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Is Albert Pujols Worth $300 Million?

St. Louis Cardinals Albert Pujols swings for a solo home run against the Chicago Cubs in the first inning at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on August 13, 2010. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Albert Pujols’ self-imposed contract negotiation deadline has passed without a deal getting done. This means that the St. Louis Cardinals All-Star will test the free agent waters next year and sign with a team that will pay him real money. Not the nominal $16 million a year that he’ll receive this year, but real money, as in $30 million a year.

Pujols is the best player in baseball and deserves to be the highest paid. However, $30 million a year for 10 years is simply too much for the Cardinals too afford. That type of money is something for the Yankees or Red Sox to spend; not for the rest of MLB.

Is Pujols worth $30 million a year? I don’t think that any player deserves that kind of money, but based on what teams generally spend for comparable players, yes, he is worth the money.

So who is to blame for a deal not getting done? Is it Pujols for being greedy? The Cardinals for being stingy? I really don’t know if there is anyone to blame, but I do know that the average fan is turned off by this “major” contract dispute. A fan thinks to himself, “He wants $30 million, they are only willing to give him $20 million, and here I am worried about feeding my family.”

Our hearts go out to Albert for the travesty that the Cardinals are putting him through. It should be his biggest problem.

Posted in Baseball.

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One Response

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  1. Marc Schneider says

    In a market economy, people are paid not based on their intrinsic worth but on what the market decides is their worth. I don’t think Pujols “deserves” or doesn’t deserve to be paid more than Ryan Howard. It’s simply a matter of how the market works at any given time. I think we get too caught up in the idea that a player’s (or anyone) salary is a reflection of intrinsic work. Obviously, baseball players don’t contribute as much to society as police, firefighters, teachers, etc., but the way our society is organized, that’s not the relevant question. The reason the NFL has the franchise tag and other things like it is that it has a salary cap. Baseball doesn’t have that, mainly because the baseball union is stronger than the football union. Yet, football players arguably “deserve” to make more money than baseball players given the risk they run to their health and the overall financial wherewithal of the NFL relative to many baseball teams. The salary cap is simply a device to transfer wealth from the players to the owners.

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