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There has been a lot of debate recently about what Albert Pujols will make in his next contract.Pujols, who will be a free agent following the 2011 season, may soon cut off negotiations with the Cardinals, guaranteeing he will test the free agency waters next winter.
The question then becomes: if Pujols does become a free agent next winter, is he better off? Maybe not.
A player like Pujols would typically rely on a big market club to up his value on the free agent market. But as of now, the number of big market clubs that might be interested looks to be pretty small. Let’s take a look..
New York Yankees: The Yankees, a team that typically gets involved whether they want to or not, have Mark Teixeira signed at first base through 2016. In theory, Pujols or Teixeira could move to DH, but the Yankees have several other ageing veterans that need time at that spot. (Plus, even they wouldn’t give A-Rod, “A-Rod money” again.) So the one team that Pujols’ agents need in the bidding, won’t be there…ZERO INTEREST
Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox just traded for Adrian Gonzalez, who is expected to sign an extension worth in excess of $150 million. And even if for some reason that extension (designed to circumvent the luxury tax) never comes to fruition, the Sox still have Kevin Youkilis signed through the 2012 season with a 2013 team option. In other words, don’t look for the Sox to bid on Pujols…ZERO INTEREST
Philadelphia Phillies: Ryan Howard is signed through the 2016 season…ZERO INTEREST
New York Mets: The Mets could see a $50 million drop in payroll next season. But with Ike Davis at first base, the Madoff Mess still hovering and lawsuits now trickling in, one has to wonder if the Mets will have any money to invest in players next season…HIGHLY UNLIKELY
Detroit Tigers: Miguel Cabrera is signed through the 2015 season at more than $21 million per season. So unless he or Pujols is willing to DH on a regular basis, the Tigers seem…UNLIKELY
Chicago White Sox: The Sox have Paul Konerko locked in through the 2013 season at more than $12 million per season. And they just signed Adam Dunn, who will DH and can also play first base, through the 2014 season at $14 million per year…ZERO INTEREST
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim near Disneyland: The Angels were unwilling to spend big bucks on Crawford, when they desperately needed an outfielder. So while the Angels will be interested, it doesn’t seem likely that would be willing to give Pujols anything close to what Alex Rodriguez is making…INTEREST, BUT NO MONEY
Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles: The Dodgers will need a first baseman, but when was the last time they gave out a big contract? And with the ownership still in question, there is little chance they will open up the vault for Pujols…UNLIKELY
Chicago Cubs: This is the team most likely to land Pujols if he leaves the Cardinals. And while the Cubbies have deep pockets, one has to wonder who they would be bidding against? Certainly the Cardinals will be involved. But is that enough to get Pujols $300 million? Probably not…YES, BUT AT WHAT PRICE?