I mentioned a couple of days ago that the Yankees said they're more interested in improving their pitching than Albert Pujols.
But I wanted to revisit the issue today because New York General Manager Brian Cashman specifically addressed the Cardinals free agent slugger.
"I think he would be on anybody's wish list," Cashman said when asked about Pujols. "In our circumstances, our roster, he doesn't fit. It's not an efficient way to try to allocate your resources."
Again, I don't believe anything a general manager says about Pujols until Albert's name is signed in ink on a contract. But it's good to see that a stack of $300-million contracts wasn't placed on Pujols' doorstep the moment he was eligible to become a free agent. I have no doubts that there are talks going on behind the scenes... But slow and steady is good for the Cardinals.
I'm not trying to say that Pujols isn't one of the best ballplayers of all-time. But I think we have reached the point of maximum financial madness when guys past the age of 30 are being handed 10-year contracts for $275 million.
The deal Alex Rodriguez got to set the major league standard for paydays has been a disaster for the Yankees. He's in obvious and rapid decline -- and the totals passed out to A-Rod relied heavily on the belief that he was going to break the home run record set by Barry Bonds and generate million of dollars of revenue in the process.
Rodriguez hit 54 homers in the season before he signed that deal with the Yankees in December 2007. In 2008 and 2009 he hit 30 longballs each and last year he managed to hit only 16. Now A-Rod is 36 years old and has 629 homers, 133 behind Bonds.
The Yankees thought Rodriguez had extra value beyond his worth on the field because of his record chase, so it made sense to overpay him at the time. Pujols has worth to the Cardinals beyond his play on the field because he is a St. Louis icon who could be an asset to the club after his playing days should he remain with the Cardinals throughout his career like Stan Musial.
To keep Albert in the mix, Cardinals fans have to hope no one starts throwing around stupid money for an aging player. And so far, so goo.