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Cubs make a bid for Pujols, but do they prefer Fielder?

Cubs make a bid for Pujols, but do they prefer Fielder?

The drama at first base continues as the Cubs reportedly have made an offer to Albert Pujols though his agent Dan Lozano.

It was known yesterday that the too met but Epstein coyly said that the Cubs were talking about Rodrigo Lopez,

"You see [Pujols' agent] going into someone's room,it's not always that you're there to talk about the big Kahuna"

The Big Kahuna is, of course, Albert Pujols.  Lopez could well have come up as the pitcher would probably like to return to the Cubs, but how do you not address the elephant in the room?

The question is, how serious is the bid?  Did the Cubs make a competitive offer or are they trying to create competition for the Cardinals slugger?  Or are they trying to gain leverage with Scott Boras, who represents the other big first baseman on the market, Prince Fielder.

Jon Heyman tweeted the following earlier this morning:

Cubs are eyeing fielder more than pujols. they've talked to pujols but won't do 9 or even 10 yrs for 31-yr-old.

Meanwhile, the Cubs indicated yesterday that Bryan LaHair would get an opportunity, but no promises were made.  The thought is that if the Cubs don't get either Fielder or Pujols, then LaHair may be in line to start for the Cubs.

The idea of signing the soon to be 32 year old Albert Pujols to a long term contract makes Cubs fans both excited and nervous.  We've been burned by signing players past their prime years in the past (see Alfonso Soriano), but Pujols has a skill set that is more likely to maintain value than Soriano was and maybe even the younger Prince Fielder.  Despite being 4 years older, Pujols is a better hitter, a better defender, and a better base runner than Fielder is.

Fielder does have youth on his side and offers LH power, something the Cubs have seriously lacked for years.

My thought is that if the Cubs do, in fact, try to outbid teams for their services, it will be through a higher AAV but less years.  Both would like to be the highest paid player in the game and perhaps they would take that tradeoff and sign for 5 years rather than 7-10 years.

Which do you think is the better fit?  Give us your opinion in the comments section and/or vote on our new poll.

UPDATE:  The Cubs are denying they've made an offer to Pujols.

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  • Looking forward to listening to you when you post the link from this morning John. I'm sure you did great!!

    My thoughts on this Pujols thing. I don't understand why people think that he will want a 10 year contract as the Marlins have reportedly offered. Who says this guy will want to be playing baseball until he turns 42 years old? I seriously doubt it. And if he retired, he would lose out on some of his money.

    I would bet that if the Cubs really do want him and made a real offer, that it included a very high AAV for 5 years and then started up with the options. Mutual options for years 6-8 with a large buyout ($15 mil?) So that Pujols will have options later on in his career if he doesn't want to be playing into his 40's. And the Cubs could easily do this deal at 30 mil per year with the contracts they have coming off the books and the fact that they won't be able to spend as much in the draft and international signing anymore after this season.

    Well those are my 2 cents, but I would love to have Pujols under those terms. As already stated, his skill set does not rely on things that diminish as he gets older. He may not steal the 10 bases a year that he is now, but he will still have great base running and the power and average, and RBI's aren't going anywhere for a while.

    Plus, what could be better than stealing from the Cards?

  • In reply to Still Love the Cubs:

    Thanks, I'll post the link in about an hour or so, unless I sounded terrible, in which case I'll conveniently lose it ;) Just kidding, of course.

    If the Cubs sign either Pujols or Fielder, it would have to be for a creative deal like you suggested.

    Stealing from the Cards would be a nice little bonus. It would help alter the balance of power a little bit more toward our side.

  • In reply to Still Love the Cubs:

    I agree. Who says Pujols wants to play until he's 41 or 42? I would offer him 6 years at $180M. The $30M AAV is well above Arod's $27.5M. Also, the $180M total value is only $20-$30M less than the total value being discussed on the 9 and 10 year offers. You would have Pujols from age 32 through 37 and like John mentioned, his skill set should not suffer much deterioration. If Pujols insists on more than 6 years than wish him well and move on. I'd rather have Pujols than Fielder based on his superior defense and baserunning.

  • I vote for Brian Lahair and spending money elsewhere at least for this year. Did you see that the Marlins have met twice about Pujols?

