Feb
17

Albert, CC and crazy, crazy ideas

By

Don't get your hopes up.

The Yankees have a very expensive first baseman, and they don’t plan on getting rid of him soon. On the 23 of December of 2008, the Yanks gave Mark Teixeira an eight-year, $180-million deal with a full no-trade clause, and since then, Teixeira has helped the Yanks win a World Series while missing just 10 regular season games. He had a down year in 2010, but there’s no reason to think he won’t pick it up this year in his age 31 season.

In St. Louis, meanwhile, the Cardinals’ own 31-year-old first baseman is playing out the final year of his contract. Albert Pujols wants to get paid and had set a deadline of yesterday at noon to sign an extension. The Cardinals may or may not have offered him a rather low-ball eight-year offer, and the two sides are heading into the season without a long-term deal in place. They say they won’t negotiate until after the Cardinals’ 2011 campaign is over. While St. Louis needs Albert Pujols far more than he needs them, things could get ugly indeed.

So as the Pujols drama plays out and with the Yanks being the Yankees, everyone and their mothers wants to know if Pujols could come to the Bronx. Of all the crazy speculation, though, the nuttiest comes from Ken Rosenthal. I once laughed at Rosenthal’s proposal that the Phillies, Blue Jays and Mariners engage in some three-team shenanigans over Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, but I think it’s safe to say that his latest is well divorced from reality. He wants the Cardinals to trade Pujols for Teixeira.

Warning that his piece is “pure speculation,” he thinks it would help everyone. The Cardinals would get their All Star first baseman, and the Yanks would make a splash to counter the Red Sox’s trading for Adrian Gonzalez. Plus, the Bombers could dole out another ten-year, $300-million deal to someone on the wrong side of 30. Everyone wins! Hooray!

The Internet of course had a field day with it. In a vacuum, swapping out Teixeira for Pujols is a no-brainer (sorry, Mark), but things don’t work in a vacuum. As Fangraphs noted, the trade would be insanely lopsided from a WAR perspective, and Teixeira would have no incentive to waive his no-trade clause. He would be the lesser player tasked with replacing Albert Pujols. If Tino Martinez thought he had it rough in 1996 when he was serving as Don Mattingly’s heir, imagine Teixeira stepping in for one of the — if not the — greatest players of all time. Sounds like a blast.

But rather than indulge in fanciful speculation fit for a fantasy baseball league, turn instead to an excellent piece on the state of baseball free agency by Cardinals fan-extraordinaire Will Leitch. Over at New York Magazine’s The Sports Section, Leitch wrote a piece entitled “Albert Pujols, and Why the Yankees Are the Yankees.” Of the Yanks, he writes:

The Yankees, famously, refuse to negotiate with players who are about to be free agents during the season. They can do this because they are the Yankees. Because they have the most money, they can set the market on any player, and they can wait until all information is available. The Cardinals failed to wrap up Pujols early — the way the Twins did with Joe Mauer, for example — not because they didn’t want to keep him around, but because they couldn’t balance the risk (a $300 million, ten-year contract) with the uncertainty (knowing how many teams would be bidding, knowing how Pujols will play this year, whether he’ll stay healthy, and so on). The Yankees never have to worry about that. At the end of every day, the Yankees can pay more than anybody else can, so they can let the market play out. The Cardinals were trying to avoid that. They failed.

The Yankees refuse to negotiate with their free agents, even the Jeters, even the Posadas, until it’s on their terms. The Cardinals — who have the ninth-highest payroll in baseball — can’t even get their top free agent to talk to them until he has decided he is ready, until it is on his terms. The Cardinals didn’t blow an opportunity today through mismanagement or disrespecting their superstar. They just aren’t the Yankees.

Despite this off-season in which Cliff Lee spurned the Yankees for ever-so-slightly fewer dollars and a unique opportunity to pitch in Philadelphia, the Yankees get their guy because, as Leitch said, they can spend. And that brings us to CC Sabathia. The big lefty will exercise his opt-out to one degree or another this year because it makes financial sense for him to do so. That doesn’t mean he wants to leave the Yankees.

