Like all good things, Albert Week had to come to an end eventually. Yeah, I'm shedding a tear too.
Since you've heard plenty from us this week, we decided to ask some of the heavy-hitters for opinions of what they think Albert Pujols will do by the 2012 season. Will he stay? Will he go? Will he be traded? Or will he quit baseball, move to Hollywood, and make PG-rated buddy comedies with The Rock? All are legit possibilities.
So thank you to everyone below for contributing. And those who didn't reply back to us will not be receiving a complimentary copy of ATHooks' Christmas CD. So there.
Tim McKernan: 590 KFNS 'The ITD Morning After' Host/ Founder InsideSTL.com
It's my opinion that the Cardinals will sign Albert Pujols at damn near any cost...and therefore I think a) he'll be signed to an extension this offseason, and b) it will be a move that they'll regret five years from now...because I'd be absolutely shocked if they got a deal done that was less than seven years guaranteed. And, in my opinion, that's way too much.
Is he the greatest player in the game? Most likely.
Is he the second-greatest...or even greatest...Cardinal of all-time? Most likely.
But, businesses aren't run on emotion. They're run on doing what you think you will get a good return on investment. So, if anyone honestly believes Albert Pujols will be doing what he's done the last 10 years in 2017...or even 2015...I would suggest they have their heads up the best assholes in baseball.
You're more than welcome to use the "but how bad would it look to see him wearing a Yankees' uniform" argument, and yeah...that tugs at my heartstrings. But, I worry about my pursestrings more. And, if some inbreed isn't going to show up at Busch Stadium because the team didn't give Pujols 10 years and 300 million dollars, then I'll say, "Sorry to disappoint you, and good luck with the Palin campaign in 2012."
If they can get him for five years and $150 million...or even $160 million...I'm all for it.
Anything longer and it's a major mistake that could hamstring the organization throughout the decade.
Mike Flynn: Founder of PunchingKitty.com
I could really see Albert leaving or staying, but gut feeling: Albert "Don't Call Me the Mang" Pujols will be resigned for a huge contract, pretty much making him a Cardinal for life.
Pujols probably doesn't want to look like Derek Jeter right now or LeBron James, all of a sudden becoming the prima donna squeezing his long-time home team, while the Cardinals have to get this done pretty much solely for the PR despite the possible issues of filling out the rest of the roster.
Everyone likes to say how baseball smart the fans in St. Louis are, but no matter how many times you want to explain how a single hombre eating 40% of your team's payroll isn't a good idea, they will just get in your face with "Uh buddy. Albert Pu-jools is the best player in the game. Take your economics back to your private school and your fancy non-truck car without any yellow ribbon magnets on it."
Get ready for the Cardinals to be "Pujols and Holliday starring the all bench player lineup"! If you think I'm cynical, I have four words for you: Starting shortstop Ryan Theriot.
Bill Ivie: Baseball Digest and Founder of I-70 Baseball
Will Albert return to the Cardinals? That's a great question. As far as the front office (read: Johnny Mo) is concerned, they better hope so. It would not matter who replaced him or if Jesus himself played first and hit 95 home runs, the fans would turn on ownership and general manager so quickly that they may be the Las Vegas Cardinals before all was said and done.
That being said, Albert will remain a Cardinal for life, but not before becoming a free agent. The new collective bargaining agreement will be discussed after the end of 2011 and the player's union will be pushing for some radical compensation changes. The opportunity to use a player like Pujols to ensure that those changes happen immediately is just to good to be true. Look for the big guy to get a boatload of money and a stake in the ownership of the team as well as be paid well into his retirement. I don't think either side of this has a desire for Albert to wear a different jersey, but there are some bigger underlying things developing.
Of course, he will probably sign tomorrow and send me a big shit-burger to chew on just to keep the proper pecking order in the baseball universe.
Will Leitch: Founder of Deadspin.com and editor at New York Magazine
I think Pujols is going to sign with the resurgent and suddenly sane New York Mets around Christmas 2011, and not only is it going to ruin my life, it's going to ruin my work: Writing for New York magazine, about Pujols leading the Mets to the World Series, will become a daily torture that won't end until one of us ends up under Dr. James Andrews' knife. I bet it'll be me. Writing this paragraph just required me taking two showers.
Aaron Hooks: CardsDiaspora.com, SB Nation STL, and InsideSTL.com
What an awful situation.
The Cardinals are literally making a push right now to sell Pujols Packs to fans for the Holidays. We kind of take it for granted, but his name is LITERALLY the thing you order to get tickets for the Cardinals. That kind of crap has a value to an organization that is hard to pin down and Albert's agents know this. They're going to say that's worth 100 million. Bill DeWitt will most likely not agree.
So what happens?
I think that this one ends up with Albert reaching free agency. The Cardinals know there is no way to trade a guy like Pujols. They won't get value for him back AND the guys that come in will NEVER get a fair chance. EVER. So they're going to let him be free. They're going to make a reasonable offer, say 6 years, 150-175 million dollars and tell him that's the best he can do. And that if he wants to take 300 million to go to the Mets or Angels or (f me) the Cubs, then it's his choice and the Cardinals did what they could.
He'll probably take the money.
And we'll probably never be the same.
Jacqueline Conrad: Contributor to CardinalDiamondDiaries.com
Albert Pujols will sign a new contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. This contract will be a 6 to 8 year deal worth $24M a year. Also...he will become a Cardinal for life in some unknown but highly visible advisory role. Ballpark Village will be renamed Albertville, like the village in France where the Olympics were held, except it's not in France and without the Olympics thing. Albert will get all profits from two businesses located in Albertville. One will be a cigar manufacturer, using lovely Dominican ladies to hand roll cigars on their thighs. The other will be a manufacturer of Kevlar Cardinal, Rams and Blues jerseys. I anticipate these to be hot sellers and something no other team could offer.