    "Should Pujols sign with Miami, look for the Marlins to seek starting pitchers through trades. The team is willing to part with its top prospects for quality arms."
    http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20111205&content_id=26095288&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb
    With Reyes at Short and Ramirez moving to third, their 4th rated prospect according to BA for the 2011 season is 3b Matt Dominguez. If the Cubs part with Marmol or Garza, I would love to see this guy come back. They have a couple other intriguing names like Marcell Ozuna (OF), Christina Yelich (OF) and Chad James (LH Pitcher). Dominguez only walks 8% of the time but is the best defensively in the infield and also boasts the best arm.

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    In reply to Break The Curse:

    Unfortunately dominguez didn't hit that well last season and the marlins have no need for marmol with them signing bell to close.

    The real question is with the marlins spending all this money will they have any left for a possible zambrano deal. I just don't believe so any more regardless of how much ozzie may want him.

  • I have a feeling that Pujols and his agent want the years rather than higher yearly salary. I think because of that he either resigns with St.Louis or he goes to Miami. I think the Cubs are going to big players for Fielder , which makes sense with him being younger.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Only way I can see where he wants the years is if he plans on playing until he is a very old (in baseball terms) man.

    Even if he takes a shorter contract now, he can still make another contract if he wants to at 38. If not, he can retire and go the the HOF with what will be amazing numbers. Either way, if he gets big bucks for less years, he'll have notoriety of being highest paid player in game, plus he'll at least have the option of getting out when he wants to instead of having to play beyond when he wants to play.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    If Pujols wants the years then there is little chance the Cubs sign him. I hope Miami signs him, as much a I don't like Loria, since it will take him out of the division.

  • This is Theo's first test. Is he wilingl to give any player a very long term
    contract (with a no-trade clause) I say no.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Well, if you aren't going to spend money on the best player in the game as a big market team, then what are you going to spend money on?

    I know the stated goal has been to build from within and through the draft, and they will still do that. However, I don't see how that prohibits the Cubs from spending money. They have at least 50 million in payroll that they can add right now, not to mention what they will have available when they trade Soriano (another 5 mil?), Marmol, or when Zambrano's money comes off the books.

    I see no reason why they wouldn't make a serious offer on their own terms for a reduced amount of years. They have to spend money somewhere and there aren't any pitchers worth it out there. If they don't get Pujols, I'd expect them to make an offer to Fielder.

    If not, where else are they going to spend $50 million?

  • In reply to Still Love the Cubs:

    The Cubs can certainly afford to do both, especially if they can make a creative deal with buyouts/opt outs etc. to make it shorter.

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    I think they stick with lahair and pick up a capable back up like kotchman (good d and good ob%) on a cheap short deal.

  • In reply to Rich Cap:

    Kotchman would come as a nice complement if he comes cheap. The only issue is carrying two guys who should only really be playing 1B on the roster.

  • No matter how great Pujos is, an old Pujos is not.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    We don't know that, though. I think he should age pretty well, actually.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    If not Pujols or Fielder, John, where do you expect the cubs to spend 50 million this offseason?

    Already stated that payroll would be same as it was season. Plus maybe add some for what they can't spend on international or draft.

    I just don't see anyone else out there that they can spend that kind of money on.

  • In reply to Still Love the Cubs:

    I see your point. And if it was just a short-term deal I could see it happening.

    Alternatives are starting pitching and simply multiple players. There are a lot of roster spots to fill right now.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Also Cubs have to re-sign Wood, and several players will get raises due to arbitration.

    Castro and Garza (if he's not traded) are going to get some nice raises in the near future too. They may try to lock Castro up since he'll be hitting FA in his peak years.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I can see that. I honestly don't feel like there is any starting pitching out there worth spending big money on this year. Value add guys to fill out rotation this year, with an eye toward the 6-8 top of line starters that will be FA's in 2013.

    Good points on Castro and Garza. I would be alright with locking those guys up sooner than later. Still a whole lot of money to spend though....

  • In reply to Still Love the Cubs:

    If it's anybody big, my money is still on Fielder on a 5 year deal max, maybe even just 4 with a buyout.

