Albert Pujols is scheduled to be a free agent after this season is over. He claims that he will not give the Cardinals a discount like he did last time when he got a huge contract. Pujols wants a new deal in place before spring training is scheduled to start and he is seeking a 10 year $300 million deal.
Pujols is now a 31 year old first baseman. He has achieved a lot in his career. He has had 100+ RBIs and 30+ homeruns every year of his professional career. He has basically carried the Cardinal offense for the last few years, but is he really worth $30 million a year? I personally think he isn't worth that much money.
For all the great things that Pujols does, he can't pitch every 5th day, he can't close out ballgames on the mound and he cannot play two positions at one time in the same game. If the Cardinals sign him to the big deal he craves, they would cripple their franchise and ensure that they would be a losing franchise for a long time. If the Cardinals are smart, they will let Pujols move on if they cannot agree to a contract.
The plan of action would be to attempt to trade Pujols before the trade deadline and get some pieces in return for him. If the Cardinals let him walk after the season, they won't be able to get the maximum amount for him in return. The Cardinals can take the prospects and the freed up money and go get a replacement for Pujols in the free agent market. They would be able to fill more holes with the money freed up. Also, at the end of the proposed deal, Pujols will be 41 and the fact of the matter is that not many players play to the level of their contract after they get in their upper 30s, let alone early 40s.
I'm a Pujols fan and I applaud what he has done in his career, but for him to think that he can sign for 30 million a year in St. Louis and still be playing for a contending team is crazy. The only way he could do that is if he plays for the Yankees or Red Sox, and both teams have their first basemen in Mark Texiera and Adrian Gonzalez respectively.