Talk about buzz-kill. Baseball’s Winter Meetings wrap up this afternoon and the Cubs have yet to make any moves.
But that’s been par for the course while the rest of the league appears content on standing pat until Phat Albert decides where he’ll play next season.
The good news, if you want to call it that, with the Marlins pulling out of the Pujols sweepstakes is Chicago still remains in the hunt.
If Miami’s 10-year, $200M offer isn’t good enough for Albert we can fairly assume he’s either heading back to St. Louis or reconsidering taking a shorter deal–and possibly one rumored to have been offered by the Cubs.
That said, even if Pujols agrees to decreasing the number of years, he’s still seeking mega-dollars, which hardly makes his signing any more palatable on the North Side.
Additionally, such a scenario concerning Pujols would seemingly directly impact Prince Fielder’s situation, as well.
If Pujols sets the market by agreeing to a five or six-year deal with St. Louis, or elsewhere, Fielder immediately becomes more of a sensible possibility for Chicago.
The Cubs could offer Fielder a fat deal paying him through his prime years without having to worry about the long-term effects of a player in decline earning top dollars (see Alfonso Soriano).
And with Pujols still highly regarded as the best first baseman available, not to mention, one of the game’s best players, if not the best player, Fielder is unlikely to get offers exceeding what Pujols demands.
Basically, a shorter deal for Pujols gives Chicago leverage to either match or surpass any offers Fielder would get from other suitors.
Whatever the case may be, I just want to the Pujols situation to be resolved. Then, perhaps, the rest of baseball will make hay on this final meeting day in Dallas.
As Tom Petty so appropriately sang, “it’s the waiting that’s the hardest part.”