Albert Pujols To Become Free Agent in 2011-2012 Offseason

Ever since he broke into the Major Leagues in 2001, Albert Pujols has been a phenomenon in St. Louis and all around the word. His stats are scary. Pujols Stats

He has decided prior to the 2011 season, if he did not agree on an extension with the Cardinals, he would only start discussing his contract as an unrestricted free-agent in the 2011-2012 offseason. Pujols will be 31 at the end of the 2011 season.

Cardinal fans are among the most dedicated and supportive fans in all of baseball. But, they have to be furious with the Cardinal’s front office. Pujols is hands down the best player in baseball, give him the money that he deserves. According to Karl Ravech of ESPN, Pujols was offered money that would put him in the top ten of baseball salaries but not five.  Show him the money! Whatever he wants, give it to him. Is the amount of money professional athletes getting paid disgusting? Yes, but on a relative scale the best player, with no debate, should get the most money.

The Cardinals can not afford to have “The Machine” hit the open market, though he will.  If he signs anywhere else, it would be a disaster for the Cardinals organization. First of all, the Yankees are not “interested” in Pujols because Teixeira holds down 1B. That is correct, but what about “AP” going back to LF or 3B (A-Rod would be a Dh)? He played those two positions as he was coming up to the bigs, not likely, but certainly something to keep an eye on if CC opts out and doesn’t re-sign, the Yankees might just jump in on the bidding.Here are 2 teams (other than the Cardinals, who could be in play for the slugger.

New York Mets

The Mets are in financial problems right now. If their ownership somehow becomes stable by the time the biggest free agent prize in baseball history hits the market, the Mets will overpay for him. If Donald Trump, does buy the team even though the Wilpons say they are not selling them at the moment, there would be no better way for the ambitious Trump to establish the Mets as a competitor and make him look like a god in the Big Apple. They overpaid for Carlos Beltran. Why not overpay for Pujols? They are always viewed as New York’s second team, but if they somehow landed Pujols they would gain a lot more attention and be a very good team. The acquisition of Pujols would cause the Mets to depart with Ike Davis. Trading Ike and another prospect for a good starting pitcher could put the Mets in a very promising position.

Washington Nationals

AP in D.C.?  The Nationals are always in on big free agents, but can never land one. But this year, they overpaid for Jayson Werth and an aggressive front office should be interested in Pujols. If Harper lives up to the hype, in 2 years could you imagine a line-up consisting of Harper, Pujols, Werth and Zimmerman? Wow. Just do not count the Nats out.

Philadelphia Phillies

Ryan Howard has not signed an extension yet. The Phillies do not necessarily mind replacing a star for another star, as they traded Cliff Lee for Roy Halladay. Would the Phillies dish out serious money to Pujols? I just do not see it. But God Bless every other NL team if they do land him, somehow.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Angels owner Arte Moreno loves to try and sign top free agents, though he never quite gets a deal done. The Angels have some money to spend after missing out on Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford. A possible roadblock to Albert Pujols signing with the Angels is their current stud 1B Kendry Morales. The Angels, like other teams, would not be afraid to move a good 1B to another team or another position to make room for a once in a lifetime caliber free agent. The Angels are pretty competitive every year, so Albert would be a good fit, I just do not see them championship worthy in the AL. Albert wants to win.

Chicago Cubs-

The Cardinals hate the Cubs. The Cubs hate the Cardinals. What would be better for a team that has not won a World Series since 1908, than snatching the best player in baseball and a first ballot Hall of Famer from their rival the Cardinals? Well, nothing. It is a perfect scenario for the Cubbies. They signed 1B Carlos Pena to a 1 year, $10MM deal. That leaves the desperate Cubs in a perfect position to finally allocate their money to a worthwhile cause. Albert Pujols. Pujols is angry enough with the Cardinals front office and he would be worshiped is he brought a World Championship to the win deprived Chicago Cubs?

Brace yourself. Albert Pujols will be a Chicago Cub in 2012! They will give him whatever he wants without thinking about it. And why not?

Information Courtesy of: ESPN, Baseball Reference

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