Rather, he wants to use his leverage to get more security on the back end. If the Yankees were willing to go all in for Cliff Lee, they’ll certainly do that for the younger and seemingly more durable Sabathia. The Yankees, with their dollars, will keep their man.

In another world, perhaps, Pujols would be a free agent, and the Yanks would have a spot for him. But that other world exists only in the pages of The Onion. Albert isn’t coming here, Mark Teixeira isn’t going anywhere and neither, ultimately, will CC.

Categories : Musings
  • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

    If Tino Martinez thought he had it rough in 1996 when he was serving as Don Mattingly’s heir, imagine Teixeira stepping in for one of the — if not the — greatest players of all time

    It’s much worse than that. Mattingly retired and in any event was finished as an effective player years earlier. Tex would be the guy the Cardinals traded a still-in-his prime Pujols for. Crazy.

    • Pete C.

      Don Mattingly was finished as an effective player?
      Maybe his potential hall of fame career was over, but I think Seattle (in the ’95 playoffs?) thought he was pretty effective.
      If memory serves he retired to be with his family, and if half the reports of what his wife put them through are true he did the right thing.

      • Ted Nelson

        Mattingly retired because of his back I believe. I don’t know if I would say he hadn’t been effective in years, but he hadn’t posted 4 WAR in 7 seasons. His final season his WAR was 0.2. In Tino’s first Yankee season his WAR was 2.8. Maybe Donnie could have bounced back to a 2-3 WAR season in ’96, but since he decided his back was done who knows? Tino was basically an immediate upgrade on the field, though most fans might not have realized it. The Yankees also won immediately, which made it a lot easier to take.

        If I’m Mark Teixiera and the Yankees want to trade me, though, I’m not scared of replacing Albert Pujols. He would never be Pujols, but he’s a very good 1B and middle of the order bat. The Cards could paint Pujols as the greedy player who forced his way out of St Louis, which could easily lose him points with fans. Cards might also ask for more than Tex straight up. If the other guy(s) they get work(s) out it could actually be a good trade.

        Tough on the Yankees end because it’s almost impossible to say no to Pujols, but it’s also hard to give him 10 years $300 mill… Especially coming off a down season, which may be one reason the Cards are hesitating: to see if he continues to trend down or bounces back.

  • RollingWave

    They could always dump Teixiera to the Angels and then Sign Pujols :P the Angels might even drop in a good prospect lol

    • Billion$Bullpen

      I know this is a joke but I bet you they would, Tex just would not.

  • Brooklyn Ed

    2012 DH will be Jesus Montero, if Posada does retire after this season. Very tempted to have Pujols as the DH, but his contract will be ugly to deal with.

  • Avi

    Hypothetical: Cardinals offer Pujols to Yanks for Montero. He makes it clear he won’t negotiate a contract extension until he becomes a free agent. Do you do it? (forget the no trade rights that both players have for a minute)

    Btw pretty sure Tex’s contract is $180M.

    • pat

      One player isn’t worth giving up Montero’s 6 years of team control.

      • Nigel Bangs

        I agree, but in all fairness Pujols isn’t your industry standard player. He could retire today and make it into the Hall.

        • Mister Delaware

          That would make it an even worse trade.

          • Ted Nelson

            I don’t think Nigel Bangs is suggesting Pujols will retire, but more so that Pujols is a beast. He has had 1 season below 7 WAR in his career. You are trading Montero not for one player, but one of the greatest players ever at 31. As high as we all are on Montero, there’s still a pretty decent degree of uncertainty as fas as how good he will be. There’s a lot less uncertainty about Pujols.

            I think there’s an argument either way, but simply saying “Montero is cheap, case closed” doesn’t do it for me.

          • Corporate Scum (formerly Joe West’s Music Career)

            I laughed.

      • Poopy Pants

        Cashman disagrees.

