Vaughn: Cards should let Pujols go to Marlins

Vaughn: Cards should let Pujols go to Marlins

Vaughn: Cards should let Pujols go to Marlins

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by Doug Vaughn, News 4 Sports

News 4 Sports

Posted on December 7, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 7 at 3:35 PM

Update - 2:34 p.m.:

Nothing official yet on the Albert Pujols situation, but there appears to be momentum building that would suggest he's headed back to the Cardinals. According to multiple sources, including Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Miami Marlins have now offered a 6-year contract to free agent pitcher CJ Wilson. If the Marlins are offering Wilson that kind of contract it would seem to reason that they may have given up on trying to sign Pujols.

I'm still not sure why Pujols hasn't already accepted the Cardinals offer. There is speculation at the winter meetings that his agent is pushing the Marlins for every possible penny, so they can take the Marlins final offer back to the Cardinals, and hope the Cardinals increase their offer of 10 years, $220 million.

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(News 4 Sports) -- Is it wrong of me to hope the Cardinals don't sign Albert Pujols? As a lifelong Cardinals fan it feels wrong, but at this point I'd really rather he take the Miami Marlins offer. It's so incredibly ridiculous to offer a 32 year old first baseman a 10 year, $220 million contract that I'm hoping he doesn't accept it. I have as much respect as the next guy for the years Pujols has had as a Cardinal, but enough already. It makes no sense to pay a guy who is already in decline that kind of money. It's beyond stupid. In the last four years Pujols' batting average has gone from .357 to .327 to .312 to .299.  Over the last three years his rbi total has gone from 135 to 118 to 99. His doubles have fallen from 45 to 39 to 29. Most of his offensive stats have been in similar decline. And now it would make sense to double his salary for the next ten years until he's 42?
 
Pujols has been amazingly durable during the 11 years of his career. He's been hobbled by minor injuries, but has been able to play through them and be productive. When it appeared that he had broken his wrist, he missed only about two weeks. Nobody would ever question Pujols willingness to suck it up and play hurt. It's fair to wonder though if the law of averages will soon catch up to him, and sideline him with a serious injury. It happens to most other players at some point in their careers. Maybe he's superhuman. At times it appears that he just might be, but it's reasonable to assume that as he ages he'll be more susceptible to major injuries and likely to miss significant time over the course of his contract.
 
I believe Pujols will re-sign with the Cardinals. It looks like he and his agent have played this thing perfectly. He got a huge offer from the Miami Marlins that caused the Cardinals to increase their offer. The Marlins offer appears to be for a little more money, but when you're talking about more than $220 does a few extra million really matter? Probably not. Pujols can now reject the Marlins offer and say that money wasn't important, that he always wanted to play for the Cardinals and that's why he took their lesser offer. He'll say he loves St. Louis and the Cardinals fans and was never serious about leaving. That's what I'm expecting to happen at some point today, tomorrow, or whenever this contract situation finally gets settled. But if he does decide to sign with the Cardinals, I'm afraid it will ultimately become the contract that will hamstring the organization for much of the next decade.  

by Doug Vaughn, News 4 Sports

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