Albert Pujols set a deadline to talk extension with the Cardinals, and they offered him less money than he wanted (reportedly in the $21 million per year range).

That’s a lot of money, but being that he is the best player in the history of baseball he wanted more. I’m backing him especially after seeing the contracts that Jayson Werth and Carl Crawford got this offseason.

He deserves to be the highest paid player.

Alex Rodriguez is getting $27.5 million per season on a 10-year contract he signed with the New York Yankees in ’08 at the age of 31. Pujols is currently 31 and will sign his last contract at the age of 32.

Ten years—$30million per year—in a heart beat if this was the last 10 years of his career. Over the last 10 years, only A-Rod has similar numbers but those come with a steroid scandal.

I don’t agree with the number. I agree that he is the best and should be paid the best but $30 million per year is ridiculous.

The stupid New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies contracts have inflated salaries to an all-time high and it has to stop.

It has to stop because the fans will ultimately pay for it. As great as he is, he won’t bring any city a championship on his own.

St. Louis has one championship with him. Even though they have two of the best pitchers in baseball and have Matt Holiday protecting him in the lineup, the Cards haven’t been past the first round since winning it all.

You need a team, not a player.

When the year is over the talks will begin again and where will he go? Who will dish out the money?

Not the White Sox. Their VP already said that $30 million per year is “asinine” and that he will not contribute to such garbage.

The Yanks and Phillies are set at first base for the next eight years.

The New York Mets are bleeding money and are trying to recover from the Madoff debacle.

The Red Sox have Adrian Gonzalez this year but are looking to resign him for similar numbers.

Who does that leave?

Well that leaves the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Boston (maybe), my Los Angeles Dodgers, the Chicago Cubs, the Cardinals and the Nationals.

Albert Pujols will sign with one of those six teams unless something dramatic happens in the Northeast.

What will it take for the Dodgers to sign him? NedCo and McCheap will never give him $300 million EVER.

So what will they do?

I think that NedCo will offer a NedCo-type deal. Fewer years for more money based on incentives while front-loading it and giving a ton of it in deferred payments with interest.

They will publicly go after Pujols so that the fans will see that they are trying to sign the greatest player of all time. They will make a Mark Texiera type offer—seven to eight years instead of 10, as I don’t believe that Pujols can keep his average in five to six years.

At the age of 37-plus I don’t believe he can hit 41 HR/115 RBI/.320.

NedCo will offer something in the range of eight years and $260 million. That puts Pujols at $32.5 million per year.

That will make him the highest paid player ever in terms of yearly salary. This isn’t bad or an insult at all.

NedCo will front-load the contract for the first few years and make incentive-based to cap at $32.5 million per season like the Yanks did with Derek Jeter’s new contract.

Once Pujol hits year 5 of that contract, it will become incentive-based where he will hit those bonus dollars if he (for example):

Leads any of the Triple Crown categories at the end of the year

Wins the Triple Crown

Wins NL MVP 



Wins a Gold Glove

Plate appearances


HR numbers based on the average

This would make sense for ANY team signing him because it’s risky to give so much money to a 37+yr old. This will insure the Dodgers in the event of an Andruw Jones situation or if Pujols gets injured.

At the same time, NedCo loves the deferred payment plan. That will help ease the money situation on a yearly basis for the overall payroll.

It’s 2011, and the Dodgers are still paying Nomar Garciapara, Manny Ramirez, Andruw Jones, Jason Schmidt and Juan Pierre.

Thank God all those contracts end this year. That alone will free up over $40 million for the Dodgers at the end of the 2011 season.

Does anyone remember Bobby Bonilla?

Bonilla will earn $29.8 million between 2011 and 2035—more than he earned in his first contract with the Mets.

Yeah, I know that was a very, very unique circumstance but the Mets will pay this guy almost $2 million per year to sit at home.

I’m not saying to keep Pujols on contract for 50 years on deferred payments but the back end of that contract can be $5-$12 million yearly deferred.

But then there’s the the rest of the team.

Ted Lilly, Clayton Kershaw, Juan Uribe, James Loney and someone else…I forgot who, are the only Dodgers signed through 2012. Everyone else’s contracts expire this year.

That means the Dodgers will need to fight to keep Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Ox and Kuo. We still don’t have a catcher. There is no more Hiroki Kuroda/Beard or Rafael Furcal next year either.

(Oh, I think that 5th player is Bills.)

I honestly think that if the Dodgers are not in first or within five or six games of first at the half, expect a fire sale.

Pujols with Ethier and Kemp in a line up along with Mr. Doubles (Loney) would be rather sexy, but Pujols in a lineup by himself is stupid.

So before going after Pujols, NedCo needs to resign these guys to an extension before they become free agents.

That’s how I spent my time in line at Subway today.

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