    • Ted Nelson

      It would be a financial decision to me. I would probably trade Montero’s uncertainty for Pujols’ certain Silver Slugger production (though even there Pujols is on the wrong side of 30 and it’s no longer the steroid era… he’s coming off one of his worst seasons ever). However, it would basically come down to whether I would pay Pujols.

      Besides the enormous salary commitment that would take, you also have to weigh Montero’s probability curve in deciding whether you pay Pujols or take the chance on Montero. It’s not enough to just say “6 years of team control.” 6 years of team control for a bust means nothing. 6 years of team control for a league average DH is probably not enough to stop the Yankees from paying Pujols. I don’t think Montero has a high probability of totally busting, but I’d like to know what outcomes to expect with what probability based on historical precedent before deciding.

      So, basically… I don’t know.

  • Davor

    If you take TZ instead of UZR, WAR perspective looks a bit better, over 1 WAR per season. Using TZ, Tex seems to be worth his contract.

    If Cardinals have to trade Pujols, it won’t be for Longoria or anyone who is anywhere close in value. They are trading exclusive opportunity to sign Pujols to A-Rod’s second contract. Look at Santana and A-Rod trades as comparables. So, Tex, a few mil per year and 1-2 non-elite prospects isn’t crazy, from talent perspective.

    If Yankees can show they can be Pujols without Tex, Tex would have to be traded somewhere, or he stays without playing time when A-Rod has to move from the third. The only question then is if he likes the Cardinals. It’s not crazy to think that he would go to a team with definite hole at 1B.

    I’m not saying there is a reasonable chance that the trade happens, I’m just saying it’s not such crazy, complete nonsense as some are portraying it.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Why would Teixeira waive his no-trade clause? How much more would any team have to throw in for that to happen? And why would the Yanks want to sign another crazy long-term deal for a guy on the wrong side of 30?

      • Davor

        If Yankees make it clear that they are getting Pujols, and that Tex’s playing time would suffer, he should be open to trade to many teams, maybe Cards, maybe not. I’m not saying trade is likely, I’m just saying it’s not absolutely crazy scenario.

        • whozat

          And the Cardinals, knowing they had the Yanks by the balls, would insist that they pay most of Tex’s salary.

          All of a sudden, the Yankees are paying 450 million dollars for the next 8 years for a first baseman.

          • Ed

            That makes some sense if the Yanks signed Pujols as a free agent. Not in a trade situation though.

            In the free agent scenario, the Cardinals are in a bind too. In that case they’ll have lost the best player in the game and pissed off a large chunk of their fanbase. There would be desperation on their end to make a big acquisition. Their choices would probably be trade for Tex or sign Fielder. At that point, I think I’d rather trade for 5 years of Tex than sign Fielder to an ~8 year contract, but that could go either way.

      • Ed

        You’re completely right on all the points you’ve brought up on Tex. He makes this whole idea a non-starter.

        If Tex wasn’t in the picture though, I can’t a mega deal being a problem. The Yankees were willing to give Lee 7 years at top dollar. Just my opinion of course, but I’d feel far more comfortable betting on Pujols for 10 years than betting on Lee for 7 years. Pitchers are just too fragile, and Pujols has been dominant for far longer than Lee.

      • Ted Nelson

        Just because there are question marks I wouldn’t outright write off the possibility. You can say it’s unlikely, but I think there’s a chance.

        “Why would Teixeira waive his no-trade clause?”

        Why would he be scared of replacing Pujols? If your team makes it clear they don’t want you anymore, why not waive your no-trade clause? Cards are a good team who should compete for the playoffs, especially if they were to get more than Tex for Pujols.

        “How much more would any team have to throw in for that to happen?”

        I don’t know what you are referring to.

        “And why would the Yanks want to sign another crazy long-term deal for a guy on the wrong side of 30?”

        Why did they sign the other one(s)?

  • Ed

    1996 couldn’t have been that been for Tino. He signed up to be the guy to replace Mark McGwire in 2002.

  • mbonzo

    Signing Pujols to such a large contract is… dumb. I’d rather have Teixeira on his current contract.

