For the past 11 years, Cardinal nation (for that matter, all of the baseball world) has been treated to watching perhaps the best baseball player in history re-write the record books. Albert Pujols, from the time he came to the big leagues in only his second year of organized baseball has simply been amazing to watch. His numbers are so good that if he retired today, at the age of 31, he is a lock for the Hall of Fame. If he stays healthy, there is no telling what this guy is going to do. As a Cardinal's fan, I am hoping that the continues to do his thing wearing the birds on the bat across his chest. I'm hoping... but I'm not counting on it.
As of Sunday morning, Pujols, for the first time in his professional career is without a contract and is a free agent. The Cardinals have exclusive rights to talk contract with him right now... but the door will fly wide open when the clock strikes midnight tonight. Something tells me that what we are about to see will no doubt border on insanity. I would not be surprised to see numbers thrown at Pujols that will approach, if not even exceed $30,000,000 a year. Folks, that's just down right crazy! If you break that down to an average of 600 at bats per year, he would be earning $50,000 per at bat! Take it a step further, and say he gets 200 hits per season (something he has only done once in his career, so this is a flawed number) that averages out to paying Albert $150,000 for every hit he gets. Pretty nuts, wouldn't you agree? I think it is time that baseball owners and players alike come back to reality. Best in the game or not, no one is worth that kind of money. No one.
I really hope that when Spring training rolls around in February, we see Albert Pujols in a Cardinals uniform... but NOT if he demands that kind of money. That would literally tie up nearly one fourth of the entire Cardinals payroll for one player. If we can lock him in at a lower salary, awesome! Let's do it! But if the negotiations get higher than that, it's time to say thanks for the memories, shake hands and sign 3 to 4 other players and move on. It's sad... but this is reality.