Dream with me for a moment, folks.
With the additions of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, the Boston Red Sox need another right-handed bat in their lineup.
At the ripe old age of 32 (in 2012) the most deserving, soon to be highest paid player ever in the game of professional baseball, Albert Pujols will fill that hole nicely.
The era of the new “evil empire” will officially begin, and somehow, I don’t think Boston fans will mind that moniker, as several Beantown World Series titles will be sure to follow.
It has often been talked about, but if it has ever actually occurred, I’ve never seen it: A home run hit over the 37’ Green Monster at Fenway Park, over Lansdowne Street, over the buildings that neighbor the Cask and Flagon pub and onto the Massachusetts turnpike.
Have you seen it?
I never saw Manny Ramirez do it; never saw David Ortiz take it the other way like that; Adrian Gonzalez (though a great opposite field hitter) probably won’t be able to fill this request, seeing as how he will become a favorite of Pesky’s Pole.
So, the only way I see it happening is if Boston brings another big time right-handed slugger to the Fens. You can be sure Boston brass will be attempting this in 2012 with Mr. Albert Pujols.
The beauty of it to Red Sox fans, John Henry and Theo Epstein is that it won’t cost them a single prospect or current player, just a truck load of something they have plenty of: cash.
After this upcoming season, the Red Sox will be unloading the hefty contracts of Jonathan Papelbon ($12 million/year), J.D. Drew ($14 million/year) and David Ortiz ($12.5 million/year).
Pap and Drew will be replaced with the equally as good Daniel Bard and Ryan Kalish. The loss of David Ortiz will force the Red Sox to find a viable alternative at the designated hitter spot.
Hmmm, who is a good hitter that might be available in 2012? Anyone? Anyone?
Pujols, the absolute best player in baseball, wants a 10-year contract reportedly paying around $30 million/year. Well, the Red Sox will soon knock $38.5 mil off their books.
Bard is currently making less than half-a-mil and thus certainly won’t be earning anywhere in the neighborhood of what his jig-dancing predecessor is earning in 2011. Kalish will be happy he’s even standing on the right field grass at Fenway, thus I could probably pay his future salary—actually, probably not, but you can bet your ass it won’t be the $14 million/year that J.D. Drew is getting paid to nurse injuries.
So, what all of this tells me is that the Red Sox will easily have cleared enough room to pay what Pujols is asking. Plus, Boston will still have Benjamins, C-notes, paper and green-backs (I feel like “The Saver” on those Esurance commercials) left over without hurting the core of their, currently favored to win the World Series, team.
Now seeing as how I am not Theo Epstein, nor is my bank account as deep as John Henry’s, I cannot presume to know what they will have to shell out for other players over the course of the rest of a 10-year Pujols contract.
What I can tell you is that at the DH position, Pujols will be able to perform at his usual high level for much longer than if he were also playing in the field. Plus, if ever necessary, Pujols would give Boston that extra first baseman to spell Gonzo without having to move Youk from third and bring a back-up into the picture.
This just seems like an absolute no-brainer. I can quite possibly be very, very wrong here, so please point out the flaws of my logic in the comment section, but why do professional players play?
I believe the answer is to win championships.
And with the additions of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez, the Boston Red Sox are certainly favorites to win the ALCS this year.
Don’t you think if Pujols was added to that lineup that they might just be favorites to win the World Series in 2012, as well as 2013, 2014, 2015? You get my point.
Even the Yankees don’t give Pujols as good an opportunity to win the World Series. I couldn’t imagine Pujols ever leaving St. Louis, but then the self-imposed deadline came and went and the Cards rumored best offer was almost laughable, considering Pujols is the face of their franchise and the best baseball player in the world.
The bottom line is that professional baseball is a business and with Pujols in a Sox uniform Boston’s business would be booming.
Henry would make more than enough money to cover Pujols’ salary every year in jersey sales, memorabilia sales and additional gate money for playoff and World Series games. Plus, let’s not forget all of the extra chedd(ah) that will be lining his pockets with every World Series championship banner that proudly gets displayed in Fenway Park.
This is the next Babe Ruth moment for Boston, except this time they have a shot at being on the receiving end.
The “reverse the curse” sign that hung over Storrow Drive along the Charles River for so many years could very well be headed to a new home in St. Louis.