Everyone needs to calm down. Albert Pujols is not a free agent. He will not be a free agent for a LONG time. The Cardinals have not lost their chance to negotiate with him. Deadline? Please. Grow up. If the Cardinals decide during the season – for whatever reason – that they want to come back with an offer that matches what they believe he wants, Pujols’ camp will look at it, and he will sign it.
Albert isn’t stupid. At least I don’t think he’s stupid. He knows there will not be a huge bidding war for him. The likely suitors in Boston and New York are already covered with players that put up similar numbers. The Mets? Please. They’re a mess. Nobody would pass up $27mm/year with the Cardinals for $30mm/year with the Mets. The Cubs? What a joke – the organization, that is. If they’re willing to pay (and they have a history of terrible contracts), then so be it. If Albert is content winning one World Series in his career then Wrigleyville is the place for him.
Anaheim? Maybe. Anyone else? Not too likely.
I love the irony here regarding the negotiations. The same loud voices that crabbed that the Redbirds were bidding against themselves with Matt Holliday (when he was ACTUALLY a free agent and there were other suitors), are somehow now upset that the Cardinals are refusing to bid against themselves in this situation.
Holliday also had an exclusive window. It passed. Then he signed with the team. And in this instance, the exclusive window still has nine months left! And even if the somehow DO call things off, they still have until five days after the World Series. The point is, it’s not over.
Let’s see how that elbow holds up. Let’s see how the season goes. He’s not bigger than the game, people. He’s a businessman that wants the most money he can get – and more power to him. But don’t blame Mo for trying to run a business in a way that makes sense.
The harsh reality is this – the loyalty you feel for Albert… he doesn’t feel it for you. At all. He’s just trying to make the best deal he can for himself, and that’s his right. But this humble, loyal, god-like thing you’ve created in your minds – uh, yeah… negative.