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Albert Pujols Wrist Injury: Free Agency Implications Are Still Unknowable

With Albert Pujols set to miss 4-6 weeks with a broken wrist, fans and would-be experts of the St. Louis Cardinals are reopening the book on his future in free agency—one that's been closed since the tense end to negotiations in Spring Training and his slow start to the season seemed to render it completely impossible to figure. The one SB Nation St. Louis position on the wrist's ramifications on that free agency situation is this: it is still completely impossible to figure.

For one thing, Pujols's production after the wrist injury is going to have more bearing on what goes on in his contract negotiations than his production before it. His impossibly hot June has turned him back into an above-average first baseman, if not a competitor for the title of best ever, so if he comes out of the wrist injury batting like Albert Pujols general managers might be willing to forget the GIDPs ever happened.

The wrist injury heightens the risk, though. Wrist injuries are scary; every team has a story about a promising hitter ruined by wrist injuries (our most recent one is Joe Mather), and slumps can quickly turn into fuel for a paranoid mind when it comes to wrists, to backs, to knees. If he has the same slump he had in May in August he could be in for a chillier-than-usual reception.