SI.com's Jon Heyman predicts that Cardinals free agent first baseman Albert Pujols will get $220 million for nine years when all is said and done with his toe dipping into the free market.
If that becomes reality, it would probably be pretty good news for the Redbirds who are said to have offered their superstar $195-$210 million in February. Those totals aren't too far off from what the Birds have already said they could afford to pay -- although GM John Mozeliak is on the record as saying that the Cardinals would start the bidding process from scratch, not from where they left off before.
I still wonder if it makes more sense to offer Pujols $200 million for eight years instead of $220 for nine. It's good for the Cardinals to go eight years at a higher annual value to cut the overall cost of the deal a bit. And it would be good for Pujols to take the slightly shorter deal because it has a higher annual value which makes his salary look higher relative to other players.
Heyman predicts fellow Cardinals free agent Edwin Jackson will command a three-year contract for about $36 million and that St. Louis unrestricted shortstop Rafael Furcal will score a two-year deal totalling about $14 million.
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I don't think the Cardinals have much interest in Jackson because they already have five starters under contract and three or four other guys including Lance Lynn, Mitchell Boggs and Kyle McClellan who could fill a rotation spot in a pinch. And that price for an aging Furcal seems to be a little bit steep.