The feeding frenzy for two of the best players in baseball is underway. Prince Fielder may have played his last game as a Brewer. Albert Pujols may have played his last with the Cardinals. I hope not in both cases. I love the idea of both men spending their entire careers with one team. But that doesn't happen too often anymore. Can either team even afford to keep those players? Probably not. Would either player be willing take a home town discount? How creative can these teams be from an accounting perspective?
I started writing this post a few weeks ago, before the Cardinal's World Series victory and before Tony LaRussa retired. Now there's a whole different wrinkle in St. Louis. Can the Cardinals afford (in a non-monetary way) to let the face of their franchise go? The names Pujols and LaRussa are inextricably linked in baseball lore. Can the Cardinals suddenly be without both? But we must remember, baseball is a business and emotion must, and will, be set aside.
The teams that can best afford Albert or Prince aren't in need of a first baseman. The Yankees have Teixeira. The Red Sox have Gonzalez. The Phillies have Howard. Perhaps the Cubs? Would Albert dare consider them? That would drive a stake through the heart of St. Louis. The Rangers may need someone new at first and we know they have the ability to spend money. The question is whether they'll spend it on keeping C.J. Wilson or someone new at first base. Is there enough in their coffers for both? Mitch Moreland is signed for awhile but he is very tradeable. What about San Francisco? Their season was a huge disappointment and a big bat in the lineup would really help turn things around. Aubrey Huff has one only year left on his contract.
Not only are Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols great players, they're good people too. The kind of people that every team wants. They lead by example. They are leaders on the field, in the clubhouse and in the community. I don't know where they'll end up. Your thoughts?