MLB Betting: Albert Pujols Sweepstakes, Cardinals, Cubs or Marlins
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
by Bodog Sportsbook
With baseball’s winter meetings underway in Dallas, it appears that three teams have emerged as the likely winners of the Albert Pujols sweepstakes: the St Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and Miami Marlins, with the latter possibly being the new leader.
Of course Pujols has spent his entire Hall of Fame career in St. Louis and reportedly already has turned down a nine-year, $200 million deal. Pujols wants to be the highest-paid player in baseball, which means at least $28 million a season to surpass the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez. Most believe Pujols will return to St. Louis, but the Cardinals probably can’t pay the most.
The Marlins have been the story of this offseason, spending more than $130 million so far on former Padres closer Heath Bell and Mets shortstop Jose Reyes. The Marlins are looking to make a giant splash as they move into a new stadium, and Pujols is their final target. Reports are Tuesday that Miami offered Pujols a 10-year contract – up from a previous nine-year-deal – with financial details not revealed. The Marlins are believed able to support a $100 million payroll next season (which is more than their Opening Day payroll the past three seasons combined) placing them in roughly the same neighborhood as the Cardinals, who have budgeted about $110 million for theirs.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs and new team boss Theo Epstein met Monday night with the agent for Pujols and it was confirmed early Tuesday morning that they submitted a bid for the three-time National League MVP. The Cubs definitely need a first baseman and would love to drive a dagger into the hearts of the Cardinals, their arch-rivals. But the younger Prince Fielder (Brewers) seems to make more sense for Epstein, who always talks about paying for “future performance” instead of “past performance.”
Fielder, 27, had a better season last year, hitting .298 with 38 homers, 120 RBIs and an OBP of .415. Pujols obviously has proven his worth over the longer term and is a better fielder and baserunner than Fielder. However, Pujols will be 32 in January and slipped to a .299 average with 37 homers, 99 RBIs and a .366 OBP last season.
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