Pujols Hopes for Contract Extension, He's not alone

By Aaron Kirn
St. Louis Cardinals Albert Pujols walks to the on deck circle to bat in the third inning against the Colorado Rockies at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on October 3, 2010.   UPI/Bill Greenblatt Photo via Newscom

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) —Albert Pujols hopes to negotiate a contract extension for beyond 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals.

St. Louis exercised a $16 million option for 2011 on Oct. 6 for the three-time NL MVP.

“I hope that before the season begins I get an extension,” the 30-year-old Pujols said during a news conference Thursday.

The team has said there’s no specific timetable for beginning negotiations on a new deal with Pujols, who can be a free agent after next year’s World Series.

Pujols said he wants to spend the rest of his career with the Cardinals, “but that is something that I cannot control.”

Pujols led the NL with 42 home runs, increasing his career total to 408, and won his first league RBIs title with 118. He batted .312, less than a percentage point behind team leader Matt Holliday.

He said it was his best season but was disappointed the Cardinals finished 86-76, five games behind the NL Central champion Cincinnati Reds.

“Personally it was a great season, but I feel bad because my team did not make it to the playoffs,” he said.

Pujols says he wants to be a Cardinals for the rest of his career, but yet it’s out of his control.  That’s not entirely true.  Of course the Cardinals want to sign him and will offer him a long-term contract befitting to a player of his stature.

Signing Holliday to eight years at 16 million proves the front office has a desire to stay competitive for many years to come — something Pujols previously said he wanted.  So then, where’s the line get drawn?  If you’re St. Louis, how much can you afford to give arguably the best player in the game, and still be able to build a solid team around him?  Pujols obviously understands the Cardinals don’t have bottomless pockets but when I hear him say, “it’s out of my control,” I really hear… “Pay Me!”

Colorado Rockies catcher Miguel Olivo is struck in the head with a bat by St. Louis Cardinals Albert Pujols in the first inning in St. Louis on October 1, 2010. Olivo left the game and went to a local hospital to be checked.  UPI/Bill Greenblatt Photo via Newscom

Ultimately, Pujols is in full control of these upcoming negotiations.   Will he be asking for something similar to A-Rod’s ten year 275 million dollar contract?  More?  You know Albert and his agent heard Bobby Cox say he was worth $5o million a year after Ryan Howard got $25 mill…  Thanks Bobby!  (even though it happens to be true you didn’t have to say it)

I’m fully confident the two parties will find a happy medium during the negotiations, and hopefully something will be settled before the 2011 season begins.  Pujols will get his $money$, the Cardinals will keep their superstar, and we can all sit back and watch history unfold before our very eyes in the world’s greatest baseball city.  Doesn’t that sound lovely.

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