This will hopefully be my final Pujols’ contract situation post until free agency begins, but over the last few days as fans, we’ve heard a lot from the media who are reporting from “sources close to the situation.”
And a lot of fans criticize these telling them to name names, or the report is worthless. Personally, I agree that it’d be nice to know names so that we can judge for ourselves just how accurate these sources are supposed to be, but we do have to trust that there is still some modicum of professionalism and integrity in the media. So I trust that the majority of these writers put the sources to the test.
The big news today is that Pujols & Co. have agreed to the Cardinals’ request of putting off the deadline until Wednesday at noon due to Stan Musial’s Medal of Freedom ceremony on Tuesday. They didn’t want Pujols’ contract situation to overshadow it. Pujols & Co. agreed to move the deadline back. Apparently there is a press conference scheduled and everything where Albert will take the stand and talk about how time for negotiations is over.
However, with some of the recent revelations from sources it seems that Pujols & Co. are intent on testing free agency rather than simply signing an extension with the Cardinals. Post-Dispatch writer Derrick Goold tweeted last night that the Cardinals had no chance to sign him this offseason and that they would be heading to free agency.
To me, that confirms my suspicion all along. That Pujols & Co. were going to ask for the big contract and it was up to the Cardinals to match it or let it go to free agency.
But, with the man of integrity that Pujols purports to be, I expected more from him.
Maybe that’s not fair to lay on him, but being the stand-up guy he is made out to be, it would have happened this offseason or he would have come out and said that he was going to check out free agency.
A much better PR plan would have been to come out and say that they just weren’t on the same page with the Cardinals and both sides were interested in going to free agency to set a good market price for his services. At that point he’d make the decision based on where he wanted to be, not necessarily the money offered.
Instead, Cardinals’ fans spent the offseason blasting Mozeliak, DeWitt, and the organization for being “cheap” and not wanting to give Albert what he was worth. They spent it grasping to any sliver of information they could glean from reports, when the big news at Winter Warmup was that there was no news.
Fans appreciate honesty. What they don’t appreciate is bad faith “negotiations.”
So with the recent reports, it seems that the fact they moved the deadline back is only ceremonial. There is virtually a zero percent chance that the deal gets done as Pujols & Co. seem intent to head to free agency to set the price for his services. However, I expect the set value to be much lower than they expect to get. The owners of these teams are good businessmen and have a good knowledge of baseball. They know what he’s worth.