Baseball execs have informed FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal that negotiations between the Cardinals and prized slugger Albert Pujols are not going well. The Cards are supposedly balking at Pujols' asking price, which is believed to be in the range of the whomping 10 year, 275 million dollar deal the Yankees gave Alex Rodriguez. However, the Cardinals are not the Yankees, and are going to have to dig very deep to offer a deal like that.
The team is frustrated that Pujols’ aggressive negotiating stance does not match his public declarations of loyalty. Pujols, however, has been paid below market value for virtually his entire career.
Pujols accolades include three NL MVPs, nine All-Star game appearances, and a World Series victory. He has been a model player from a front office standpoint. He never complains to the media about management or about his contract, and is an active citizen in the St. Louis area... aka "a franchise player."
If the deadline passes without a deal and the Pujols team stands firm on the deadline, things will get very interesting this season as teams prepare for a potential run at the 31 year old slugger. The Cubs, Mets, Dodgers, Angels, and Blue Jays could all make serious runs at the first baseman, an event that would certainly surpass A-Rod's record deal.
I still think the Cardinals and Pujols will get a deal done. But if they don't, the 2011-2012 would be a very exciting offseason, especially if there is no football because of the impending, rather imminent, lockout.