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A new Pujols-Cubs bromance with Theo?

Last spring, the highly-publicized embrace between then-St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols and then-Chicago Cubs general manager Jim Hendry received wide attention as a potential signal of a future relationship budding.

Much has changed since then, or has it?

Tuesday’s report that the Northsiders are interested in signing the top player on the market may serve as new Cubs president Theo Epstein’s virtual bro hug with now-free agent Pujols.

What a difference 24 hours made in the heat level of Major League Baseball’s hot stove.

On Monday, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan commented about the “surprisingly quiet” market for Pujols. Passan had spoken with three baseball executives who characterized the Cardinals as “heavy, heavy favorites” to retain the first baseman. “I’m 100 percent certain he’s going back there,” one executive reportedly told the writer.

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal shattered the tranquility when he disclosed on Tuesday morning that the Cubs are interested in both Pujols and Milwaukee free agent first baseman Prince Fielder.

The FOX report had an interesting angle on why, noting the new labor agreement between players and owners was designed to scale back team spending on amateurs. That had been a major element of Epstein’s past formula for success with the Boston Red Sox.

Despite having good major league teams that meant annually drafting late in the first round, the Sox did a consistently solid job of building a strong minor league pipeline. Those players helped fuel major league success that included two World Championships. One route that could be used to accomplish that was having the means to overpay if necessary to secure top amateur talent.

If Epstein is being forced to modify that proven blueprint because of stiff financial penalties for overspending on amateurs in the future, his Achilles heel as a GM may be exposed in Chicago.

With Boston, Theo had a very mixed record over the years with major league free agent acquisitions. Problem contracts with John Lackey and Carl Crawford last winter offer the most recent examples of concerns that go back at least to the days of Edgar Renteria and Julio Lugo. In between, there were J.D. Drew and Daisuke Matsuzaka among others.

In fact, Epstein shares that legacy with Hendry, effectively his predecessor leading the Cubs. Over his nine years in the GM chair, Hendry saddled the Baby Bears with numerous bad contracts including Alfonso Soriano, Milton Bradley, Carlos Zambrano and many more.

As Rosenthal notes, Fielder is also in the mix in Chicago. He may be had for fewer years than the nine the Cardinals have allegedly offered Pujols, though Fielder’s per-season price tag could be higher, since he is more than three years younger. Of course, like Pujols’ age, Fielder’s weight remains a concern of some potential buyers.

Another proven weapon in Epstein’s bag of tricks in Boston was to drive up the price of free agents to his nemesis, the New York Yankees. One recent example was his move to try to snare Yankees icon Mariano Rivera away from his long-time home. Though he was unsuccessful, Epstein’s initiative raised the ante paid by his primary competitor.

Whether the Cubs end up with Pujols, or Fielder or neither one of them, it seems risky to not take the overtures seriously.

To date, the Cardinals have enjoyed the upper hand with Pujols. Due to a lack of competition, they seem to have had no reason to increase their February offer, one that Pujols rejected. It may be in the nine years, $200 million range.

Scott Boras, Fielder’s agent, and Dan Lozano, the embattled representative of Pujols, must love the Tuesday news. Each may be hoping the other first sets the market while leaving the final premier first-baseman standing to elicit a bidding war from desperate suitors.

At this point, no one knows if any clubs will reach a desperation level, however. In fact, the first question is whether or not any teams will become legitimate bidders. The Marlins kicked the tires on Pujols, but no other club has made an offer to either free agent – at least that has been reported.

Other teams could jump into the fray, including Texas, Washington, Seattle or the Angels, but no one yet knows for sure.

What is the chance that Pujols will be a Cub in 2012?

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For a point of comparison, click here to see the results of this same poll, conducted here at The Cardinal Nation Blog in May.

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67 Responses to “A new Pujols-Cubs bromance with Theo?”

  1. crdswmn says:

    Am I the only one that doesn’t find a team saying they are “interested” in a player to be all that earth shattering? I’ll bet Theo is interested in becoming the next Commissioner of Baseball too, so are we all going to take bets on that? Make him an offer and then I’ll take it seriously.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Taken at face value, which is risky in itself, it is a change from the Cubs’ previously-reported position that they were not interested in either free agent 1B and would focus on re-signing Carlos Pena. Boras is also Pena’s agent, so he is selling both Pena and Prince. That could lead to some interesting dynamics.

