There's an interesting article from Derrick Goold over at the P-D re: the continually inscrutable Albert Pujols contract negotiations. Goold, who is probably as in the dark as the rest of us, wonders whether or not the St. Louis Cardinals will take a page from the New York Yankees' recent history in dealing with one-of-a-kind talents and give Pujols some Alex Rodriguez-inspired historic-performance clauses.â†µ
Rodriguez—you can see all the details on the indispensable Cot's Contracts—gets $6 million each for hitting 660, 714, 755, and 763 home runs. Goold digs a little deeper and comes to the conclusion that these aren't bonuses so much as marketing agreements, which is fascinating.â†µ
As for Pujols's future records, Bill James's Career Assessments tool, formerly known as the Favorite Toy, gives us a chance to look at his odds of breaking a number of baseball records. It puts him at a 35% chance of hitting 700 home runs, which would itself be outstanding. For, let's say, 800 home runs, he gets a 13% chance. (Rodriguez gets 20%.) He's got a better than 50/50 shot at making 3000 hits.â†µ
My personal favorite obscure record: He has a 21% chance of breaking Tris Speaker's doubles record and hitting number 793. I think that's worth $6 million, but he'll have to watch for Nick Markakis, who seems determined never to turn his doubles power into home run power, in his rear-view mirror.