Thursday, January 13, 2011

BD Hot Stove: St. Louis Hopes Pujols Extension Is In The Cards | Baseball Digest

BD Hot Stove: St. Louis Hopes Pujols Extension Is In The Cards | Baseball Digest

Albert Pujols and his agent Dan Lozano have sat back this winter and watched as teams gave Jayson Werth $18M a year and Carl Crawford over $20M per season. They watched in 2007 as the Yankees rewarded Alex Rodriguez with a $275M bonanza spread out over 10 years. And they know that their time is about to come.

Prince Albert will make $16M for the 2011 season and then will be a free agent unless the Cardinals can pony up an attractive enough contract to keep him in St. Louis for years to come. And that is easier said than done.

With an ongoing rough economy, it may be difficult to pay the game’s number one player, number one money.Pujols is a three time MVP and has finished in the top three in MVP voting five other times. He’s a nine time All-Star, has won six Silver Slugger awards and a pair of Gold Gloves. He averages 40 home runs and 120 RBI a season! I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

At 31 years of age (this Sunday) and with 10 professional seasons under his belt, there is no reason to think that Pujols is going to slow down any time soon. What that translates to is a $30M per year deal. With A-Rod’s deal averaged out to $27.5M over the life of his deal, the Cardinals know they have to pay their man dollars more per season. It’s not just a matter of principle, Pujols deserves it.

Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi recently spoke with Cardinals’ chairman and CEO William O. DeWitt Jr. about his franchise player. When asked if the two sides were close to a deal, Dewitt replied, “No, I would just say we’ve had discussions, and we’re continuing to talk.”

“We’ve got time between now and then (the start of spring training) to get things done,” DeWitt said. “I’m hopeful. But these are big deals, and we’ll make every effort to get it accomplished.

“Spring training is a long period of time — six weeks. Whether it’s reporting date, or a week after, I don’t view it as, ‘If it’s not done by this day, then . . .’ I don’t see a specific day.”

The Cardinals faithful certainly share DeWitt’s hope.

Rumors, News, and Transactions

The NY Daily News sent the social media networks atwitter on Wednesday when they published a piece saying that Andy Pettitte would not start the season with the New York Yankees. With near panic in the streets, GM Brian Cashman said the reporter had misinterpreted what he had said. The Yankees had not received any new word from Pettitte, so for now they have to proceed as if he won’t be with them when the season begins. In other words, Pettitte’s situation is the status quo.

The Rays, Rockies, and Yankees are all reportedly showing interest in outfielder/DH Andruw Jones. But the Rays are the only team that really make sense for the 15-yr veteran. The Yankees have committed to Jorge Posada as their full-time DH in 2011 and the Rockies can’t afford (defensively) to play him in the outfield. The Rays, however, could plug him into the DH spot.

Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg told the Washington Post he is about three or four weeks away from beginning to throw. Strasburg underwent Tommy John surgery this past September 3rd.

The Diamondbacks have inked utility man Willie Bloomquist to a one year, $1.05M deal with a mutual option for 2012.

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