    Arod was a better overall player than Pujols, producing in the American League, as a short stop, and raking up stolen bases. He’s still a great player because he’s one of the greatest athletes ever, but his contract is not worth what he’s producing. Pujols is not the athlete Arod is and he’s got an elbow injury which prevents a team from making him anything other than a first baseman. If He does get a 10 year extension he’ll only be in his prime for 2 or 3 more years, til he’s 35, and the rest of the 7 years he’ll be the highest paid player at first base. I’m sure he’ll still be good, but look at how Arod diminished and you’ll realize such big contracts shouldn’t be handed out to players with only a few prime years left.

    Summary: I’ll take 6 years of Tex over 11 years of Pujols.

    • Kiko Jones

      This.

      • the Other Steve S.

        I’m with you guys. Plus, go take a look at the first half of Frank Thomas’ career. He was essentially Albert. Then, for no apparent reason, it ended. Hell, who would have thought Gehrig would get sick? $300 million/10 years starting at age 31 is just nuts. We did it once, don’t do it again.

    • Ted Nelson

      You’re assuming Pujols will get a 10 year contract, which is far from certain. A-Rod was signed closer to the steroid era, when players performed into their late 30s. Pujols is signing in an era where expectations have changed.

  • YankeesJunkie

    All I know is thank goodness Mark T has been an excellent 1B for the first two years of his contract and looking to have a better year this year. His contract is long, but not long enough where he would be an albatross till maybe year 8.

  • Kiko Jones

    Here’s another crazy scenario: the Cards wait to see if they’re in contention and if they fall out, trade Pujols to a play-off contender for 3 choice players. Then in the off-season—OK, it gets nuttier—they take a stab at re-signing Pujols. (Who in this hypothetical scenario would not have signed an extension with his new team, a la Lee in Texas.) No?

    • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig

      You know, I’ve always wondered why we haven’t seen a scenario like this. It’d involve some sort of sketchy under-the-table agreement, but a team that was out of contention could receive a nice prospect haul in a lost season and then turn around and get their guy right back in free agency.

      • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

        It happens more often than you’d think but with lesser players. Check out Austin Kearns for instance.

  • Mike

    Ya, I’d rather live in reality. Unless Tex pulls a Boone and gets injured, we will not be going after Pujols.

  • OldYanksFan

    What makes people think anyone will offer, or can afford $300m? Who aside from the Yankees could go $250? Maybe the Sox, but that’s not Theo’s style, although Pujols in Fenway would just be silly.

    I’d day Pujols gets 8/$225m.
    Let’s remember Lee’s contract os for $120m.

    • mbonzo

      I could completely see the Cubs, Rangers, and Nationals offer $300m. Blue Jays have $17.4m owed next year, so expect them to sign some big free agents. The Mets have about $60m coming off the books too, so if they can fix their legal issues they’ll be huge contenders.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Lee’s contract awards him $24 million annually. Pujols is worth far, far more than that.

    • Mister Delaware

      And Pujols in Fenway isn’t likely but still in play. If nothing else, the Sox just gained a little leverage on Gonzalez knowing Pujols and Fielder will both be available next offseason. Plus, signing either one of them rather than Gonzalez comes with an extra draft pick.

      (Not that I expect this. Gonzalez is the best long term bet and an awesome fit for Boston. Which I hate.)

  • OldYanksFan

    And let’s not forget CC is gonna cost the Yankees another 2/$47m or 3/$70m. Just imaging paying about $70m for CC (36-37) ARod (41-42) and Albert (37,38).

    • hogsmog

      God, Arod past 40 makes me cringe. Like sub-340 OBP with 16 homers cringe. Steroids makes this whole thing totally uncharted territory; we don’t have any data points. But my gut tells me that the only sluggers who can hang on into their 40s are the ones with good plate discipline, who can at least draw some walks at DH, something I don’t think Arod can do.

      • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

        You think Alex Rodriguez, he of the .084 IsoD and 10% unintentional walk rate, won’t be able to draw walks as a DH later in his career?

