There have been rumors, links, tweets, and various other forms of information that has been leaked out about Albert Pujols and the Cards. I for one think the Cards will pony up the money (more than they want to spend) to keep Albert in St. Louis for many years to come. Another thing I am sure of is teams like the Cubs, Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, etc are going to tempt Pujols this coming off-season with large offers. Do I think Albert Pujols is worth being paid like the best player in baseball? Sure! Do I think he is worth 10 years 300 million? No way!
Pujols is the best player in baseball. He is everything you want in a baseball player! But he is not worth the report of 10 year 300 million and if the Cubs signed him to that deal I would rip it apart. Not because of the amount but because of the years. Albert Pujols will be 32 years old at the time of his new contract and paying him around 30 million a year for ages 40, 41, and 42 is just irresponsible. The Cubs should learn from there Soriano problem and not sign a player to a ten year deal unless they are in the same sentence as the elite players of the game and under 30 years old. You can even argue that players like Prince Fielder or Adrian Gonzalez deserve a ten year deal before Pujols (of course they don’t deserve the money like he will get per year).
So what do I think the Cubs should offer him? Well it more complicated than straight numbers. I would offer Pujols three contract options and here they are.
Option 1= 5 year deal worth 225 million with a full NTC and a 10 million dollar signing bonus. Perks that include donations from the Cubs to the Pujols Family Foundation throughout the entire contract, and large bonuses for MVP, NLCS MVP, WS MVP, Sliver Slugger, Gold Glove, and All-Star appearances. 10 million dollar bonus for breaking into top 10 all time homeruns. Also relocation and housing paid for Pujols and his family by the Cubs. 4 best available season tickets for the length of this contract and suites for home games as well. I can see this deal actually reaching close to the 300 million he is seeking for only 5 years.
******I know what you all are thinking, 45 million a year plus perks! I am crazy! Not really… If you are the Cubs you hope he signs this contract. What is better 30 million over 10 years where at least 3 years will be a worn down Pujols or pay him 45 million a year until he is 37? The Cubs are more likely to get Pujols like numbers until he is 37 rather than getting those through the age of 42. Also with this deal you don’t have to worry about trading a potential HOFer at the age of 39+ with 30 million dollars a year left on his contract. Plus if Pujols performs at level close to what he is performing at the end of this contract he may be in for another good payday. Not to mention the price of players will receive will increase. To me Pujols is worth the money not the years.
Option 2= 5 year deal with mutual options for 2017 and 2018 that could bring the deal worth 260 million. Similar perks to Option 1 but will less money attached to each perk
*****While the money overall is more and he gets more years. Pujols will be loosing about 8 million per year. The good thing for the Cubs and Pujols is the mutual option gives them both the option to walk away from the contract or continue on. The average year amount here is 37 million.
Option 3= 6 year deal with player option for 2018 that could bring the deal worth 240 million. Similar perks to Option 1 but less money per perk than Option 2.
*****This is even less money but Pujols gets guaranteed 7 years if he wants it. He has the option to walk away from his final year of the deal which he might choose if he puts up big numbers. He can also look at it as a security blanket if he starts declining at the end of the deal. This will average 34 million a year over the lifetime of the contract which is a far cry from Option 1.
These are the three contract options I give to Pujols when and if he becomes a free agent. All three deals have extreme risk and reward potential attached to it. All three have benefits and downfalls for both Pujols and the Cubs. It all comes down to Albert and whether he wants to come to Chicago and if $ per year mean more or years. I think the Cubs would jump for joy if he chose Option 1 but I can see Pujols and his agent looking at Option 2 as the best overall fit.
What do you think? What would you offer him?
Until Next Time…