The deadline came and passed, and no contract extension was reached. From what I’ve read, the Cardinals offered Pujols 8 years/$200 million. Speculation is that Pujols wants 10 years/$300 million. So the question remains, should the Cubs go after him?
Before I tell you what I think, let’s examine the whole process. Typically, most folks would just say to give up because he’s either going to the Yankees or Red Sox. However, the Yanks already have Texiera locked up for years to come, and the Sox have newly acquired Adrian Gonzalez over at 1st. I’m pretty sure Albert doesn’t want to be a DH so you have to throw both of those clubs out of the picture.
“But Tom Ricketts is a cheap bastard who won’t spend money! He’s too worried about cleaning the urinals and building statues than winning.” So far, that is a pretty fair assessment, but this could be his move that he’s been waiting for to make his mark on Chicago Cubs baseball. After 2011, Grabow, Fukudome, and Silva will be off the books, saving the Cubs $22.3 million. Essentially, you’d figure the Cubs would have the funds to make the deal. That’s not the problem. The real issue issue is whether or not it’s a smart move.
Pujols is already 31 years old. He would be pushing 42 when this supposed 10 year deal would expire. You’d be taking away your rivals best player EVER and adding him to you’re team. It’d be like taking a young(er) Brett Favre from the Packers and putting him on the Bears instead of Rex Grossman. Smart move right?
I don’t see anyway that you can pay a guy $30 million dollars when he’s going to be in his 40s. As great as he is, you have to expect some kind of decline within the next 3 or 4 years. Who was the last player NOT roided up to dominate in his 40s? Ted Williams? You would be stuck with an aging superstar taking up a fourth of your payroll.
Soriano was given a mega deal and has already declined significantly since the day he signed on. Granted, Soriano can’t even scratch Pujol’s jock, but Pujols has had some injuries recently and there is a lot of risk. The Cubs are not the Yankees. Having a huge deal like that would hinder their ability to sign free agents and improve the club.
Maybe Pujols will hit 40 HRs a year until he’s 50 years old. I don’t have a crystal ball. All I’m saying is that you have to use some prior knowledge to determine that a contract like that has a high probability of coming back and biting you in the ass one day.
Would you give 7+ years of mediocrity for a CHANCE to win the World Series? If Pujols shortened it down to 8 years at $30 million a season, I’d have to rethink everything I just said. He would only be 39 at the end of that contract. Until then, we have an entire year to once again say, “Wait ’til next year.”