The news of the day at the winter meetings in Dallas are the reports that representatives of the Marlins have extended a 10-year offer to Albert Pujols. It is said that his agent has had multiple meetings with the Marlins, and that the talks are serious. While Pujols is arguably the best player in the game, I caution his decision to look for greener pastures in south beach.
We’ve seen this story from the Marlins before. They spend lots of money on big-time free agents and then they’re gone before the ink can dry on the contract. One of the hold-ups in the negotiations are rumored to be the reluctance of the Marlins to add a no-trade clause. Understanding that no-trade clauses are not rock solid staples in a contract, my question for Miami is this: to an organization so focused on building a perennial winner around a guy they are willing to pay upwards of $22-25 million dollars a year why not show the fan base you’re serious by guaranteeing you won’t ship him out in 2013 as “punishment” to the fans for not reaching the 2.8 to three million in attendance you need to finance this spending spree? Pujols, who is building a legendary status in St. Louis, should stay with the Cardinals. Not only are they committed every year to putting the best team on the field but he would solidify his place in Cardinal lore right alongside Stan Musial, Ozzie Smith and Bob Gibson.
I’m secretly the type of person who asks “how much can you really spend?” In the end that is none of my business and Albert Pujols has to do what is best for him and his family. But when I look at a player such as Chipper Jones, who turned down countless millions because he knows his bread is buttered in Atlanta and at the end of the day he won’t have to worry about multiple teams with unstable front-offices on the back of his baseball card, I would tell Albert to think long and hard about feeding into the Marlins game plan. Stability is your best policy and as Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken Jr., Barry Larkin and a host of others know, there really is no place like home.