Albert Pujols is being offered an eight-year deal worth over $200 million, according to a report from Sports Illustrated. The three-time MVP has given the Cardinals a deadline lasting until Wednesday, to offer him a contract that he would sign, if it matched what he is looking for.
The current proposed contract would average out to over $25 million a season, almost identical to the deal Alex Rodriguez currently has with the New York Yankees.
Still, many people around baseball believe Pujols deserves a contract that nears $30 million a year, meaning that the Cardinals are offering him nearly $5 million less than what he supposedly should be getting.
Another factor in these talks is whether or not the MLB Players Union will block Pujols from signing a contract with the Cardinals worth significantly less than what other teams are willing to offer. The union wants to "raise the bar" of where professional baseball players' salaries should be and Pujols accepting a deal worth only $25 million a season would go against what the union wants.
However, Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee recently proved that it is still possible to accept a smaller contract in order to sign with a player's most desired team. Lee was being offered more money by the Yankees and Rangers in his free agency but decided to accept a five-year, $120 million deal that placed him on an already excellent pitching rotation.
Pujols is entering the last year of his current seven-year, $100 million contract and has had some of the most proficient seasons of any hitter in baseball history, in the contract's span of time. His time with the Cardinals has been highlighted by nine All-Star appearances, three NL MVP honors and, above all, a World Series title.
There is no indication of whether or not Pujols will agree to the Cardinals' offer within the next few hours, but if he doesn't, this deal will at least stand as a benchmark of where he wants the contract to be.