Barring unforeseen developments, the two first basemen will receive the most lucrative deals of the offseason. They're both All-Stars and among the best at their position, but one is clearly better than the other.
Pujols is superior, and here's why.
Albert Pujols hit 37 home runs in 2011, but for the first time in his 11-year career, he failed to drive in 100 runs and knock 30 doubles.
Doubters will cite the drop in power numbers as a reason to be wary of Pujols, who they'll also remind you will be 32 years old in January.
They'll say his power will only wane over the span of his next contract.
If you're a Pujols advocate in need of a response, look no further than Pujols' combined September and October numbers.
The three-time MVP belted 10 home runs, drove in 36 runs and recorded 15 doubles in 44 games. He posted a .561 slugging percentage in September before slugging .691 in the playoffs.
Anyone who thinks Pujols is undoubtedly incapable of replicating his 2010 season—in which he hit 42 home runs and 39 doubles while driving in 118 runs and slugging .596—must be delusional.
In 2011, Prince Fielder hit 38 homers and 36 doubles, recorded 120 RBI and slugged .566, besting Albert Pujols across the board.
However, just one season before, Fielder hit 32 homers and 25 doubles while driving in 83 runs and slugging .471.
Over the course of his career, he has two achievements in the power department that Pujols lacks—a 50 home run season and a 140 RBI season.
Because Prince Fielder is four years younger than Albert Pujols, there's reason to think he'll be a better power hitter for a longer span of his upcoming contract.
However, don't let 2011 fool you.
Pujols has career 162 game averages of 42 home runs and 126 home runs, while Fielder is at 37 and 106.
Though he'll be 32 years old on Opening Day, Pujols could still have four—maybe more—seasons of 35-plus home runs and 100-plus RBI.
If his performance over the final two months of the season proved anything, it's that Pujols is still one of the best power hitters in baseball.
For the first time in his 11-year career, Albert Pujols hit below .300.
Still, if you think he's less formidable at the plate because he hit .299, you're mistaken.
Would Ron Washington have intentionally walked Pujols—the go-ahead run—with two outs in the 10th inning of Game 6 with Lance Berkman on deck if he didn't revere the three-time MVP?
Pujols struggled to a .231 batting average through 2011's first 30 games—April, essentially, prevented him from hitting closer to his .328 career clip.
From May 4 through the end of the regular season, Pujols hit .316 with 28 doubles and just 45 strikeouts. He proceeded to hit .353 in the postseason.
Additionally, Pujols' BABIP hit a career low of .277, which means he had the worst luck of his career.
Prince Fielder matched Albert Pujols' .299 average this season, but he's an inferior hitter historically—his career .282 average is 46 points below Pujols'.
Just one season ago, Fielder hit .261.
He has fanned at least 106 times each season since becoming an everyday player in 2006.
This isn't even close.
Albert Pujols is a career .328 hitter while Prince Fielder holds a .282 average and strikes out nearly twice as frequently—career 162 game average of 126 to Pujols' 67.
In 2011, Albert Pujols committed 11 errors and posted a .992 fielding percentage.
His UZR was much lower than its peak of 24.7 in 2007, but Pujols was still 2.4 runs better than the average first baseman in 2011.
Prince Fielder committed 15 errors and posted a .990 fielding percentage in 2011.
According to UZR, Fielder was 5.1 runs worse than the average first baseman, and since 2006, no qualified first baseman has a UZR below Fielder's minus-36.5—kind of ironic, considering his last name.
Considering that Prince Fielder has the worst UZR—minus-36.5—of any qualified first baseman since 2006 and was 7.5 runs worse than Albert Pujols in 2011, this is a no-brainer.
Oh, also, Pujols leads all first baseman since 2006 with a 53.6 UZR.
Fielder is in his prime now, which doesn't bode well for his future as an overweight defender.
If he's well below average now, how much worse will he become as he ages?
Albert Pujols has led the St. Louis Cardinals to the playoffs in seven of his 11 seasons, playing in 15 total series and accumulating a career .330 average, 18 home runs and 52 RBI.
En route to his second World Series ring, Pujols hit .353 with five jacks and 16 RBI this postseason.
Prince Fielder has been to the postseason twice.
In three series, he's a .192 hitter with four homers and eight RBI.
He hit .278 in the Milwaukee Brewers' 2011 NLDS win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, but in series losses Fielder has reverted to a shell of the All-Star he is.
He hit .200 as the Brewers fell to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2011 NLCS and provided a 1-for-14 dud in the 2008 NLDS loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Albert Pujols is a two-time champion, and although he has had the opportunity to play in more postseasons, his numbers are far superior to Prince Fielder's.
So far, Fielder has shown a tendency to fade under the pressure while Pujols has excelled.
Albert Pujols isn't better than Prince Fielder in every facet of the game.
Fielder has been more durable—since becoming an everyday player, he has never appeared in fewer than 157 games, while Pujols hasn't cracked 150 games three times in his career.
Opponents also elected to intentionally walk him a league-high 32 times in 2011, while Pujols only drew 15 intentional walks.
However, don't read too much into that stat—of course pitchers would rather face Casey McGeehee than Fielder while they wouldn't necessarily award Pujols first base with Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman on deck.
Fielder's most hefty advantage is his age—he'll turn 28 years old in May while Pujols will be 32 in January. But how valuable is a 28-year-old who can't play the field?