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It’s not hard to understand why Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals are far apart in contract talks. Pujols is the best player on the planet, and wants to be paid like it, while the Cardinals have already committed significant money to other players and may not be able to afford Pujols’ demands.It is unfathomable that the Cardinals would insult Pujols with such a low ball offer. Original reports indicated that the Cardinals were willing to give Pujols the 10th most lucrative deal ever, and today Yahoo! Sports’ Tim Brown reported that the Cardinals’ offer was slightly better than Mark Teixeira’s eight-year, $180 million pact with the Yankees.
Obviously, that kind of money is nothing to scoff at. But the way sports work today, a financial offer so far below a player’s market value is usually taken as an insult. Pujols is adamant that he’s not greedy and doesn’t need every extra dollar, but you can bet his agent has made him aware of where the Cardinals’ offer stands in comparison to other current and recent players. Pujols is better than all of them, and he knows it. Pujols may never get the $300 million he wants, but he should easily get well over $200 million.
So why would the Cardinals make that kind of offer? St. Louis is probably hoping for some kind of hometown discount, and could get one, but this is too much. Pujols wants to be a Cardinal, but not at any old price.
It seems odd that St. Louis would be holding its best offer until next winter when Pujols can be courted by other teams. So it’s possible that this low ball deal is the most the Cardinals feel that they can afford.