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?
I'm betting one of them ends up with the MetsReplyDelete
Albert will go on a few dates but in the end stay with St Louis. I think Prince will either go to the Cubs or the Red Sox.ReplyDelete
I really don't see Prince going to the Red Sox as Adrian Gonzalez had the best season of his career in 2011. He was named to the All-Star team and he won both a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger this season. The Red Sox gave him the big contract last year and he's signed through 2018. The Cubs seem to be the more likely of the two.ReplyDelete
As for the Mets, that definitely won't happen. Even though Ike Davis missed the last 4 months of the 2011 season, he is one of their players of the future. He was oft mentioned in Rookie of the Year conversations last year(though he didn't have a chance of winning). Plus, the Mets most pressing need is a new short stop. If they want to spend a ton of money, they should spend it on keeping Reyes.
What about the Nationals? Lord knows they're willing to pay, even overpay (Jason Werth) for talent and they are building towards being a force in NL East. Adam LaRoche is their current first baseman but he only played a few months in 2011 before having season ending shoulder surgery in June. He's turns 32 this week and he's only signed through the end of the 2012 season.