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Albert Pujols's Contract, Albert Pujols's Replacements

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Albert Pujols's contract talks continue with the St. Louis Cardinals in what's being characterized as a "positive" light by the Post-Dispatch. That's good news! There's little positive to take from a world in which the Cardinals don't have Albert Pujols—a little more room in the budget, yes, but who's it going to go to? I hear Albert Pujols will be a free agent after next season, maybe they could sign him. 

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Future Redbirds recently offered a look at what a Pujols-less future might look like. Allow me to say: I love Allen Craig, and I can't wait to see him do his best four-corners-utility-guy routine in 2011. I like Mark Hamilton, too; he looks like he's finally hit his stride in Memphis, and if he stays healthy and Pujols, god forbid, briefly doesn't, he and Craig could make a great platoon for a few weeks. 

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But the Cardinals are in no position to replace Albert Pujols. If they can't sign him they'll have to sign somebody else—that's the real other-case scenario. The Cardinals could end up with a different first baseman and somebody else with their $20 million, and while that might seem more flexible I'm not sure the Cardinals benefit by buying two three-win guys instead of one six-win guy. 

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Also: He's Albert Pujols! You can try to replace his production, but it's difficult to replace his one-of-a-kind talent, his incredible reflexes at first base, his accent. 

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