The reason Albert Pujols to the Angels is a great thing for the Cardinals—Part 1

If you’ve been a reader of mine, you’ve known for a long time that I wanted the Cardinals to let Albert Pujols walk.  Today is a great day towards the future of the St. Louis Cardinals, and I hope most of you can see that.  The Angels may be the better team in 2012, but not just because they signed Pujols.  They also signed C.J. Wilson, and the Angels will go as far as Wilson, Dan Haren and Jered Weaver will take them.  Pujols will probably help in a big way over the next 3-4 years, but you can’t be serious if you think that the Cardinals would have been better in the long run by re-signing Pujols.  I’m going to get into a lot of things today and tomorrow that I’ve never talked about before, and hopefully most of the Cards fans reading this will realize it’s just as great a time as ever to be a Cards fan.

First, I don’t feel the need to slam Pujols that much.  Again, I’m as happy as I can be that the Cardinals didn’t dig their own grave by trying to spend like the big boys.  That’s not the Cardinals way, and never has been.  The Cardinals offered Pujols what I thought was way too much to begin with, if reports are true that it was indeed $210-$220 million over 10 years.  I thought 9 years and $198 would have been terrible as well.  Pujols did what I always said and thought he would do, he took the most money.  I’ve felt that Pujols was a phony for a long time, but instead of using my personal thoughts and feelings, let me give you an Albert Pujols quote from February 15th, 2009 from Matthew Leach at MLB.com.  Here’s the link as well:

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090215&content_id=3833606&vkey=news_stl&fext=.jsp&c_id=stl&partnerId=rss_stl

            “Do I want to be a St. Louis Cardinal forever?  Of course.  People from other teams want to play in St. Louis and they are jealous that we’re in St. Louis because the fans are unbelievable.  So why would you want to leave a place like St. Louis to somewhere else and make 3 or 4 million a year?  It’s not about the money.  I already got my money.  It’s about winning, that’s it.”

“When that time comes, then we’re going to figure it out,” he said. “And I told you, I’m not going to lie to you, it’s not about the money all the time. It’s about being in a place to win and being in a position to win. If the Cardinals are willing to do that and put a team every year like they have, I’m going to try to work everything out to stay in this town. But if they’re not on the same page of bringing championship caliber to play every year, then it’s time for me to go somewhere else. Where? Somewhere else that I can win.”

Well Albert, you just left the Cardinals for about $3 million more a year coming off of your 2nd World Series Championship and have been to the WS 3 times as a Cardinal in 11 years.  Enough said.  Again, I’m happy here.  The only readers that respond that I have that are ready to jump off a cliff are “TheMachine” and “Nuke”.  Don’t do it guys, let me tell you why the Cards are going to be fine first.

Spending nearly one-fourth of the payroll for 10 years on a 32 year old first baseman with bad legs, a bad elbow, and low back problems is not a great way to build for the future.  The Cardinals would have lost flexibility to do many things over the next 10 years.  They would have needed to be perfect in the draft on 3-4 players a year, and the MLB draft is far from a sure thing.  They would have needed those 3-4 players a year because they wouldn’t be able to pay any of them when the time came because of Pujols.  Now, the Cardinals can take more chances, and have the luxury of putting things into action in terms of contracts to veteran players on shorter deals to fill the gaps.  The Cardinals will be able to pay younger players that come along when the time comes, buying out the first few years of free agency with the last few years of arbitration.  I can never stress it enough, but the Cardinals need what all the other teams need…pitching, pitching and more pitching.  Dominant pitching is the constant in championship teams.  2011 was an exception to the rule in starting pitching.  Without a clutch performance by Chris Carpenter in game 5 of the NLDS, 11 in ’11 doesn’t happen.  The Cards need to be looking for the next Carpenter, not looking back and paying for past production from an aging slugger.

Speaking of drafting players, the Cardinals just picked up two draft picks for Pujols.  They will get the Angels first round pick (19th) and a sandwich pick.  The sandwich pick will be the 32nd pick in the draft.  The Cardinals also will receive a pick for Octavio Dotel (Dotel signed with the Tigers today) because of the new rules, even though they didn’t offer him arbitration.   That pick should be around somewhere in the 40’s.  The Cards will also get another pick for Edwin Jackson when he signs a deal with someone.  By my math, that’s going to be 5 selections out of the first 50 picks.  That’s great news.  While the 2012 draft doesn’t have the names like Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg at the top, it’s supposed to be one of the deepest drafts since the late 90’s.  These picks may not make it to St. Louis until 2015 or so, and some may not make it at all.  But you have to like the odds. 

Maybe it’s because he had an injury plagued year, but a lot of people seem to be forgetting that the Cardinals still have Matt Holliday.  No one is ever going to confuse Holliday for Pujols, but the deal for Holliday is looking better all the time.  I feel pretty good about having Holliday as the centerpiece to the offense for the next few years.  In fact, I think Holliday is as good a lock as any to put up Albert’s 2011 numbers for years to come.  As long as the pitching is there, the offense doesn’t need to be the best in the league.  Adam Wainwright is coming back, and power arms like Shelby Miller are on the way.  The Cards will need to find another bat in a year or two to extend the lineup, but they should do so with defense in mind like they did with Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds.  There will be more to come tomorrow when the final facts and figures are available.   10 years and $254 million is crazy for any player, no matter what.  There’s no need to fret Cardinal Nation, the Cards are better off than most of us think.

I’m going to go back and look at the answers to the Pujols questions for the free DVD’s from A&E and will be sending out emails tonight so that they get shipped out to the winners from the contest.

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7 Responses to The reason Albert Pujols to the Angels is a great thing for the Cardinals—Part 1

  1. TheMachine says:

    because of assholes like you Pujols left. Let’s see, warm weather, sand, beach, latinos, or white racist in the midwest. good job you fucking asshole.

  2. WainwrightandMiller says:

    J.D.,

    Nice job as usual. The Cards will be back in the middle of things soon enough. To “TheMachine”,

    is it really necessary to act like a 10 year old? What will your name be now? Are you moving to L.A. to be with your buddy? Is he giving you some of his money? Should the Cards have given him a blank check and say forget about the other 24 on the team? Are you a Cards fan or Pujols fan? I’m betting we won’t hear from you much from now on, so like Albert C-Ya.

  3. StantheMan says:

    Pujols god is money. Stan he will never be. He wasted a great opportunity to become a legend. I hope his arm falls off. If he ever comes back to Stan’s town, he will hear it from the fans, big time!!!!!!

  4. 12in12 says:

    Jd,
    Please delete themachine. He’s obviously only a Pujols fan and thinks the world revolves around him. Cards will be in fine and still be able to have a good shot a 12 in 12. The main problem i have with old al is that he said over and over agin it was not about the money, when that’s all it was clearly about. Time for all of us to move on, and time for many to admit he is a liar.

  5. Silver Fox says:

    Dear Albert,

    Fuck You. Your only god is green money. I’m gonna piss on your statue.

    Sincerely,
    Cards fans all across America

  6. I agree with you on this one, JD. I have been waffling back and forth, but I think it will end up being the best thing in the long run. Plus, as you mention, maybe one of the players the Cardinals draft will end up being a Hall of Famer, too. As Jaquin Andujar is said to have once said, “Baseball can be summed up in on word: youneverknow.”

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