Cheap Seats

SI: Opposing GMs predict Pujols will re-sign with St. Louis

While Cardinals fans are fretting away about the possibility of Albert Pujols leaving at the end of the season, major league execs think there's nothing for us to worry about.'s Jon Heyman writes:

Three opposing general managers predicted Pujols will sign back with the Cardinals after the year. There won't be any discussions during the season, as the Pujols camp set a hard deadline that didn't yield a contract this spring. But that doesn't mean that their chances are no better than anyone else's. The Cardinals' main offer was for nine years and more than $200 million. Nine years is plenty long but not quite high enough in terms of average annual salary. "Too light,'' one competing agent said of the reported offers. As was the case with Matt Holliday a winter ago, the conventional wisdom is that the Cardinals and Pujols will figure it out once the threat of a Pujols departure is at hand. Pujols is very close to manager Tony La Russa, ingrained in the community and, at this point, part of the Cardinals' brand. So hardly anyone sees them letting him leave.

I hope he's right. But Pujols' hope that the lack of a deal wouldn't make things tense at Busch Stadium seems to be folly. Already fans are hanging on every at bat like it's make or break for his new deal.