It’s been an interesting day for Cardinals fans. After Ryan Howard signed on the dotted line, the whispers about Albert Pujols began. ESPN trumpeted debates and stories: What does all of this mean for Pujols? Countless stories were turned out on the web. Radio talk show hosts got a full day of screaming and yelling. All because one player signed a deal. It seems we spend just as much time talking about free agency as we do about the games. It’s April. Baseball is being played. The Cards got a win last night and play another one tonight. But the big story is what the Cardinals are going to do when the season’s over. That’s November if the ultimate goal is reached. Seems like quite a long time to me as my first year of college slowly winds down over the next two weeks. In November I’ll be back up here doing it all over again. It’s not even summer yet, let’s take it easy on the offseason murmurs.
I guess they’re not murmurs when it comes to Pujols, though. It’s too hard to ignore, so some of baseball’s best gave their thoughts on the suddenly hot topic. Here’s what they’re saying about Albert and Ryan and that thing called money that is at the heart of the debate.
-Bobby Cox gave the most shocking answer of the day. Based on Howard’s contract, Cox estimates Pujols is worth — “Fifty million dollars a year, at least.” Wow. This coming from a guy who’s been around the game for his entire life. He has a handle on the talent and its worth in this business driven world. A little over the top, possibly sarcastic, but the point is, Pujols is going to get a lot. And by a lot, he’s going to get $200 million. Now, it’s up to St. Louis to make sure they’re the ones signing the checks.
-Chipper Jones has also been around the money game for a while now. He didn’t give any specifics, but sees Pujols getting a little more than Howard. “Albert’s got a couple more MVPs, a batting title, and put up all the same numbers that Howard has, maybe a little better. I’d say that Albert is going to make a little more than that,” Braves veteran Chipper Jones said. “It depends on if St. Louis has as deep of pockets. I’m sure if they do, for someone such as Albert, it’s a pretty good gamble to take.” Hopefully, the Cards brass got Chipper’s message. Pay the man. If the Yankees and Red Sox can spend money like water so can everyone else. No one else wants to win as bad. St. Louis can’t cry foul with no salary cap. If they’re serious about winning, this should be easy.
-Pujols knows Howard personally after working out at the same complex in St. Louis during a few offseasons. He knows Howard works hard and deserves to be rewarded. “Good things happen to good people like Ryan,” Pujols said. “He’s worth everything he gets because he’s proved it.” Pujols has proven it too, very good things should be happening for him over the next year.
-Cox thinks St. Louis will keep him, but that doesn’t mean he’s not curious to see how it all plays out.
“Is it possible?” Cox said about signing Pujols. “I’m sure the Cardinals will do everything they possibly can. … I don’t know how you pay a guy like Pujols. He’s the best. Let’s put it that way.”