Overall, the upcoming MLB free agency class for the 2011 offseason is fairly weak.  Unlike 2010 when baseball fans anxiously watched to see where pitcher Cliff Lee and All-Star outfielder Carl Crawford would end up, 2011 will figure to be a quiet offseason.

Yet, among the 2011 free agents, one name stands out.  For the first time in his career, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols will be on the open market.  Given how he is only 31 years old and already has a career batting average of .330, 414 home runs and 1,242 RBI, he will surely command big money.

The Cardinals attempted to negotiate a new contract with Pujols this past offseason and into spring training.  Pujols actually set February 14 as the deadline for a new deal, otherwise negotiations would end.  No deal was reached, so it’s clear that Pujols’s next contract will set a new standard for free agents in future years.

Here are 11 potential free agents whose next contracts will be shaped by the conclusion of the Pujols saga.

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