        • RL

          I would certainly expect that rate to decline, as he ages and becomes a less-feared hitter. Arod past 40 scares me too.

          • Mister Delaware

            I thought walk rate was the last thing once great sluggers retain as they decline.

    • camilo Gerardo

      We will need a new trio of overpaid veterans, no?

  • Pete C.

    Best, photo, shop, ever. Oh wait wrong blog.

  • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

    Look, I don’t want Pujols, and the Yankees will be more than competitive without him. But crazier things have happened right? Like when they got the best Shortstop in baseball even though they already had their own Hall of Fame shortstop playing everyday?

  • camilo Gerardo

    If the market caps off at 8yrs/225 as posted above yankees could easily sneak ahead of all comers, and they can make a point to Pujols, and Tex (posada for that matter, too) that there is no shame in DHing when you are on an awesome team. Cano, Alex, Pujols, Tex, Jesus 2-6 would be quite historically awesome.

    or Albert in RF, trade Swish?

    mostly Fantasy

  • http://twitter.com/bryanl26 Bryan L

    Ok, ok, I got it.

    Let’s let CC opt out of his deal and then sign Pujols to pitch! Itz a win win!!!!!1111

    • Poopy Pants

      No way! They should extend a fatso with knee problems.

  • gargoyle

    $23 mil guaranteed to 2015 – what more security on “the back end” does CC need. If he opts out tell him good luck. Go pitch for a worse team for less money.

    • Will

      I think they mean on the back-end of his career, the years for which he’s not yet guaranteed money, not the back-end of his current contract.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      If he opts out tell him good luck. Go pitch for a worse team for less money.

      That’s just not how it works.

  • Evan3457

    I’ve said elsewhere, this trade would never happen, largely due to Tex’ no-trade, although Albert’s 10/5 status is also a huge impediment, as he’s not likely to approve a deal without getting the contract he wants, including the number of years he wants.

    However, if I was the Cards, and I felt that, because of budgetary reasons, re-signing Pujols was a non-starter, I think I’d rather take a Tex and his contract, plus say, Betances or Banuelos, plus say, David Adams to take over 2nd in a couple of years, over two draft picks and the $16 million Pujols makes to spend on a replacement 1st baseman.

    Maybe the Cards simply cannot budget $30 million plus for the next 8-10 years, regardless of what Pujols is really worth.

  • Jesus Montero’s Brain

    I could only imagine how much media coverage Pujols’ first game at the stadium (as a yankee) would get.

  • Will

    Thanks for the sanity check on CC. I really have absolutely no concern over them not extending him or re-signing him should he opt-out. He likes it here, he won a World Series here, we have the most money. This isn’t a Cliff Lee situation where he’s gonna pull a LeBron and go play with his best buds for less money.

    (It still stings to think that if they’d acquired Lee over the summer, I have little doubt they would’ve signed him.)

  • MattG

    Very good. Now extend this logic to the concepts of player-options, and understand that player options don’t really hurt the Yankees at all, and especially don’t hurt the Yankees in comparison with other teams, while the player realizes value. It’s another way in which the Yankees can muscle their competition.

  • henry frisch

    The Cards are the team with the biggest all-time trade in their history book: .400 hitter Hornsby for Frisch. Could happen again.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Forget it. We need pitching-not 10 more HR’s and a few more rbi’s.

    Now if we could have traded Tex and Jeter for Albert and a pitcher-we would have had something.

    /heresy

  • UncleArgyle

    Actually I think the most prudent fantasy trade from a Yankee perspective would be Tex for Pujols, WITHOUT signing him to an extension. It would be a great opportunity to get out of Texeria’s soon to be Albatross contract, the Yankees improve the team and lower payroll in 2011, and they open up first base for another player (Montero, Arod, etc) for the foreseeable future. Oh and they get a couple draft picks when Pujols signs with the Cubs. Seems like a winner to me.

