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Albert Pujols to Be Paid a Visit by His Former Team the St. Louis Cardinals This Week

July 1st, 2013 at 11:32 PM
By Brandon Hunter

 'Albert Pujols' photo (c) 2012, Keith Allison - license: After a season and a half apart, the St. Louis Cardinals will travel to Los Angeles to face former Cardinal legend Albert Pujols and his Los Angeles Angels. The initial departure of Pujols was ugly with tempers flaring on both sides, though the Cardinals' front office remained calm, collected, and most importantly, calculated. This went on as Cardinal fans ripped Pujols, and Pujols ripped the Cardinals' front office. Now, with a year and a half to let tempers settle and players and fans alike to move on, the Cardinals head to Pujols's new baseball home to face him from the opposing dugout for the first time in his 13 MLB seasons.

As recently as last week, Pujols stated that there will always be a place in his heart for the Cardinals and even lobbied the Angels to wear the Stan Musial No. 6 patch during the series against his former team (See Article). However, he proceeded to express continued feelings of agitation with the Cardinals' front office stating that he didn't feel he had been treated fairly. Even though the Cardinals and GM John Mozeliak offered Pujols a contract that would've made him the highest paid player per year in team history for 10 years, they fell short of the Angel's offer by an estimated $3-$5 million per year.

Pujols posted 11 Hall of Fame caliber seasons with the Cardinals that would have alone likely landed him in Cooperstown. However, in addition to the 10 year playing contract he signed, he also agreed to terms that will keep him under the control of the Angels for an additional 10 years after he is done playing. This, in effect, could likely keep him from going into the Hall of Fame as a Cardinal when he is eligible five years after he retires. Ultimately, the extra 10 year deal cements Pujols's place outside of Cardinal Nation and the Cardinal Family with little hope of returning. When he is finally able to leave the Angels, there will be 20 year old adults who will never have been alive to see Albert wear the Birds on the Bat.

This is a bitter pill for Cardinals' fans to follow, and likely even Pujols himself when all is said and done. However, Pujols appears to have done the Cardinals a favor by turning down the contract they offered him. With that money the Cardinals have been able to extend Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright past their mid 30s with reasonable contracts. They were also able to sign Carlos Beltran who has already hit 51 home runs and driven in 147 RBIs in just a season and a half with the Cardinals as he will almost certainly make his second All-Star appearance in a row for the team. Also, the compensation the Cardinals received from the Angels for their signing of Pujols allowed them to draft star prospect Michael Wacha and other top prospects last season which has helped earn them the top ranked farm system in all of MLB by Baseball America. Of course, it has also allowed for them to give more regular playing time to rising stars such as Matt Carpenter, Allen Craig, and Matt Adams who have all made huge contributions to the winning ways of the team over the last year and a half.

The Cardinals will take on the Angels on Tuesday night in Los Angeles as Lance Lynn will be the first Cardinal pitcher to face his former World Series teammate Albert Pujols.

Tags: Adam Wainwright, Albert Pujols, Allen Craig, Baseball, Baseball America, Carlos Beltran, Cooperstown, John Mozeliak, Los Angeles Angels, Matt Carpenter, MLB, St. Louis, St. Louis Cardinals, World Series, Yadier Molina

2 Responses to “Albert Pujols to Be Paid a Visit by His Former Team the St. Louis Cardinals This Week”

  1.  Carl Hancock says:

    Albert’s personal services contract with the Angels has no bearing on what team he will represent in the Hall of Fame.

    Neither Albert nor the Angels have any control over which team he’ll represent when he is elected to the Hall of Fame.

    That decision is made by the Hall of Fame itself and is based on historical impact.

    Albert will have played 11 years in St. Louis and made the biggest historical impact on the game while he was playing for St. Louis. ROY, Gold Gloves, 3 MVP awards, 2 World Series rings… and the best first 10 years of any player in history.

    The only way Albert goes into the HOF as an Angel is if he eclipses what he did in St. Louis. Well, he’s already 1.5 years into his deal and so far he’s done nothing but decline. I have a greater chance of winning the power ball lottery than Albert has of eclipsing what he did in St. Louis with the Angels over the next 8 years after this one.

    He’ll be going into the Hall of Fame as a Cardinal and there is nothing Albert or the Angels can do to prevent it. The simple fact is when his career is over his 11 years with the Cardinals will be what get him into the HOF, not his years with the Angels where he’s become a shell of his former self.

    So you can bank on him going into the HOF as a Cardinal.

    As for the 10 year personal services contract? It’s not a guaranteed deal like his player contract is. If you think the Angels are going to actually want Albert around after his career is over the way it’s declining… and after he goes into the HOF as a Cardinal… you are delusional.

    Albert will go into the HOF as a Cardinal, he likely won’t end up seeing a single year of that personal services contract and he’ll likely have to reconcile with the Cardinals at some point one his career is over because he will be representing St. Louis when he is elected into the HOF because the HOF makes that decision, not him.

    •  Brandon Hunter says:

      Thanks for the input. Sure enough, you are right. According to the National Baseball Hall of Fame website, as of 2001 the committee makes the decision as to what cap a player will wear on his HOF plaque. This was done specifically to prevent issues like the one discussed in this article which has been a hot point of discussion in most all outlets of St. Louis local sports media in the last year and a half. Thank you for pointing this out!

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