[Ed. note: Once or twice throughout the season, the United Cardinal Bloggers undertake a roundtable discussion via e-mail that involves and answers various questions from the bloggers taking part over the course of a few weeks. We've spent most of our writing time answering those questions and taking part in those discussions (gladly, I might add), so figured they are fair game to post here - not to mention trying to gain a little exposure for both the project as well as some other blogs you all should be reading.]
Brad Belote from Cardinals Country asks:
Let’s say the Cardinals can’t get Albert resigned. He leaves for much more money for another team. But you had the chance to replace him with any other young star in the majors. Who do you want? Vlad Guerrero? Joe Mauer? ???
Either Hanley Ramirez or Jason Heyward. They are the only players in my mind that have the same ‘franchise’ potential and/or current value as Albert Pujols represents.
My cop-out “best for the organization, long term” answer would be to take every penny they budgeted for Pujols and reinvest it into player development. Sign some over-slot draft picks. Make some high-profile international signings. Rebuild the system – bigger and better.