Cheap Seats

Pujols: No autographs

In what basically amounts to a rehash of a story that first appeared a month ago, ESPN deportes reports that:

1) Albert Pujols is in no hurry to sign a contract extension, regardless of the Cardinals desire to do so, and...

2) That money isn't the most important thing. Pujols said he wants to play on a team that gives him a chance to win every year.

In the choppy, translated story, Pujols confirms that Cardinals GM John Mozeliak called him last week to try to open contract extension negotiations but that he basically said he was in no rush to get a new deal done. I guess when you already have a $100-million contract and all sorts of endorsement cash that your next paycheck might not be the biggest priority.

blog post photo

Cardinals superstar Albert Pujols plans to take his time pondering his future. AP photo.

I wonder if Pujols wonders about the tight spot he is putting the Cardinals in as they try to anticipate what he means when he says he wants to be on a team that has a chance to win every year and that money isn't the most important thing.

First, what is a team that has a chance to win? Is it a large market team that can erase it's mistakes with a limitless checkbook? Or is it playing for a team that has made the playoffs seven times in the last 10 years, including six division titles, two league championships and a World Series win?

I don't know if that is a threat from Pujols that the Cardinals better go out and sign Matt Holliday to a contract extension at any cost and he'll take some money out of his future earning to help subsidize it or if it means that he doesn't think the Cardinals can afford to pay him and a guy like Holliday... So they might as well get rid of him...

To Pujols, I'm sure there is no urgency. But at what point do the Cardinals have to entertain trading him so they don't lose him with virtually nothing in return? Two years may seem like a long way off. But the guy has an elbow problem that could put him on the shelf for nine months if he needs to have it surgically repaired.  The time to trade him could come sooner than later. But could you imagine the Redbirds trading Stan Musial?

In the story, Pujols said he plans in the next week or so to get an MRI on the elbow, which some blame for his ending the season without hitting a homer in his last 90 or so at bats, to see what is going on with it.

He also said that he was shocked to see the Cardinals kicked out of the playoffs by Los Angeles. But, regardless of the power packed rosters of the Yankees and the Phillies, he sees the Dodgers or Angels winning the World Series.