    • Billion$Bullpen

      This would be really cool. Tex and his contract / swing / body type scare me. I think Tex contract will be a bigger issue later for the Yanks than Alex’s. Alex has people that spend money to see him play. Tex really does not. Tex was not signed from a biz standpoint, the deal with Alex was a move because the Yanks brass were shook that ticket / food sales / ad sales on YES would drop.

      I would also let CC opt out and say thanks for the 2 (hopefully 3) years of great pitching and helping to get us that WS Ring (hopefully 2)

      I for one would be OK with the Yanks doing a real youth movement and one year contracts on spare parts players like the Rays did this offseason, and use the savings to sign every decent international player and overspend like crazy in the draft. Wont happen, but I would like to see it. That would really be our only shot at sustained dominance. You do that for a few years and then at the point where you have one of the best young teams you supplement with the best free agents around.

      Sustained dominance please.

      • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig

        That wouldn’t work. The Yankees have a good system in place for sustained dominance already: top minor league talent, farm system depth, money…not to mention good players at the MLB level.

        If it’s not broke, why fix it?

      • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

        I am late but this entire comment is completely insane. Good job.

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

          Let me elaborate. There’s nothing wrong with Tex’s body type; he’s not Prince Fielder or David Ortiz or even Ryan Howard.

          I for one would be OK with the Yanks doing a real youth movement and one year contracts on spare parts players like the Rays did this offseason, and use the savings to sign every decent international player and overspend like crazy in the draft. Wont happen, but I would like to see it. That would really be our only shot at sustained dominance. You do that for a few years and then at the point where you have one of the best young teams you supplement with the best free agents around.
          This is the real insanity. For one thing, if you don’t consider what we’ve seen since 1995 sustained dominance, go away. Overspending in the draft won’t work because they pick too low every year because oh yeah, they’re dominant; if elite-elite talent falls as low as the Yankees are picking the draft is either absurd or there are serious issues with that talent. Spending a ton of money in IFA doesn’t guarantee a. you’ll get the player, the Yankees offered both Felix and Teheran more money than they eventually got with Seattle and Atlanta; b. those players will develop into anything. Heck, even if all the Royals prospects pan out they still have a ton of work to do.

          Yeah, it’d be nice to see and it seems like it’d be really easy. But I can see counting on prospects screwing this team over a lot more than slightly overpaying for some really good 30-year-olds.

  • henry frisch

    Hornsby only stayed with the Giants for a year after the mega trade. Hit around .380 for the season.

  • Rey22

    We trade Igawa for Pujols and Wainright.

    Problems solved!

    • Fair Weather Freddy

      I’m assuming that was your attempt at being funny? What a waste of blog space!

  • Russell NY

    The Yankees don’t need another steroid user. Last thing I want to see is the ARod thing reignited.

  • Mister Delaware

    I know another NY team that has > $60MM coming off the books and a desperate need for positive headlines …

    • UncleArgyle

      The Mets already have future Hall of Famer Ike Davis at first base….

    • Rick in Boston

      I just don’t see it unless the Wilpons get a massive cash infusion.

      • Mister Delaware

        As long as they can cover payroll this year its more than doable. Unless they’re losing tens of millions per year and draining their personal savings or something but I doubt that’s the case.

        • Rick in Boston

          It might be doable for a year or so, but I can’t see a team like the Mets spending a quarter of their payroll on one guy (assuming a $120 million payroll). With the way that organization seems to be structured and the fickleness of the Mets fans, I could see an immediate increase in attendance for Year 1 of the Pujols era, following quickly by descending attendance, fan apathy as the team struggles, and an aging 1B takes up way too much of their payroll.

          • Mister Delaware

            Really? I think your reasons against it are my reasons it makes so much sense. Huge splash, premier name, allows Alderson to flip Davis for another piece … when was the last time the Mets had a super-marquee player? Gooden?

            (I don’t really count Piazza. HoFer and all that but would a non-Mets fan really watch or go to a game for Piazza?)

            • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

              I wouldn’t go to Mets games just to see Piazza, but a lot of my friends in high school were Mets fans. That the team was good and that he was on it made it far more palatable to trek out to Shea. The home runs he hit were electrifying at times.

