Over the past months, the contract situation of Albert Pujols, superstar first baseman of the St. Louis Cardinals, was front and center in baseball news. That is, it was dominating headlines until the player’s self-imposed February 16 negotiating deadline came and passed.
Initially, the majority of the voters expected the club and player to come to terms before spring negotiations ended.
By February 14, the immediate optimism had waned. This polling date was still two days prior to Pujols’ deadline, but also before the free agent-to-be scored points with some by patiently answering media questions upon his arrival in camp and re-iterating his hope to remain with St. Louis.
|Where/when will Pujols sign?||12/31/10||2/14/11||Change|
|With St. Louis prior to season||57%||18%|
|With St. Louis during season||3%||1%|
|With St. Louis after season||16%||41%|
|Total with St. Louis||76%||60%||-16%|
|With another club||22%||34%||12%|
|No opinion/don’t know||2%||6%||4%|
From the end of the year, reader confidence in Pujols returning to St. Louis in 2012 eroded from over 75 percent to just 60 percent. Three of every four changed votes shifted to an opposing club, while the fourth moved to “undecided.”
As of February 14, just over one-third of the voters believe Pujols is gone.
Another area of voting that attracted considerable interest was in setting the contract terms for what is viewed to be a winning upcoming fall offer by the Cardinals to Pujols.
Here are the results of the fan proposal with the leading percent of the vote for each element in parentheses:
- Eight year guarantee (39%) with two additional option years to be vested (36%)
- Average annual value of $26 million to $27 million (32%)
- 10 or less percent of the total value deferred (35%)
- Front-loaded (higher annual salary in early years) (56%)
- Ownership stake upon retirement (49%)
- Bonuses for games played and awards received (63%)
To create another point-in-time view of reader opinion, please share your opinion in the following three polls. New data points since last vote include the season-ending injury to Adam Wainwright and the trade speculation surrounding Chris Carpenter if the 2011 season collapses.
You can decide how much, if any, those two conditions matter before sharing your current prediction of what will happen with Pujols and when.