      • crdswmn says:

        Maybe Theo is just trying to get Mo all riled up. ;)

        • Brian Walton says:

          Sure, why not? Or it could be agent-driven to try to jumpstart the market. Plenty of people with motivation.

          • crdswmn says:

            Exactly. I just don’t get too excited about what I see as negotiation posturing. Maybe it’s because I have seen it and done it all before (in a different context of course). The making of an offer is where the rubber meets the road. I took the Marlins seriously until I started hearing that the offer made was much less than what was initially reported. It appears to me now the Marlins are showboating for the fans.

            Not a big FA agent signing, but I see where the Royals signed Broxton. Taking a risk based on his health, but he could turn out to be a good signing. Did well in 2010. Closed the All Star game as I recall.

  2. blingboy says:

    An intriguing plot twist is that Scott Boras represents Carlos Pena.

  3. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    You folks think Epstein doesn’t bring full awareness of the “prepared market”??????? coming from Boston??? one of the original power colluder’s……….. he brings knowledge about how money effects the market………..lucky he sucks at it…… a PF signing would severely/adversely impact the Brewers, improving the Cubs divisional standings……and also seriously grinding on Milwaukee’s fragile rotation……… that is how he will go……..he’s up against Scotty Boras………..who knows all this…….. Boras is playing to stay close to Lozano/AP should they reposition themselves for collusion money……….. BHSC has made their statement……………. form more reasons than seem obvious……

  4. crdswmn says:

    Tweet by Chris DeLuca of Chicago Sun Times:

    #Cubs fans excited about the Pujols rumors, forget about it. He is simply not on their radar, no matter what his agent says.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Guess he is saying Rosenthal got his rumor from Lozano…

      • Brian Walton says:

        Tweet from Scott Miller of CBS seems to back Rosenthal.

        “The Cubs have indeed jumped into the Albert Pujols talks, according to sources. Cardinals, Marlins and Cubs right now. Marlins only offer”

        • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

          IF…………the Cubs believe that AP is likely to return to St. Louis………..and that any offers…by anyone are just helping Lozano set the market…………….. for the Cardinals………..why not get it over with so that you can sign Fielder………………..your real target…………. if AP is truly a FA …..just offer him 7/30 and let it sit there…………or 8/26……with a Christmas day deadline……… allowing the Cardinals to do what ever it is there doing……………….. Boras always goes late………he lives by that…….. This isn’t Boston and NY……….this is the mid-west……the central……….. the Cubs are the spenders…….. force the action……….

  5. blingboy says:

    If the Cards are offering the same terms they were last winter, that makes it a subtantially upgraded offer. The reason is that they would be getting Albert’s age 40 (ahem) season instead of his age 31(ahem) season. So offering the same money but getting significantly less for it makes it an upgraded offer.

    • Brian Walton says:

      What had you seen to cause you to believe the February contract proposal would have covered 2011 and that the current deal on the table is for the same number of years as the earlier offer would have covered? Those are details I haven’t seen disclosed and I would be skeptical had they “leaked” out.

      • blingboy says:

        I’m hypothesizing same number of years and dollars. If last year’s offer was structured to be 9 years after the 2011 season, then this winter’s offer would be the same.

  6. blingboy says:

    Albert’s BB Reference page sponsorship is $3,285 while Fielder’s is a paltry $910, so he sucks in comparison to the great one. Fielder is much closer to Pena ($485) than to Albert. So, it follows that Scottie is selling a couple of hacks compared to Danny’s boy.

    Jose Reyes $1,025.
    Colby Rasmus $695. (buck up RC, jeesh)
    Ryan Braun is $620.
    Stan Musial $635.
    Mark McGwire $550.

    Yadi $315, Benjie $185, Jose $125

    Ceasar Izturis, Adron Chambers, $65

    Bill Wambsganss $20. (A travesty of justice.)

    • Brian Walton says:

      Yes, that is some expensive advertising, though I don’t put any stock in their algorithm in relation to value. It is based on player page clicks, in other words, a popularity measure. In previous years, I sponsored a number of players and past players there, but when the prices went up 20 or 30 times, I did not continue.

  7. blingboy says:

    With the signing of Broxton, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Royals try to trade Soria for Colby.

  8. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    This guy is one of my favorites……………………..

