubs have made in their history.  Paying too much for someone on the back end of their career.  Always missing on the prime years and then ending up with an empty contract that hinders the team.  They need to get some young talent in their farm system or sign young players.  Fielder would be one that still has plenty of years left.  But Pujols' numbers are decreasing and by year 3 will be a sub .300 hitter with power numbers decreasing.  I say pass and take that money and sign 3 players for the same amount.  King Felix, Fielder, and CJ Wilson to start.  Those 3 could be a corner stone of the team for the next 5-6 years.  Total of $300 Million.  Same amount it's going to take for Pujols. 

I really don't think that the Cubs will sign Pujols, I agree we need  more then one good player. In case I am wrong and Cubs do sign Pujols the bright side that he can play defense




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Since: Nov 18, 2010
Posted on: December 1, 2011 8:27 am
 

Cubs, Marlins, Cardinals talking Pujols

raoul7370, I agree that teams should stop giving 100% guaranteed contracts for big money players.  It sounds like you want the league to make it a rule, and I whole heartedly disagree this that.  This is a private industry, with private owners, if an owner wants to give away the bank to some player, with no recourse for lack of production, it is his right to do so.  At any time the owners can start giving proformance based contracts, as a matter of fact they already do.  Most of these proformance based contracts are for lower tier players.  The owners are just to busy trying to grab the biggest name players at any cost when they give out $15 mil guaranteed/ 8 year contracts.  That has to do with the owners/GM's egos, their need to get someone elses "favorite toy", and bad business decissions.

 
I find it interesting that in the business world there is an attempt at realism in saying that directors/bankers etc. should have a large proportion of their pay performance based, contracts should not be too long etc. - yet in sports players expect guaranteed remuneration based on past glories
I'm not sure that using directors/banker of big business is the best example of proformance based salaries working out.  Since the country has been in a recession lead by these same businessmen making sure they got their big bonuses at the expence of the overall health of the companies, employees, and in the end the nation.  Many were still pulling in bonuses while their businesses where claiming bankruptcy and taking government bailout funds.



Since: Aug 27, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 9:31 pm
 

Cubs, Marlins, Cardinals talking Pujols

As a Chicago native and a lifelong Cubs fan, I have to say that as great as it would be to have Pujols for a few years I think that it will be a repeat of most of the deals the Cubs have made in their history.  Paying too much for someone on the back end of their career.  Always missing on the prime years and then ending up with an empty contract that hinders the team.  They need to get some young talent in their farm system or sign young players.  Fielder would be one that still has plenty of years left.  But Pujols' numbers are decreasing and by year 3 will be a sub .300 hitter with power numbers decreasing.  I say pass and take that money and sign 3 players for the same amount.  King Felix, Fielder, and CJ Wilson to start.  Those 3 could be a corner stone of the team for the next 5-6 years.  Total of $300 Million.  Same amount it's going to take for Pujols. 




Since: Mar 24, 2010
Posted on: November 30, 2011 1:56 pm
 

Cubs, Marlins, Cardinals talking Pujols

"9 years is a long time to have any player in any sport signed for"
Hmmm-let's see..... two non-steroid players averages for 9 years age 32-40 (same as Pujols):
Hank Aaron 0.947 OPS;0.293 BA;37 HR;100 RBI;91 R
Willie Mays  0.916 OPS;0.292 BA;31 HR;87 RBI;96 R

I would say that those are pretty good numbers for "old" guys---eh???




Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: November 30, 2011 12:32 pm
 

Cubs, Marlins, Cardinals talking Pujols

The Pujols negotiations are obviously restricted to the few teams that could afford him, so the Cubs are in the conversation. Theo Epstein has aways been a buy-first, high-bid guy, and that's not going to change...but he's dealing with far less competition for spending in the NLC than he had in the ALE...He's in a good spot-he is risking nothing by entertaining both Pujols and Fielder, AND he's in a position to potentially weaken 2 division rivals (Brewers and Cardinals) at the same time by signing one, and/or at least driving the price up on one or both if he can't sign them.