              • Mister Delaware

                The ones to RCF that looked like he was swinging a boat oar? Definitely. Not trying to knock Piazza, just saying he’s not in the Gooden / Pujols must see class.

    • Billion$Bullpen

      Our right fielder is a better first baseman than their first baseman.

  • Enoch44

    [i]the Yanks would make a splash to counter the Red Sox’s trading for Adrian Gonzalez[/i]

    I hate this kind of stuff. The sox acquired Gonzalez to replace the departure of 2010 Beltre and Martinez.

    The Yankees don’t need to counter because they didn’t have those needs.

    • Sean C

      The Yankees don’t need to counter, because needing to sign players to long contracts because someone else in the division did is stupid. And, because the Yankees did about the same thing after the ’08 season, when they paid ZOMG $500 millions to three players!!!1!!!1

  • Brewsters Millions

    I’m being lazy, maybe this has been speculated on…CC’s opt out, how will this be handled?…He will leverage it, which is his right…Do we extend him before, going against the latest policy of not renegotiating contracts prior to them being finished. Do we take the A-Rod opt out approach and threaten not to engage him on the open market? Does he hit free agency and this whole thing just become a mess. As awesome as it is to be a Yanks fan, this off-season and next one has me very uneasy…

    • Billion$Bullpen

      I would let him walk. Big dude with knee issues and tons of innings on his arm. Whoever signs him to a 7 year deal after next year will be signing a HORRIBLE contract. Hope it is not us.

      BTW I am a CC fan.

      • Mister Delaware

        Disagree. (Plus, the nice thing about big money aces is when they underperform their contract, they’re either still a bit useful in the back-end or they’re injured and not hurting the team. When a position player underperforms, especially at a major offensive position, he’s bringing down the lineup every day.)

        • Billion$Bullpen

          So if the Yanks signed CC to a 7 year deal for the same or more money per year starting in year 2012 you think it would end up being a good deal? for the Yankees? The closest comp would be Cliff Lee’s recently signed 5 year with an option year deal.

          Getting hurt for a long portion or just sucking are both highly probable outcomes. You do not pay that money to get a back end pitcher so what you said there is really of no consequence on true value. I am not comparing signing an ace pitcher to a position player. My last point is that 7 year plus deals are pretty much dumb moves that are only made out of desperation on the teams part. They are either business moves, desperation moves or legacy deals all of which are not usually smart baseball moves at the dollar amount that is associated with them.

  • chris

    This article misses the mark a bit. The Cards didn’t put the deadline on Albert. Pujols and his people put the deadline on the Cards. They have said over and over that if Pujols wants to talk they will. Not an accurate way to relate the Cards stance against Pujols to how the Yankees deal with their FA’s.

  • bakekrukow412

    Being a Yankees fan always makes me laugh. When we signed Teix, everyone was jumping for joy, now barely 2 years later we want to trade him. I find it absolutely hysterical how some people say “Teix for Pujols is a no brainer.” Sure Pujols’ WAR is always over 7.0, but at age 31 so was A-Rod’s. In 2007, he posted an insane 9.9 WAR, but after that it declined year to year, going 5.4, 3.9, and last year 2.9. I know he was hurt, but still. No one can predict when a player will decline. If Pujols were 28, then I would say no brainer. But if he’s going to be 32 to start 2012, this smells like A-Rod all over again.

    And of course, I can’t help but wonder what would happen if something were to come out about Pujols. (cough coughSTEROIDScough cough). The Yankess would be stuck with him. I really don’t think he’s worth it.

  • altajoe

    If the Yanks sign Pujols you can bet that by mid-summer one more name will be leaked and it will be a Yankee. A new Yankee.

  • ktevent1

    Does Tex have to be part of the scenario? Pujols is versatile and a gifted athlete in the field as well as at the plate. Dress him in pinstripes and give the guy a leftfielder’s glove (seven assists and three errors in ’02 and he’ll look fine in 2012. But Cash, you got to play it right.