    Post subject: Re: Are Cards, Pujols in a No-Win Situation with Fans re FA?
    Posted: 11/29/2011 01:59 AM
    GuitarHero wrote
    The trouble and expense this organization went through, in order to prevent Pujols from harming said organization if he left, was about three times more than any reasonable preparation would merit. Why in heavens name would they sign him now? They achieved all their goals and aims, many by the luck of Pujols “difficult” year, and then some. If you admit that DeWitt’s arguments and concerns are valid, you must also accuse him of not playing to win this year by contesting Pujols, who obviously struggled all year long with his deteriorating bargaining position.
    If you have a problem with that statement, remember the sprained wrist, which 10yrs ago would have been diagnosed as nothing more. They tried to sit him out for 6+ weeks with full rehab. He fought it all the way because he knew what it meant. The team was playing well without him. Or to me the ultimate. His AB’s in game 7. If he wasn’t hit by a pitch he gives little or nothing, except some of the most embarrassing strikeouts you could suffer. He was determined to get that MVP Hr, at any cost. He could be a completely different player without TLR. Or, he could be a complete attitudinal bust without Tony’s and his special understanding. I want to watch Holiday and Berkman play. Freese and Craig too. No more jogging or lineups groomed to feed his statistics. We will never see such an opportunity as this one to see past this guy. In all fairness, if he is a great player, he needs a change of teams and
    scenery to prove it to me.

    Read more: http://interact.stltoday.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=846354&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=0#ixzz1f9fSkRnV

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Westie, one of my favorites is the guy who replied to you:
      “What a strange world you must live in…”

      • Bw52 says:

        Bravo Jumbo.So true.I often wonder what color the sky ia in some peoples world.While agreeing that Albert has a problem sometimes (what ballplayer doesn`t?).The real question is this;Willthe Cards be a better ballclub with Albert or without Albert.The answer seems simple to me.The money part i leave to the experts.As for the team being better the answer is plain to see.

    • RCWarrior says:

      I do wonder how Albert will respond to not having Tony to protect his every move or to not have Tony constantly building him up, or not having Tony to let him do what he wants when he wants to do it.

      It will be fun to watch Albert this next year to see how he responds to those things.

      • Brian Walton says:

        Why assume a first-time manager will be tougher on veteran players than a 33-year one was? It could easily be just the opposite.

        • RCWarrior says:

          I don’t assume anything Brian. I only mention Albert won’t have Tony by his side. Mike may very well allow Albert more freedom for all I know. All I mentioned is that Tony won’t be there and Tony was Albert’s security blanket imo.

          • easy says:

            It has always seemed to me that Tony has a more hierarchical way of dealing with his players than most managers. His “Generals”, Albert, Yadi and Carp, seem to have carte blanche not only to do what they deem correct but also to discipline players farther down in the hierarchy. I’m not saying that this is necessarily wrong but I do think that it’s bound to change to some extent with a new manager.
            One of the stated changes is to make the team friendlier to young players. That alone may be an adjustment for the veterans to make.

  9. JumboShrimp says:

    The idea of the Cubs pursuing Pujols seems credible.
    The owner is new. The GM is new and eager to do bold things to send a signal to Cubs fans.
    What could be more perfect for the Cubs than signing Pujols? This both helps professionalize the Cubs and hurts a rival in the division. It would generate hype and sells tickets. Pujols would hit 60 HRs/year, if based at dinky Wrigley.
    Epstein and Ricketts have little to lose by wooing Pujols. They score points with Cubs fans by giving it a good try or score points by succeeding. There is little downside for the Cubs, whether they succeed or not.
    Chicago is a bigger market than St Louis. I could see the Cubs offering 10 years at $30MM/yr. This would put pressure on the Cards to match it or see their hero wearing a Cubs uniform.
    The Cubs, Angels, and Washington could each give DeWitt strong competition on Pujols.

    • Brian Walton says:

      I was with you all the way until the 10/$300 M part, Jumbo. That just isn’t going to happen.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        The Cubs just shed overpaid Aramis Ramirez and Fukudome. Their combined salaries in 2011 were $25MM+. This frees up a lot of money for a mega free agent.
        Epstein will not enter a bidding competition aiming to look weak. This is a rare and decisive moment to make a mark as Cubs GM.
        Jim Hendrie had to go, because you do not want create a fresh new image for the Cubs with old Hendrie around, with his reputation for overspending on Fukudome and Soriano. Bring in a flashy new GM to boldly bid on Pujols. I will be surprised if this does NOT happen.

