Albert Pujols Free Agent Rumors: 5 Craziest Contract Stories We've Heard

Seth JohanssonCorrespondent ISeptember 20, 2011

Albert Pujols Free Agent Rumors: 5 Craziest Contract Stories We've Heard

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    With three weeks left in MLB's regular season, the Albert Pujols sweepstakes are about to begin.

    What's going to make these contract discussions so compelling is the contract Pujols finally signs may be the largest in MLB history.

    Although Alex Rodriguez currently holds the two top records for largest contracts ever signed (10 years, $275 million with the Yankees in 2008, and 10 years, $252 million with the Rangers in 2001), ARod's records will be challenged for monetary supremacy by the amount of money "The Machine" will garner this winter.

    However, instead of calculating the list of where Pujols may end up and why, here's a look at the craziest, most outlandish contract rumors and scenarios the Pujols rumor mill has already produced.

Pujols Contract Will Exceed $300 Million Dollars

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    ESPN's Jayson Stark reported back in February that the eventual Pujols deal may exceed $300 million over a 10-year span.

    Needless to say, that scenario is unlikely to happen at this point with Pujols posting some of his lowest statistical totals of his career this year. Then again, Albert Pujols' worst year looks a lot like most MLB stars' best year.

    Still, the problem lies in logistics.

    Exactly who, in this economy, could afford Albert Pujols at $30 million a year for 10 years? The Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies, you say? Eh, maybe. But all three are set at their first base position, so that's unlikely.

    Potential Pujols suitor, the Florida Marlins, aren't likely to pony up that kind of money either—even if they are suggesting they want to make a big splash in their new stadium by landing an elite-level player.

    And with the financial woes both the LA Dodgers and LA Angels are facing at this point, I don't see the $300 million coming from either of them.

    So, as you can see...oh wait. The Cubs. Would they be crazy enough to actually do it?

    I may not put it past them.

La Russa, Jocketty and Pujols: Reunited in Chicago

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    Everybody loves a conspiracy theory.

    So why does the rumor that Albert Pujols may sign with the Chicago Cubs because former Cards GM—still unhired Cubs GM—Walt Jocketty, current Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and Pujols all want to reunite in Chicago sound so crazy?

    Well, with the Chicago Cubs firing of GM Jim Hendry in August, Tony La Russa being rumored to possibly leave St. Louis after the 2011 season, and Pujols being rumored to sign with the Cubs this winter, maybe it's not so crazy after all.

    On second thought: yes, that's crazy.

Despite Broke Owner/No Owner, Dodgers Will Be Players to Land Pujols

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    You may not be completely up on your Baseball Finance 101 homework if you don't understand how a broke owner can afford to pay a $300 million contract—to say nothing of the rest of the players' salaries.

    That's okay, I don't understand it either.

    In any case, word coming out of LA is Dodgers GM Ned Colletti may have alluded to a possible deal for Albert Pujols when he was quoted as saying

    "I say the most dramatic way we can improve the offense, that would be the way we would go."

    Whether or not he was talking about Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder is immaterial. The craziest storyline is that the Dodgers really could be a player in the Pujols lottery.

    Clearly I deserve an F if I can't see that move gaining traction.

Marlins Pay Pujols More Than Rest of Team Combined

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    Ah, Albert. It must be great to be you. Look at that smile. What a winner.

    But if you're making more than the entire Florida Marlins roster in 2012, you ought to be ashamed of yourself, sir!

    Don't think it's possible?

    The Marlins total 2011 payroll was $56 million. If Pujols were to make $300 million over 10 years...well, maybe he won't make more than the entire team! Either way, Pujols would be making a boatload of money while future MLB stars, Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison, would be making comparative beans at around $400K per year.

    But could it happen?

    According to some rumors, yes. The Florida Marlins, apparently wanting to make a big splash with the unveiling of their new home in 2012, would be in the Pujols sweepstakes in hopes of igniting a fanbase that has ignored their franchise despite two World Series titles in a seven-year span.

    And perhaps it's not as crazy as it sounds. After all, just one year ago the Washington Nationals surprised every one with their behemoth contract they offered to Jayson Werth.

    Stranger things have happened, I suppose.

Prince Fielder Is Actually the Bigger Fish in This Pond

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    Prince Fielder is probably not the same caliber of talent as Albert Pujols—I imagine few would argue that point. But at this point in his career isn't Fielder more attractive than Pujols in terms of a long-term contract?

    Before the season began, it seemed a foregone conclusion that Pujols would collect top-rate money and that, as a result, the Fielder contract would be scaled appropriately. But speculation has abounded for months that maybe Fielder really is the more valuable investment at this point in his career.

    In my estimation, it's really no contest at all.

    Prince Fielder absolutely is the more valuable commodity in terms of a long-term deal. Sure, they always say, he is only four years younger than Albert Pujols, but that will probably be half of the entire length of the contract. And while Pujols is on the plus-side of 30, Fielder is just now entering his peak years of MLB stardom.

    We will find out this winter. Stay tuned.