Addressing the Albert Pujols To the Yankees in 2011 or 2012 Rumors

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IJanuary 5, 2010

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 10:  Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals reacts to a strike called in the sixth inning against Los Angeles in Game Three of the NLDS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Busch Stadium on October 10, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

So there have been quite a few rumors going around about some certain player lately possibly heading to the Bronx next winter.

He plays first base for the Cardinals and may be the best player in the game today.

Still can't figure it out? Shame on you, it's Albert Pujols.

That's right, rumors have been running rampant about the Yankees being interested in Pujols for the 2011 or 2012 season, when he becomes a free agent.

So, how did all of this start, might one ask? Some columnist in Chicago.

Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune wrote a column this past week stating that the Yankees are keeping their DH spot open because the Yankees would be open to signing Pujols or possibly trading for him.

I know, Mark Teixiera, Alex Rodriguez, and Albert Pujols all in the same lineup? Only in MLB 09: The Show has that been possible, but this is also the Yankees we are talking about.

The Yankees have the payroll to acquire major players if needed, and still have some prospects left to make trades.

Rogers also suggested that the Yankees would also monitor the statuses of Joe Mauer, Adrian Gonzalez and Prince Fielder, all of which would become free agents after the 2010 season.

What a free agent class of possible Mauer, Fielder, Gonzalez and maybe even Pujols.

Now Pujols does make $16 million in 2010 and the Cardinals hold a $16 million dollar option for 2011, but Pujols wants a contract extension and if it doesn't get done by next fall, it might change things with Pujols in St. Louis.

What if a contract extension doesn't get done with Pujols and the Cardinals? Does Pujols demand out, or would it just be a ploy? If he would really want out, there's not too many teams who could afford Pujols, who could command A-Rod like money ($27.5-$33 million per season.)

Except for the Yankees. They could.

ESPN's Buster Olney feels that because the Yankees are invested in Teixeira for the next seven years and A-Rod for the next eight years, something dramatic like an unexpected retirement or a career-ending injury would have to happen in order for Pujols to land in the Bronx.

Derek Jeter's contract is also up after the 2010 season and most figure the Yankees will negotiate to keep Jeter in pinstripes for the remainder of his career. Who knows what Jeter will ask for per season, but considering what Jeter has done, it will be at any price he wants.

Mariano Rivera's contract is also up after the 2010 season. It's been rumored that Rivera would end his career after the 2010 season, but even Mariano isn't sure if it is his final year or not.

Plus, Jorge Posada will have one more year left on his contract in the 2011 season, and his future as a catcher will be unknown.

So a lot of things make the Pujols to the Bronx rumor a big if. Right now, it looks unlikely.

If I were a betting man, I'd put more money on the Yankees looking to maybe get Mauer, pending he doesn't resign with the Twins if they move Posada to the DH spot in 2011.

But, then again, this is still Albert Pujols we are talking about here. This isn’t an easy person to pass up on.

Nobody thought they would ever see A-Rod in pinstripes either, and one pickup basketball game by Aaron Boone followed by a season-ending broken leg took care of that.

Right now it seems like a major longshot, but in the future, anything can happen.

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