I don’t want to think about Albert Pujols’ trade value, because I don’t want to think about Albert Pujols doing anything except returning to the St. Louis Cardinals for the rest of his career. You hear that, baseball gods? Baseball Prospectus, less excitable than I am, is more interested, and comes away unimpressed.
I’m not sure I see their point here. Certainly Pujols won’t be the subject of a Herschel Walker trade any time soon—he’s only got a year left on his contract, as you might be aware—but big-time deadline trades still happen; the Cardinals sent away their top prospect, Brett Wallace, just two years ago. Pujols is the best player in baseball, and as a result the most valuable to receive midseason.
It’s all moot, though—the Cardinals wouldn’t be doing themselves any favors by dumping Pujols a year early, and Pujols is himself unlikely to allow any trade to go through. It would likely cost the team 5.5-6 wins this year, which would put them well out of playoff contention, and Brett Wallace hasn’t exactly been a roaring success since leaving the Cardinals, anyway. If they lose Pujols… well, we’ll get the draft picks to think about, and then I’ll be locking myself in my bedroom and painting the walls black. That’s its own kind of return.