Albert Pujols: 5 Reasons Slugger Will Now Leave the St. Louis Cardinals

Robert Knapel@@RobertKnapel_BRCorrespondent IOctober 29, 2011

Albert Pujols: 5 Reasons Slugger Will Now Leave the St. Louis Cardinals

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    Once the celebration ends in St. Louis for their World Series victory over the Texas Rangers, there will be more uncertainty than ever about Albert Pujols' future with the St. Louis Cardinals.

    Pujols collected his second ring with the club and now he may be gone. The next few months will be focused on bringing Pujols back, but it will be a futile effort for the Cardinals.

    There is a decent chance that Game 7 of the World Series is the last time that Albert Pujols will have worn a Cardinals' jersey. He will be the most coveted free agent on the market and a number of teams will be engaged in a bidding war for his services.

Theo Epstein Is with the Cubs

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    There is no other move that Theo Epstein can make that will have a bigger impact on the future of the Chicago Cubs than signing Albert Pujols. This one move can re-energize the Cubs' fan base and create a lot of hope.

    Epstein knows how much signing Pujols away from the Cardinals will mean. He can immediately define his tenure with the Cubs with this one move. He will have the resources to make a strong offer to Pujols and his agent, Dan Lozano.

The Cost

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    A number of big market teams will be involved in the bidding for Albert Pujols. Even though the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox already have first base filled, they could move their first basemen to the DH position to make room for Pujols.

    There will be a number of other teams, including the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles, that have owners that are willing to hand Pujols a blank check. It is unlikely that the highest offer that Pujols receives is from the Cardinals.

    If the Cardinals can't come within reasonable range of the highest offer, Pujols will be gone.

Uncertainty About the Cardinals Future

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    While St. Louis will be able to put a good team on the field again in 2012, there is no guarantee that they will be able to do it in the following years. The Cardinals have a few players who will be a part of the 2013 free agent class.

    The Cardinals also have a number of players who only have a few years left. As a result of this, Pujols' best chance to win in the future may not be in St. Louis.

Pujols Will Have a Chance to Be a Hero Elsewhere

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    Albert Pujols is arguably the best player in St. Louis Cardinals history and has been a hero for the team on a yearly basis. The opportunity to become a hero somewhere else may be too much to ignore.

    Pujols could go to the Chicago Cubs or the Milwaukee Brewers and end either team's World Series drought. If Pujols were to win a World Series title in a Cubs jersey, he would be absolutely revered in Chicago.

    The legend of Albert Pujols would grow even larger because of the fact that he was able to end the Cubs' curse.

The Opportunity to Play in a Bigger Media Market

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    While St. Louis is a lovely Midwestern city, it is nowhere near the media market that cities such as New York, Chicago, Boston or Los Angeles are. If a club in one of these cities signs Pujols, he will be able to become an even bigger presence than he already is, which is certainly saying something.

    Pujols will not only make money from his contract, but he will be able to have many even more lucrative advertising deals. If Pujols signs in New York, it would not be unreasonable to believe that he could make an additional $20 million more in advertising revenue than he could in St. Louis.