        • Brian Walton says:

          Flashy, maybe. $300 million, no.

        • JumboShrimp says:

          The Cubs owner, Ricketts, says Epstein is in charge as regards bidding on Fielder or Pujols. Ricketts and I are on the same wavelength.
          My vocabulary fits with the Tribune, in we both use the word “mega.”
          http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/chi-ricketts-megadeal-decision-on-fielder-or-pujols-up-to-epstein-20111129,0,646634.story

          If Pujols were to average 40 HRs per year over the next decade, being helped by playing at little Wrigley, he could overtake Barry Bonds as MLB’s all time HR leader. This would be huge publicity for the Cubs and MLB and this is valuable. There is almost no downside for the Cubs shelling out mega bucks for Albert.

          A year ago, Mark McGwire volunteered that Pujols would be a $30MM/yr player, in Mark’s opinion. Since Philly gave Ryan Howard $25MM and Pujols is much better, this is not unreasonable.

          • Kansasbirdman says:

            The question becomes what does Pujols value more? The pros and cons of signing with the Cubs-
            Pros-
            As you say, better ballpark for HR’s and he can potentially break HR records

            To sign there would prob mean he has been offered more/most money.

            Bigger market, perhaps visibility for endorsements?

            Cons-

            He will never get a statue at Busch (IMO, St. Louis fans are a forgiving bunch but only if you wear the red).

            He would arguably have a lessened chance to get to the world series (unless he sees the revamped organization as being able to make the necessary changes).

            And along with that he would have a lessened chance to break playoff records (some of which he already has given the many opportunities he has had in St. Louis.

            SO,
            Which records are most important ,and is $ more important that legacy/’hero’ worship?

          • blingboy says:

            Jumbo, the Phillies level of ridiculousness with Howard shouldn’t be used as a measure. It works out to something like $10M per WAR. So that would put Albert at $50M+ per year. At least they were smart enough to only go 5 years for a player the same age as Albert. Howard should at least be able to take the field through his age 36 season. As a Cards fan, I’ll be more than happy to see 200 Ks a year as a fixture in the middle of the Phillies lineup.

            • JumboShrimp says:

              Bling, the Union and agents do not care whether the Phillies were ridiculous or not with Howard. To them, Howard’s contract is just one more data point in the contract data base that is used to establish salary value. They want ridiculous salaries like Howard in order to mention them to arbitrators or in other salary negotiations. Thus they also want Albert to obtain a ridiculous salary, because the more ridiculous salaries there are, the richer the players and agents are.

          • crdswmn says:

            It should be a law that anybody who pays Albert Pujols $300 million must have ‘Incredibly Stupid” tattooed on their forehead.

  10. JumboShrimp says:

    Ricketts the Cubs owner is playing the Pujols deal smart.
    First, get rid of Hendrie and replace him with a celebrity GM in Theo Epstein. Why would Epstein even consider leaving Boston and coming to the Cubs, after a century of their losing? Ricketts has to have given Theo a huge mandate to make changes. Sandberg does not even get an interview for manager.
    Second, clarify and announce Theo is in charge of bidding on Pujols. (Right, like Ricketts knows nothing about Hendrie hugging Pujols or Ricketts has never heard of Albert.) Its all up to Theo. If he signs Albert and it works out, Epstein is a super genius. If Albert becomes the new Todd Helton, then its all Epstein’s fault and he can be fired for being such a dunce.

  11. JumboShrimp says:

    An interesting aspect about this is its all about money, but strangely not about the “greed” of Albert. I accept Albert’s storyline that his next contract is out of his hands. Its all up to money and to the Union. The Union wants Pujols to accept the highest bid, whoever makes it.
    If Lance Berkman signs early with the Cards, as he did, for $12MM, nobody cares. Yawn. Lance is no longer a top of the market celebrity, just another good player.
    But the Union wants Pujols to try to lift the salary scale for all the lesser players by establishing the “top of the market” wage rate by accepting the highest bid. The Union wants a bidding war for Albert. And MLB likes publicity for the game that would come from a bidding showdown between the Cubs and Cards. Theo Epstein helped hype the competition between Red Sox and Yankees, why not do the same now with the Cards? Stir things up, wake up the fans from their winter slumbers.

