With one week left, what will happen with the Pujols contract?

While joy heralds Cardinals pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training in four days, there’s much more being talked about than the upcoming season. And now it appears, according to Matthew Leach at Cardinals.com, that the deadline for the Albert Pujols contract talks is one week from today. (There are numerous deadlines floating around out there, though. Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has being saying Feb. 15 and the Albert Pujols Countdown from Matt Sebek has Feb. 18. Tick-tock … )

Regardless of an actual deadline, one thing is certain: real facts about the contract talks are scarce. This is not new; from the very beginning, both sides said their plan was to keep negotiations private. But that doesn’t stop anyone and everyone from chiming in with their speculation, thoughts and rumors about how things are going. And everyone seems to be “hearing” something different, with the latest “news” out there sparking more panicked conversations and tweets among Cardinals fans. Now, granted, some of these anonymous sources, especially those quoted in articles by Cardinals beat writers, may be offer real glimpses of the discussions as they wind their way through the process. (And a contract negotiation IS a process.) But the others? Some seem downright laughable.

(By the way, an anonymous source told me that Albert will not sign unless his son A.J. also is signed to play second base. That’s the latest snag in the contract talks, given A.J.’s age, but Albert is adamant. Apparently, John Mozeliak is considering it, but he needs to find out Tony La Russa’s feelings about A.J. first.)

It’s likely this flapdoodle of coverage will continue to increase in the next seven days (or six, or eight) days. And, if no contract is signed, we’ll see Photoshopped pictures of Albert in every uniform out there, with constant talk about why he’s going to this team or why he’s going to that team — or even more than we already have.

My personal opinion is that he will sign with the Cardinals, and it will be announced within the next week — Tuesday sounds good. Reading this article only boosts the positive thoughts, as I can’t imagine Albert discussing the contract talks with virtual stranger Cardinals fans if his intention wasn’t to remain in St. Louis.

So, what’s your opinion? Will Albert re-sign with the Cardinals? And, if so, when? And what’s the latest rumor you’ve heard?

11 thoughts on “With one week left, what will happen with the Pujols contract?

  1. Do not underestimate the grittiness of A.J. Pujols at second base. The progeny of The Machine surely will follow in the footsteps of such gritty notables as Fernando Vina, Bo Hart, Skip and Our Hero.

    If Albert does re-sign with the Cardinals, I daresay in a few short years we all may have a severe case of buyers remorse. It will start in 2012 when Carpenter will be allowed to leave, and in 2013 when Molina departs. There’s only so much payroll room.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Aaron Miles' Fastball » With one week left, what will happen with the Pujols contract? -- Topsy.com

    • They haven’t yet lost Albert. But, as Michael pointed out above (and I’ve written about before), signing him long-term is going to impact the team in the future. They don’t have the payrolls that teams like the Yankees, Red Sox or even Cubs do.

    • Which stars would be the ones they can’t keep? McGwire? He retired. Edmonds? He had a concussion in 2007 and was fortunate to net even David Freese in a trade with San Diego. Scott Rolen? Shoulder injury took away his power and was dealt to Toronto for Troy Glaus. Mark Mulder? Who would want him?

      No, the Cardinals are not like the A’s or Twins or Marlins, or any team like them. They’ve handed out big contracts to Matt Holliday, and nice extensions to Carp and Wainwright.

      What we’re dealing with in Albert Pujols is sui generis. No other player who has come before is in such a position to ask for a quarter of a billion dollars yet still likely be underpaid. Even the Yankees would question $30 million a year — actually, it would be more like $45 million a year if you include the luxury tax payment they’ll have to make.

  3. Reporters = stupid.

    No news is good news.

    It is fun to make up random “facts” about his deal and watch people flip out (as my facebook status earlier today showed….Pujols for Youkilis? Riiiight).

    Ugh, I’m ready for this nonsense to be over.

    • Ann, I think it depends on the reporters. I think right now all the national sports writers like Heyman and Rosenthal and Verducci just want to be able to say, whenever this is finished, that they were FIRST with the scoop. So they’re just saying whatever, which is — of course — stupid. I think those few who cover the Cardinals regularly might at least have some inkling of truth in what they write. But there is a lot, like a boatload, of crap out there right now about Albert. I can’t believe some of the things I’m reading. (A poll question on a Cardinals blog on if Albert should be a Cub next year??)

      So, yes, totally agree that I’m ready for it to be over too!

        • Yes, I would listen to what he says. And Derrick Goold, although it seems that “other writer” seems to have the Albert beat instead.

          Also, trying the WordPress iPhone app for this. Seems to work so far!

  4. Pingback: The Daily Pujols – 02.09-11.2011 | Pitchers Hit Eighth :: An Unofficial St. Louis Cardinals baseball blog

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