Prince Fielder probably makes more sense for the Cubs than Pujols. Fielder can probably be had for less money, and fewer years than Pujols, and is also a lefty hitter. Sveum doesn't hurt the Fielder negotiation any. 

It may be coincidence, but players in the previous pre-steroid century, AND since increased PED testing has been done, both saw  declining production into players mid 30's..., and players rarely performed at elite levels beyond 35... making a 9 year contract for Pujols, or anyone else, look like unrealistic optimism, instead of good business. 

Still, it's all about what the market will bear. I find it hard to believe there is a legitimate offer out there beter than the original one the Cardinals offered Pujols....BUT- people like Theo Epstein have inflated that market in the past, and apparently are still willing to. 

IMO, St. Louis is the only place that would still cheer a 37 year old, .265, 25 HR, 89 RBI, Albert Pujols with 3 years and $90 million still left on his deal, something Pujols may want to consider.
  



Since: Jul 27, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 11:42 am
 

Cubs, Marlins, Cardinals talking Pujols

I find it interesting that in the business world there is an attempt at realism in saying that directors/bankers etc. should have a large proportion of their pay performance based, contracts should not be too long etc. - yet in sports players expect guaranteed remuneration based on past glories.

It is time for some common sense.

All new contracts should have a maximum term (not sure what this is but let us say 5 years). There should be a maximum fixed salary (again who knows what this is, but let us say $10m for argument's sake). And after that, anything more should be based on performance.

Given that everyone else monitors performance stats, why not create a wide bank of stats into a performance measure (maybe WAR, but agin who knows) and then create a bonus system based on it. Players who are young but good get their just desserts, and players who are old and famous only get paid for their performance.

It would need phasing in to stop players currently underpaid not getting their end of career pay-off, but it is surely time to wake up to some reality and pay people for results, rather than based on their age?

Needs careful thinking though - paying a player to break records does not guarantee their team success, so a pure stats-based bonus is not the total answer.    &nbs
p;     



Since: Dec 14, 2006
Posted on: November 30, 2011 9:37 am
 

Cubs, Marlins, Cardinals talking Pujols

maybe Zambrano can get his head on straight

Ha...why would Zambrano start now? Tongue out

I am a Cards fan, but I have a lot of friends that are Cubs fans and they have been talking about this for awhile now. They all think that Pujols will stay with the Cardinals and that the Cubs are doing this just to show their fans that they are trying.
9-years for ANY player is an awful idea. The first 3-4 years, I think Pujols will maintain similar to what he put up this year, which is still great. But when he is in his late 30's? Um...name someone who has still maintained such lofty numbers? (Without "help")
Not to throw a rock towards Pujols...but he is a LOT of talk. If he really respects the Cardinal organization like he says and wants to stay here with his family and stand next to Stan the Man as the greatest Cardinal ever, then why drag the team and organization through this lenghty process, as other FA's sign leaving the Cardinals with holes to fill? Meet with the Cardinals, say "I want 9-years, $250+ million or I will leave" and then let the Cardinals decide and move on. To the Cardinals organization and all of the fans, he is an icon, a once-in-a-lifetime player. To a Miami Marlins fan (or Cubs, etc fan)? At the first site of struggling he is just another overpriced, declining player.

Seems like a no-brainer to me, but we all know this is a business, and the rich get richer. Not to mention his agent is the king of filth...and in the world of agents, that is saying something.



Since: Nov 18, 2010
Posted on: November 30, 2011 9:17 am
 

Cubs, Marlins, Cardinals talking Pujols

Good job Theo, just keep driving the interest in Pujols up.  Maybe even offer him a contract that is not guaranteed, somthing with his money tied to BA, HRs, & RBIs.  Give Pujols some options and let St. Louis either take the plung or lose him to some other team.


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