  12. JumboShrimp says:

    The Cubs won the Central division in 2007 and 2008. How did they do this? They outspent the competition on free agents. They bought LHP Lilly from Toronto. Jason Marquis landed a 3 year deal for $7MM/yr. Money, money, money.
    Theo Epstein played money ball up in Boston. He bought our chum J D Drew away from the Dodgers with a monster 5 year deal. Theo even gave something like $10MM/yr to our pal SS Julio Lugo, until Boston fans got so mad, Theo dumped him on the Cards for Chris Duncan back in July 2009.
    If Theo gave Julio and J.D. big bucks, how much might he offer baseball immortal Albert Pujols to don a blue uniform?
    In honor of Chicago, I voted twice in the poll above, for the odds of Pujols moving to Chicago at 50 percent.

    • Bw52 says:

      The Cubs need more than Albert .They need pitching,2B,RF,3B and 1B.Wouldn`t the smart move be Theo dumping the reat of Hendry`s follies (Zambrano.Soriano via trades) and then he could go after Albert or Fatboy Fielder.Cubs have a few solid players Marlon Byrd,Starlin Castro,Geovony Soto for position guys and a few good pitchers Randy Wells, etc;.Other wise they have many needs to fill.Will Ricketts be willing to spend enough and eat enough salary to rid himself of the bad dea apples like Zambrano and Soriano.

  13. JumboShrimp says:

    In Boston, Theo shelled out a mind blowing $104MM for a pitcher from Japan who had never thrown a pitch in the US, D-Mat. Epstein outbid every other high-rolling team. The Cards were not players in this bidding war.

    Tony LaRussa has been around baseball. Being a Super Genius, Tony knows a few things about inside baseball. TLR chose to leave the Cards after the 2011 season. After 11 years of adding the name Pujols to a lineup card, maybe TLR did not want to see his friend in an opposing uniform during 2012. It was a perfect time for TLR to say thanks for the memories and goodbye.

  14. blingboy says:

    FSMidwest: What about with second base. Have you made any decisions as far as offering arbitration to Ryan Theriot or Skip Schumaker?

    Mozeliak: No we haven’t and even if we had I don’t think we’d be discussing it here. In fairness, obviously Dan Descalso played very well this year and we feel very comfortable if he had to be our second baseman but were also looking at those opportunities and just seeing how best to put the club together.

    FSMidwest: So would you be OK if both Greene and Descalso stared up the middle?

    Mozeliak: I mean that’s something that if we had to go with it, that would be fine with us. I’m not saying we’re going to end up there. I don’t think from a fan’s standpoint that’s quite as attractive as maybe something else but it’s certainly an option.

    http://www.foxsportsmidwest.com/11/30/11/QA-with-Cardinals-GM-John-Mozeliak/landing_stlcardinals.html?blockID=615526&feedID=3794

    I’m surprised Mo didn’t show Skip a little more love given the opportunity.

    Even though we learned the hard way about the need to be strong up the middle, it would be exciting to break camp with Greene/Descalso and see what happens.

  15. blingboy says:

    Freese will be 29, he needs his breakout season. Hope he stays healthy.

    Craig will be 28, he needs a full time job. Hope he gets one.

  16. Bw52 says:

    Latest rumor concerning Cards………………Cards talked with JC Romero LHP who has pitched for Phillies and Twins etc;

  17. blingboy says:

    The Cards are one of 13 teams eligible for the 2013 competitive balance draft pick lottery. That’s for the 6 new end of first round picks I believe.

    • Brian Walton says:

      Let me see if I have this right.

      1) Deadspin receives a package.
      2) They decide not to print everything in it.
      3) Lozano’s lawyer requests an advance copy of the article, but is denied.
      4) Instead, Deadspin provides a copy of the entire package to the lawyer as it was received.
      5) The lawyer responds to Deadspin point by point BEFORE the article is published. (In other words, at that time, the lawyer had no idea what in the package was going to be printed and what was not.)
      6) After the fact, Deadspin rips the lawyer for commenting on points not included in their original story as if the lawyer should have known in advance which points they chose to disclose and which ones they did not.
      7) This provides Deadspin the opportunity to introduce additional allegations against Lozano by quoting his lawyer, rather than the original package. It is implied but not clearly stated these were rebuttals to points in the original package which Deadspin chose not to share the first time. Deadspin’s defense will likely be that they were simply publishing the correspondence from the lawyer and that they were not making those incremental allegations themselves. (Of course, who is to say they wouldn’t publish another expose the next day?)

