Albert Pujols' $300 million contract demand has taken on a life of its own since Jayson Stark reported on it earlier this week, but there's only one thing wrong with the report from which it originates: Stark admits he hasn't heard anything about it. Beginning his article with the disclaimer that "no leaks, no details, no messy rhetoric" have poured out of either camp, the $300 million number is a completely hypothetical number that Stark sloppily transmutes into an ostensibly fictional situation in which the St. Louis Cardinals are left unconscious at the bargaining table.â†µ
That Pujols' agents might want $300 million is certainly a possibility — that's what happens if he wants to be the highest-paid player in the history of baseball. But right now it appears no more certain than it was a week ago, and any reporting to the contrary comes from a misreading of speculation and not a piece of new information from the Cardinals or Pujols' agents.
As for me, I still think the Cardinals and Pujols have significant incentives both to get this done and to keep it under 10 years. Eight years, $240 million—another Stark hypothetical—seems more likely at this point, and still incredibly high.