The Cardinals seem to still be making an effort to work something out with Pujols as we near the 15 hour mark before he reports to spring training.
According to SI.com's Jon Heyman, the Cardinals have offered their superstar first baseman an eight-year deal worth an undermined amount believed to be less than $30 million a year.
That leaves a lot of room for interpretation. But if it averages $28 million, it seems like that would be a pretty solid overture. That's $234 million and the highest average annual value in major league history.
If the report is true, I am hopeful that the sides are getting close enough that they'll keep talking. If Albert wants to play for the Cardinals for the rest of his career, he has to give at least a little bit. And maybe the compromise is a ninth and a 10th year at club option.
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Make the seasons worth $30 million if the Cardinals pick them up and give Pujols an $8 million buy out for each of them, making the deal potentially woth up to $294 million for 10 years...
Whitey Herzog told Channel 5 earlier today that he believes a deal will be worked out sometime this week -- if not by tomorrow's deadline.
Heyman also reports that Pujols' people asked for an ownership stake in the Cardinals and that the team turned it down.
While there are no rules against it, the Cardinals seem to think the deal would be too complicated and rejected the idea.
I think it's a great idea because we all know that the Cardinals were basically stolen from the brewery. The current owners spent $150 million for the team, old Busch Stadium and the parking garages, then sold the garages for $90 million. That means they paid $60 million for a club that Forbes Magazine now estimates to be worth nearly 10 times that amount.
It seems that giving Albert a stake in the team would be like playing with house money...