Albert Pujols was born on January 16, 1980, or so he and the St. Louis Cardinals would have us all believe. Pujols was born in the Dominican Republic, though, and would not move to the United States until 1996. Because of the negligent (and frequently downright deceitful) methods of record-keeping in the Dominican Republic when it comes to dates of birth, Pujols' age is therefore in question. In fact, numerous key figures in baseball today believe Pujols to be 33 or 34 years old, rather than 31.
The question is not moot, since Pujols has made clear he wants a 10-year contract that would carry him into his 40s even if his birth date is accurate. If he is only 31, that demand might be reasonable: Alex Rodriguez's current contract will carry him through his 42nd birthday. If Pujols is older, though, it introduces a lot of variables into the equation for would-be suitors. Let's examine what's at stake.