A column by Yahoo Sports writer Jeff Passan considers the possible landing spots for several top free agents. And the consensus is that there really just isn't any place for Pujols to go besides St. Louis.
In fact, it quotes the ubiquitous unidentified major league executive as saying that the chances Pujols remains in Cardinals red at 100 percent.
Passan pegs Pujols' problem as two-fold: First, nobody wants to be the team that re-sets the free agent contract bar with a mega deal that will be the focus of baseball analysts for its length ala the $250-million, 10-year contract the Rangers dropped on Alex Rodriguez a while back. Second, Passan said, there just aren't many teams out there for whom Pujols would be willing to play that could afford to pay him a top dollar deal.
The Rangers and Nationals remain the most likely clubs who could pay the big bucks. But Texas needs pitching more than it needs another bat. While Pujols would certainly be a big offensive contributor, how much could he really help when the Rangers have the second-highest ranked offense in baseball? And, while the Nationals have been stockpiling talent, Pujols would still have to take a leap of faith that DC can build and maintain a club that could regularly defeat the Phillies and Braves.
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In the meantime the Cubs are rumored today to be fielding offers for pitcher Matt Garza which would seem to indicate that they're heading directly into rebuilding mode. So that likely takes them off the list. And let's not forget that all of the team that could make a bid for Pujols just as easily could fill a first base hole with Prince Fielder.
In St. Louis Albert is the main man. In all of the other potential landing spots he's going to be the guy who has to justify the mega deal. What has he done for St. Louis lately? How about a .329 career batting average with about 35 homers and 115 ribbies a year, two rings, three MVP awards and six seasons in the playoffs. What has he done for the others? Nothing.