Stark Reality

by on January 27, 2011 · 0 comments

If you haven’t already read the piece on the Albert Pujols negotiations penned by ESPN’s Jayson Stark, then you can find it here.  Alternatively, you can just keep reading the regular feeds from your favorite Cardinals bloggers, because Jayson’s piece really just summarizes everything the aforementioned bloggers have been discussing for months.

8 yrs at $30M per season?  10 yrs for $300M?  Got that covered here in “Show Him The Money“.  The only part left out was the bit about the Gateway Arch and a riverboat.  That “ripple effect” that he mentions?  Covered that as well.  Just look at “Pujols-type Money” in the section where I projected a commitment of $95.875M for 7 players in 2012 based on $27.5M / season paid to AP.

Granted, the last section of Stark’s article does add something to the discussion regarding how the contract could impact the contractual landscape for other position players.  That’s a potentially interesting topic, although I found it equally interesting that Robinson Cano‘s name was omitted from the list, even though he’s only under team option control through 2013.  However, I am more than a little disappointed that it has taken so long for writers like Stark to catch up to the bloggers on this one.  Given the access to MLB people, research tools, and dedicated writing time, I’d expect more from the pros.  (Yes, I’m meandering dangerously off-course, here.)

Actually, the bit that really caught my attention was the comment about the possibility of the either the Yankees or the Red Sox going after Pujols in free agency.  Is there anything to either idea?  Consider what the Yankees have committed for 2012:

That’s $157M for 9 players, so adding AP at $30M per season would put them at $187M for 10 players.  That doesn’t include $1M for buying out Nick Swisher which would probably be necessary, unless they want to pick up the team option that would pay him $10.25M.  In any event, that’s a really expensive infield with a great DH/1B platoon option, but they’d be lacking a certain something in the way of people who can throw the ball in the direction of home plate from the mound.  It wouldn’t be impossible to make it work, but they certainly would be challenged to round out the remaining roster without some serious question marks in the pitching department.  File this one under “plausible but unlikely”. 

It’s a little tougher to analyze the Red Sox, because the exact details for the Adrian Gonzalez contract extension are unknown at this time.  Even so, the $12.5M the Red Sox could save by not re-signing David Ortiz would go a long way toward paying for AP.  Since most of their core players (Youkilis, Pedroia, Matsuzaka, Beckett, Crawford, and Lackey) don’t have significant year-over-year salary increases in their contracts, it wouldn’t be a huge financial stretch for the Red Sox to take on a Pujols megadeal.  On the other hand, a really long term deal to someone of his age would seem to be out-of-character for them.  Signing guys into their late 30’s and early 40’s is usually something they leave to the Yankees.

TIDBIT:  While it’s usually a good idea to keep most teams in play, it doesn’t seem like either of these two would be among the frontrunners.  For now, I’m sticking with my original top 4 of Angels, White Sox, Mets, and Cubs.

Like it?  Have different picks for your top 4?  Yelp at me on Twitter!

Cardinals fan since I could hold a fishing pole steady. Accidental blogger. Opinionated. I could care less about what you think of me. Constantly confounded, bemused, and confuzzled (ie I'm a pc and a mac). I'm an IT infrastructure analyst with a penchant for breaking tech toys. I ate a sabermetric primer for breakfast. I love playing "All-powerful GM of MLB". The 2010 Cardinals represented a good, practical definition "cognitive dissonance". The 2011 version got by on duct tape and a prayer, and I'm fine with that. They just need new tape for #12 in 12.
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