Word out of St. Louis today is that the Cardinals and Albert Pujols have ended talks on a contract extension.
This means that the slugger will become a free agent following the upcoming MLB season.
Teams should be chomping at the bit to potentially lure one of the best players in the game to their city. Expect some huge deals to be throw nhis way following 2011.
But where will Pujols land? Which teams can we see him playing for? Check inside to find out.
How could a bottom feeder such as the Nationals contend to land one of the most prized free agents of all time?
By their young cast of players and their willingness to spend loads of cash.
The Nationals have been trying desperately to become relevant in baseball, and signing Pujols will surely accomplish that.
If they can put Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and Albert Pujols together, it would be one hell of a team.
Pujols would add excitement, interest and most importantly runs to the young team.
Yes they have Ryan Howard, but they have also never shied away from acquiring too many big name players. Besides, Howard began to show a slight decline last season and Pujols would still be an upgrade over him.
The Phillies have been eager to spend over the past seasons as they acquired Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt. They have been able to afford it thanks to the successful seasons turned in by these acquisitions.
Adding Pujols to this team would easily make them the favorites out of the National League.
The Angels were willing to throw enormous amounts of money during this past offseason but were turned away by every suitor.
They are looking to make moves.
At the end of 2011 they have Bobby Abreu and Scott Kazmir's expiring contracts to free up money for the signing. They also have Torii Hunter whose contract expires in 2012.
The Angels are always a strong team, and by adding Pujols they will ensure that they are a force to be reckoned with out west for years to come.
The reigning World Series champions were able to capture the title despite coming in at 17th in runs scored.
Their offense was never terrible but it sure wasn't a bright spot on the team. Signing Pujols changes that.
Another deep postseason run in 2011 could help bring in the necessary funds to sign the St. Louis slugger, which would make them serious contenders for multiple years.
Their pitching has proven to be solid but to begin appearing in the playoffs year after year, they need to improve offensively.
The Mets look like one of the prime candidates to land Pujols but they are currently marred in a pending lawsuit over the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme.
That is a humongous "but" though.
The Mets are constantly trying to escape the Yankees shadow and by signing Pujols, they would surely accomplish that.
They have a history of spending big bucks for big name free agents. Everything fits into place.
Except for that lawsuit.
By all accounts Albert Pujols loves playing in the state of Missouri.
He has set up his family there. He loves the people. So why would he move?
The Royals are typically at the bottom of their division, but by adding Pujols, that would instantly change. Suddenly teams would have to respect them. They already have a bevy of young talented prospects as well.
It may not be on many MLB fans radars, but the Royals could very well land one of the best hitters in the game.
Lately many fans have linked the new age Red Sox to the New York Yankees.
The Red Sox have gone from the lovable losers that everyone was familiar with to a multi-million dollar team that spends way too much on established players.
The Red Sox already have a valuable first basemen in Adrian Gonzalez, but that shouldn't stop them from going after Pujols.
Pujols can easily switch to third base, designated hitter or outfielder if it bests suits the team.
Whether or not the Red Sox truly need him doesn't matter. If you have a chance to land a player of Pujols' caliber, you do it.
After having to deal with Albert Pujols throughout his entire career, the Cubs should be well aware of what he can accomplish.
The Cubs have a ton of money being freed up after 2011 and may be in the need of a first baseman as well. That works out perfectly if they want to sign Pujols.
By signing Prince Albert, they give themselves the best opportunity to win a title and I'm sure Cubs fans would like to see that.
It doesn't matter if the Yankees say they won't go after him. It doesn't matter if they say they don't need him.
Given the Yankees history of spending, and spending big, you always have to factor them into free agent talks, especially with someone of Albert Pujols' caliber.
There really is no need for an explanation here.
The Yankees are known to spend lots of money on very good players. Pujols is a very good player looking for a lot of money. Do the math.
In the end, I think both parties need and love the other too much for them to separate.
Pujols has spent his entire career with the Cardinals and has mentioned how much he loves the city many times.
Going anywhere else would just seem weird for Pujols.
On the other hand, the Cardinals absolutely need him to stay relevant in the National League. He has too much history with the team and the fans love him.
Everything just makes too much sense for him to go elsewhere. There may be close calls along the way, but at the end of the day, Pujols should remain a Cardinal.