ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian appeared on the Mike and Mike morning show on ESPN radio this morning, and you'll never guess what they wanted to talk to him about. Kurkjian thinks that the Cardinals will sign Albert Pujols to an extension, but I think it is really just that he would be shocked if they didn't.
Well the Card are not in a good situation right now, and it just doesn't appear that he is going to sign before reports on Wednesday. Which means in theory, they'll take it and they won't negotiate again until after the season. Which would be frankly terrible news for the Cardinals because then it would be as tony called a terrible distraction for the whole season. Can you imagine opening day in St. Louis and all those fans wondering is he coming back with us?
He then compared the whole situation to what the Twins went through with Joe Mauer last year. They were able to ink him to a contract extension before the season started, thereby avoiding the enormous distraction that would have lasted all season long. But those negotiations wrapped up in March, it seems the Pujols camp won't let it go that long. He continued.
I keep thinking that there is simply no way that the Cardinals can let this guy get away. This would be like Lou Gherig leaving the Yankees in 1928 after just driving in 170 runs. That's not gonna happen. They can't allow this to happen. They have been making sure this was not gonna happen for two years, at least. So if they drop the ball on this in any form, I would be really surprised.
He then speculated that the sticking point is the number of years, not the annual salary, that is a sticking point for the Cardinals. They might be able to pay him the $30 million dollars (what he is seeking over the course of a ten year contract, reportedly) in the first few years of his contract, but they can't afford to pay a 41 year old player $30 million dollars when he may no longer be in his prime.
It's hard for non-millionaire baseball players to grasp the importance between $25 and $30 million, but apparently that's important. But I guess that's a big deal. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go make sure the $2.54 check I just wrote to 7/11 doesn't bounce.