      Who cares how they got out there as long as they got out there, right?

      All I can say is “wow”. crdswmn, what is your legal view of all this?

      • crdswmn says:

        Well, the lawyer might have been better served to issue a blanket denial. Prior restraint demand letters rarely work and there apparently was no attempt to file for a restraining order which if filed could have flushed out the items that were likely to be printed. If you think you have a claim for libel, you wait to see what is printed and then make your case. If not, you still wait to see what is printed and issue your specific denial. I don’t know what the “ethical” issues are for journalists printing attorney correspondence, but if you send it, there is no legal prohibition against the recipient making it public.

        Sounds like maybe Lozano’s lawyer wasn’t familiar enough with Deadspin to know what he was up against. All I can say is I wouldn’t have handled it the way he did.

      • CariocaCardinal says:

        Looks like from the article that even Deadspin doesn’t see themselves as too reputable.

        “something no reputable news outlet (or Deadspin) would ever do.”

      • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

        The letter is hot air…………. which is all Lozano paid for………. there was a vain attempt at assigning or insinuating that the culprit behind the smear was Scott Boras………….. which was just a crudely fashioned lure added to see how much follow up “verifying” Deadspin had done, or whether they in fact knew it was Jeff Boris and company behind the package …………. they were probing with fore knowledge ……………. This will never ever get to court, thats why Deadspin is invulnerable…..as are BHSC………. in a court room…….. names would appear…….witnesses would be subpoenaed …. a career ended………… its all harmless at this stage……thats why Deadspin is stirring the pot……… its a non factor………….

  18. JumboShrimp says:

    The Cubs have averaged ML salary spend in the high $130MMs the past 3 years, about $30MM more than the Cards. The Cubs have been a higher spending team. It would be hard for DeWitt to outbid the Cubs for any free agent the Cubs decide they have to have.

  19. JumboShrimp says:

    After we won it all in 1964, our manager jumped ship to the losing Yankees.

    Strange things can happen abruptly in baseball.

  20. friendmouse says:

    I agree that $30MM/year is crazy-talk; however, remember that net present value of money says $30 MM in 10 years is not like $30 MM today. I have always contended that the Cards should just offer 10 years for 1/4 Billion Dollars. Or, although I’m sure it won’t happen, the way I understand it, the Cards “could” offer Albert some ownership shares in the club. This is the last chance for that to ever happen, as the new CBA forbids that, I understand?

    It’s all insanity, so are there actually “degrees of insanity?” Or is it like pregnancy…either you are (crazy/pregnant) or you’re not. If it’s all insanity, then how can you have a sensible argument? Almost Catch-22-esque.

  21. crdswmn says:

    Bernie Miklasz (and a couple of Chicago Scribes) appear not to believe the Cubs have any serious interest in Pujols.

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bernie-bytes-taking-the-bait-on-pujols/article_87c45b18-1b6a-11e1-968d-001a4bcf6878.html

  22. Nutlaw says:

    Um. The Cubs gave David DeJesus $10M over two years? Good to see that the new management is following the lead of the old.

  23. blingboy says:

    Bernie’s take on why the Cubs aren’t serious and, by implication, why the Albert market isn’t heating up:

    “And if an aging player’s WAR is still good but sinking, that will likely give a GM pause before he commits 7, 8 or 9 years to Pujols at a high annual average salary. This is just plain common sense.”

    Mo’s had another year to pause, so I guess he’s still all in.

    It seems like the most likely serious competition would be a shorter term/monster aav offer, making Albert the highest paid player ever for a few years. What would he do if somebody said 4 yrs/ $140M, or thereabouts?

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Bernie supports his hometown. He can sow worries about Pujols growing old to try to scare away other teams. Theo Epstein is not going to be factoring columns by Bernie.

  24. JumboShrimp says:

    The Cubs manager Sveum has been hitting coach of the Brewers. This changes my opinion about the Cubs going hard after Pujols.
    Fielder seems like a better fit. Fielder would give the Cubs a strong hitter who swings left. Fielder is at least 4 years younger than Albert. The Cubs could make an offer on Pujols to try to raise his cost, but then go hard after Fielder as a better fit for their team.

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