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ESPN: Cubs unlikely to spend for Pujols

During the Sunday night broadcast of the Cardinals game against the Rockies ESPN's Buster Olney said he has heard that the Cubs are skittish about spending a bunch of money on one player this offseason.

And that would almost certainly rule out a bid for St. Louis superstar Albert Pujols.

The Cubs have been burned by the mega contracts of Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Zambrano to name a couple. So they're not surprisingly reluctant to mortgage the future once again.

Meanwhile, the ESPN crew noted during the broadcast that St. Louis GM John Mozeliak told them when Pujols cut off negotiations in the spring that meant, as far is the club is concerned, that they're nine-year, $210-million offer was off the table and talks would start from scratch at the end of this season.

I've been spending some time as we near the end of the season thinking about what I would offer Pujols if I was in charge of the Cardinals purse strings. And I think six years would be about my limit.

I wish Pujols would be mindful of the ability to put a supporting cast around him and take a little bit less than the supposed $30 million a year he wanted. If I was Mozeliak I would certainly spend $150 million for six seasons. If he really wants to earn the most pay per year I'd give him $32 million a season -- for three years -- and only if he would agree to defer $7 million per season interest free.

I'm pegging the Cardinals at about $115 million per season, and it's going to evaporate fast:

$25 million for Pujols plus $17 million for Holliday is $42 million right there. Then, if the Cardinals can't trade Kyle Lohse or Jake Westbrook, that's another $22 million. More than half the money is gone. And You still have to pay Wainwright $9 million and decide what to do with Chris Carpenter and Lance Berkman.

But the saving grace for the Redbirds is that the whole bullpen, centerfield, third base and the bench is filled with half million dollar players.