Chicago is spinning with excitement for next off-season, and they haven't even been eliminated yet. Albert Pujols will become a free agent after the conclusion of this season, and some clubs have the rival right in their cross hairs. The Cardinals were unable to strike a deal with their current face of the organization and will now have to compete for his work. Pujols was reportedly seeking a 10-year, 300-million dollar contract and the Cardinals were unwilling to match it. Should the Cubs do what the Cardinals didn't?
Think back a few years, Cub fans. Does this ring a bell? Middle-aged superstar searching for a lot of cash along with many years? Reminds me a little bit of a speedy, second baseman (now outfielder) named Alfonso Soriano. That deal hasn't exactly panned out for the Friendly Confines. Should the Cubs take the risk again?
Obviously Soriano isn't Pujols; they are extraordinarily different players and talents. Almost nothing between them is similar except that they both have the capability to hit for power. Currently, Pujols is regarded as the best player in baseball by many analysts, managers, fans, and fellow players. He is also 31. Assuming the Cubs, or any team, gives Pujols his desired contract, he would be 41 by the time it runs up. What are the odds that Pujols is still on the upturn at 31? His talents should, unless he actually is a machine like his nickname suggests, be dwindling.
If the Cubs can find a way to pay Pujols enough money per year for him to drop his contract to four or five years, then it would be an excellent deal. Get a veteran who can lead your team to long lost glory? Perfect. On top of that, you take away your in-division rival's best player and soul of the team. How much better could the Cubs have it?
It seems the Cubs are noticing their opportunity after they signed first basemen Carlos Pena to a one year, ten million dollar contract. There will be salary available and a gap at first base, Pujols' position.
However, Chicago probably shouldn't get too far ahead of itself. There are still 162 games left to be played before this is even an issue. The wait has begun and it's going to be a long stretch before it's over, and that's exactly what all baseball fans will be doing; waiting.