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SI: Cards pushing for Pujols pact of less than $200 million

According to a report on, the Cardinals are trying to limit Albert Pujols' new contract to less than $200 million in total value and a maximum length of seven years.

The length I can see. But I have a hard time imagining a contract for Pujols under $200 million in total value when he's the best player in the game and another guy already has a deal that could pay him more than $300 million. Even if a seven-year, $196 million contract sounds pretty good to you and me, there is going to be a lot of pressure on Pujols not to deal a serious blow to the baseball pay scale by taking two-thirds of what the best player in the game got three years ago.

When you're the top man in the business, it carries a lot more weight if you take less. Everyone else in line is going to hear "how can you ask for that much when Pujols is only getting this much?"

Pujols' people want his contract to be based on Alex Rodriguez's 10-year, $275-million Yankees pact. But St. Louis Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. argues that A-Rod's contract is ridiculous and that it basically shouldn't be a factor in negotiations.

I have pegged my guestimate at $210-$240 million over eight years to sign Pujols. If they gave him seven guaranteed years at $28 million and a $14 million buy out for an eighth year that would add up to $210 million. I stick by my thoughts that the $210 million total is a minimum standard for getting a deal done.

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