If any of you have been keeping up in recent weeks with the talks between the St. Louis Cardinals and slugging all-star first baseman Albert Pujols, then you know that the speculation on the issue will go above and beyond one’s imagination over the coming months. Here’s what we know so far:
- Pujols is a free agent after the 2011 season
- Albert and his agent have supposedly set a deadline as the beginning of Spring Training for the team to negotiate a contract extension with him
- Pujols is said to be primarily seeking ARod money (10 years/$275 million), but it is being speculated that the Cardinals are low-balling him, offering contracts around the $200 million line, both above and below
- Analysts say that the reason he will not get ARod money is because there is currently no market big enough to compete with the Cardinals to push the price that high (Yankees with Tex and Red Sox with Gonzalez, both for long term), so there is no need to hit that high selling point.
So that’s the basics of the situation.
As of now, the two sides are said to be not too close on anything at this point, which of course makes every baseball fan, reporter, and analyst in the country speculate. Remember, it’s ALL speculation. For all we know, they could sign an extension today.
The odd point the brings this all back to the topic of Baltimore sports is what Jon Heyman wrote yesterday in his piece on SI.com about the story. First off, check out the article for more detailed information on this whole situation. Second, he has this posted as one of the four “Possible Pujols pursuers”:
Orioles. They have Derrek Lee on a one-year deal, and that marriage is seen as one of convenience, with Lee almost surely there to try to repeat the Adrian Beltre route of using one big season to jump elsewhere. The Orioles and owner Peter Angelos have a good financial situation, despite flagging attendance, due to a favorable deal with MLB to allow the Nationals to impede on their geographic space.
Weird, right? We are prone to think that Angelos would never spend this kind of money on a single player. Plus MacPhail is know to HATE long term contracts (more so with pitchers, but concept still applies when talking about a possible 7-10 year deal with a hitter). Adding on the rumors going around lately about Cal purchasing the team in the next couple of years, and this speculation seems quite off base to me.
Would I like the move? Who wouldn’t?! This would be a no brainer. With people begging the organization to chase after Fielder in 2011, this would just be a move, well, ten times better. It’s one of those no doubt additions that would make the Orioles a contender almost instantly. Yes, I just said that.
There would also be the question, as usual, of “Would Albert even consider Baltimore?“. This is why competing and hitting the .500 mark this season is as important as ever. Not just with Pujols, but with Fielder or any other possible long term big names, the Orioles need to hit some strides and come out with a bang in 2011.
The pessimistic side of me factors in all of the big upcoming contracts for guys like Matusz, Arrieta, Wieters, Jones, and more. Yeah, I had to go there.
With all of this in mind, do you think Pujols in Baltimore is even a plausible scenario for the Orioles?