Pujols talks over

Albert Pujols will not sign a new contract with the Cardinals this spring. Negotiations came to an end on Wednesday morning, more than an hour prior to the slugger’s self-imposed 11 a.m. CT Wednesday deadline. Thus, he will break off all contract talks until after the season ends. 
A Major League source told MLB.com on condition of anonymity that negotiations had ceased. The club has not formally confirmed the news.
Pujols had reportedly sought a 10-year deal, with some outlets reporting that he wanted $300 million over that span. SI.com reported on Tuesday night that the Cardinals had offered an eight-year contract worth under $30 million per year but likely more than $25 million per year, while the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the club was “weighing” a guaranteed eighth year as of Wednesday morning.
Pujols was expected to be in the Jupiter area on Wednesday, but according to a club official, he does not intend to report to camp until Thursday. The formal report day for Cardinals infielders and outfielders isn’t until Friday, with full-squad workouts beginning Saturday.
St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak and the team’s principal owner, Bill DeWitt Jr., plan to address reporters on Wednesday afternoon. It’s unclear when, or even whether, Pujols or his agent, Dan Lozano, intends to speak about the matter. An enormous media throng has descended upon the Cardinals complex to cover the developments.
Though no deal was reached, at least two more stages of this process remain. Even if Pujols refuses to entertain any discussion until the Cardinals’ season is over, the Cardinals would still have one more exclusive opening. Clubs maintain exclusive negotiating rights with their own free agents until five days after the World Series ends. 
After that, Pujols would go to free agency if he were still unsigned, at which time the club could still find itself the highest bidder. That was the situation last winter, when Matt Holliday re-upped after hitting the open market.
Pujols will receive $16 million in 2011, the final season of a deal that will end up paying him $111 million over eight years.
-M.

8 Comments

This is disappointing. The front office can’t come to a agreement with one of the greatest Cardinals of all time and that there is no art of comprimise on both sides. If he signs with another team (CUBS) it will be worse that after the last strike.

This isn’t disappointing, it is embarrassing. At the press conference, GM and owner report having made one offer – in early January – and then having “discussions” about discrete areas of that offer since. It seems pretty clear that ownership was uninterested in a deal approaching Albert’s value or reasonable expectations given the home town discount the Cards have enjoyed for the last seven years. The discussion of the $200M Yankees payroll was completely meaningless since the Cardinals could have Albert and the team they have now for $115M – not chump change but for a team that sells out their home stadium all the time, that has renegotiated TV and radio deals twice recently, that has qualified for the play-offs six of the last ten years and has as successful a merchandising arena as any, this is unconscionable.

I’m not giving up being a fan, or hope of a possible later signing, but its just more proof to me that Dave Zirin is right, owners are ruining the sports we love, and that the context for this debacle proves that the league desperately needs an autonomous Commissioner to keep ownership/salaries/seating and beer prices in line.

Latest reports from Ken Rosenthal say that the final offer was for 7-8 years at 19-21 million per year. He said the Cardinals were willing to make Pujols a top 10 player but not put him in the top 5 status for Annual Average Salary. IF this is true I have one question to the Cards management…ARE YOU FREAKIN KIDDING ME??? All along I thought the Cards would pay a kings ransom for Pujols but not give him the 10 years he was reported at wanting, that I can agree with. NOT offering him a contract that is suitable for him I CAN’T Agree with!! Do I think 21 million is chump change?? Of Course NOT! Do I think that is a slap in the face to the best player in the game and arguably one of the best EVER to play the game, you bet I DO!!! How many people do you know that would take less when they can get more?? His average salary for his first 10 years was 9mil a year, The Cards got their hometown discount. IF these are the true numbers then MO’s interpretation of them being comfortable with the offer and he thinks it shows that they think of Pujols as an “Iconic” player is a JOKE!!! IF they aren’t then they should of stated that in their press conference, which leads me to believe they didn’t want to embarass themselves. Are you really telling me that if you offered 5 years 30 mil (Which is 14 more million then they are already budgeting for Pujols this year) he wouldn’t of took it? That at least would of earned you the respect of the fans and not us laughing at your total mishandling of this situation! And Please DeWitt save me the Hub Bub of you still have to field a competetive team..you should of thought of that before you gave Holliday 17 mil, or Berkman 8 mil. you sell out EVERY game, are you really telling us you can’t pony up 14 more for Albert but you could Pony up 11 for Lohse? If you didn’t think you were going to sign him then trade him for the kings ransom before he got to his 10/5 rights. SO MO I ask you IF the Cubs next year really come to Pujols and say “Hey Albert we actually want you and will show you with this 8 year contract for $30 mil a year” What are you going to do?????

pathetic…. cheap, and pathetic. these guys have a Gazillion dollars. Albert Pujols IS the Cardinals – not DUHWITT. Unbelievable, the day Albert leaves – I, and many cardinal fans I have spoken with, will NEVER spend another penny toward this organization. what a joke. Once in a lifetime player – who WANTS to be a Cardinal – gets filed as a business decision. If Albert leaves….. I hope he wears another team entering the HOF for the shameless treatment.

does a team sign a 31 year old player for 10 years when stats
prove a player declines after age 36-37 or do they take that $25 million and get two younger players for $10-$12 mil each and lock them up for 10 years? Get two young aces?
A good 1B and a corner OF? I would think two good players in the heart of the order would produce as well as one AP.
Look at the numbers for next year. Eliminate APs salary, Berkman’s salary and the Cards have $20 mil to spend.
Maybe not resign Carpenter? Lots of bucks to spend.
I just don’t know what next years free agent list looks like.
I would have offered 7-8 years at best, $27-$28 mil per year.
Cards have too much $$$ tied up in a few players

No you don’t sign him for 10 years, you obviously don’t want to be paying him that kind of money from years 38-41 unless those years are at a low base salary with lots of incentives and if he has the normal Pujols year then the incentives make the salary go up to that large level again. But if the Cards would of offered what you did instead of 19-21 mil per, I’m betting Pujols has signed a new contract instead of being a looming free agent.

Bill DeWitt needs to think seriously about what he wants out of life. Does he want to follow in his father’s footsteps and let a future HOF icon leave while the best player in the game, the way Bill DeWitt Sr let Frank Robinson go to the Orioles and win the Triple Crown? Are we going to watch Albert Pujols go win a Triple Crown with the Chicago Cubs? There’s more to life than your net worth Bill – or don’t they teach that at MICDS?

If he lets Pujols walk, it will prove to be one of the worst financial decisions in sports history and severely reduce the value of the franchise. Pujols has made it clear that he will take a discount to stay in St. Louis, and now it is up to the ownership to trust in the future and sign him. Failure to do so should be and will be punished by Cardinals fans severely, me included.

I have been a baseball fan as long as I can remember. I have always been a Redbird fan and always will be. Albert has made many statements over the last few seasons that it is not all about the money. Well Congratulations Mr. Pujols…. you have become just another cookie-cutter 1st baseman in the game. Albert has shown it is all about the money. In my opinion the Cardinals should not look at signing him after the season is over. There are too many outstanding players in MLB today to offer 30m a year to one player. For 30m a year the cardinals could many players that would more than make up for just Albert. Just my opinion. I will no longer buy anything that bears the name or number of Mr Pujols….

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