If you have watched baseball at all the last ten years you have probably seen this name a time or two, Albert Pujols. With the nicknames Prince Albert, Phat Albert and The Machine, it’s easy to remember him he has also been MVP of the National League 3 times and is a 1 time World Series winner.
This past week Pujols fractured his left wrist, and it’s projected he will be out 4-6 weeks. Which isn’t too long, but will this have a long-term effect on him? Will Albert rush back too fast? By his standards he was having a down year in terms, which was still better than 90% of baseball, but was starting to warm up to play like the Albert of old. His stat line at the time of the injury: .279 BA, 17 HR 45 RBI in 73 games played, and once again this season started off as a down season.
Pujols is set to be a free agent at the end of the season and many people believe he will be baseball’s first $300 million dollar man. From day one since he entered the major league Pujols has torn the cover off of the ball to no ends. The man has never hit under .312 in his 10 year career, which is amazing especially because he is a power hitter. Most power hitters get a lot of home runs and runs batted in with average batting averages, not Pujols, the guy is a baseball freak.
Pujols currently is the 7th highest paid 1st baseman in the MLB; Ryan Howard (Phillies), Mark Teixeira (Yankees), Adrian Gonzalez (Red Sox), Miquel Cabrera (Tigers), Todd Helton (Rockies) and Prince Fielder (Brewers) currently make more. Pujols’ last contract was in 2004, so I’m sure his rank among the 1st baseman will change this summer. It’s hard to believe six people at his position make more coin than him. As of right now in the current state of baseball can we say that somebody is underpaid? If so, right now the Cardinals have a major bargain in only playing Albert roughly over $14 million this season.
Will his current wrist injury affect his winter payday? Will they use this injury to low-ball him? What if he rushes back to early? What if he slumps during his return? Will the Cardinals pay him for the title he helped bring to the organization? Or the amazing numbers he has put up? If the Cards don’t want to pay him who will? Will he move up the list to become the number one highest paid 1st baseman?