    Make it 4 years, $30M and then give him a $10M buyout for the 5th. That would give him an AAV of $26M over 5 years and give the Cubs a way to part ways in case it doesn't work out -- or if Vogel-Bomb is the real deal.

  • "I think he should age pretty well, actually." Isn't this what Hendry, the Cubs and a lot of us said about Soriano in 2007? I agree a 1B declines less with age than an OF, but still I agree with you John, only a 5-6 year deal max for Pujols.

  • In reply to 104YearsofGlory:

    It's going to be tricky...Marlins just topped St. Louis offer with a 10 year deal. It's going to be MIA or STL and for Cubs fans, MIA the lesser of two evils.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Let Ozzie and Loria have him! I'm sure Theo can make a play at Gaby Sanchez, IF Pujols signs

  • In reply to lokeey:

    Anibal Sanchez, Gaby Sanchez, Matt Dominguez, and Logan Morrison...Lots of players but it would take Matt Garza as a centerpiece.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Those guys can have him. I don't believe Pujols is actually 31, don't trust it at all. Prince should be a Cub. It makes all the sense in the world for both parties. He fits the long term plan, as well as the short term. If we don't sign him, what are we going to do about getting a game changing, middle of the order bat like that? We can afford to pay one huge bat this offseason, then one big time pitcher next offseason(should be much better SP options next year). Bottom line is, you need to take advantage of opportunities when they are presented. Is there going to be a better opportunity to add one of the best, if not the best power hitting LH hitter in the NL? Especially at 27 years old, and it only costs you money.

  • In reply to dgedz27:

    I could not agree with you more dgedz!!! If not now, then when will you spend the money!!

  • In reply to dgedz27:

    It's a good point about taking advantage of a rare opportunity. 27 year old elite sluggers come around rarely.

  • doh, I keep getting a "you're posting too fast" error...
    -
    I posted that I think Fielder is a real possibility and if Pujols does end up in Miami, so too would Gaby Sanchez.
    Thing about Gaby though, is that he's the same age as Fielder, and would cost players instead of money. Players are more valuable than money, so my preference would be a 6-$150 for Fielder.

  • In reply to Norm:

    Slow down Norm ;)

    Incidentally Rosenthal just tweeted this...

    Sources: #Cubs' interest in Fielder is on shorter deal, not eight or nine years. Would pay high dollars in exchange for shorter term.

    Hmm..that sounds like something we talked about right here too. Nice to hear Cubs feel the same way we do about a potential contract with Fielder.

  • In reply to Norm:

    I have gotten that too. I think I don't wait long enough to press comment after I am done typing. So I just wait like 10 secs after I'm done typing.

    I totally agree with you Norm. Players are much more valuable than money at this point. I would take either Pujols or Fielder at this point. If so, why not use LaHair as trade bait?

    That would be giving him a fair shot if they trade him as part of a deal for a 3B to a team that needs a 1B right?

    I'm home sick today and I'm probably annoying the heck out of John with all my posting and questions!! Sorry John

  • In reply to Still Love the Cubs:

    No worries at all. I enjoy the question. I also have this adrenaline rush after being on the radio, so I've got plenty of energy right now!

  • Boras said that he will wait until Pujos signs before Fielder does.
    If so, I think he is out of the Cubs price range and number of
    years. Which is good in the long run for the Cubs

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    It may boost Fielder's price as well.

  • CBS Chicago - - The consensus is that the Cubs wont land either Pujols or Prince Fielder, but rather will go after someone more economically feasible like Gabby Sanchez. That way they can fill numerous other holes they have to fill, like at third base and in the pitching department.

    Theo Epstein is pretty darn good at trying to throw people off base and the fact that he (supposedly) made a qualifying offer to Pujols’ agent is just another example.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    I'd agree with this.

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    john, think a year ahead real quick. what does free agent pitching and power bad options for next year look like

  • In reply to Bryan Bell:

    Some top pitchers could be available like Matt Cain and Cole Hamels. Possible bats include Josh Hamilton and Curtis Granderson. Next year's class could be more well-rounded even if it lacks a Pujols or Fielder type player. It may make sense to wait.

  • If Pujols leaves St. Louis, I read that they will address it internally. So best case scenario if the Cubs don't land one of them short term would be if Pujols ended up in Florida and Fielder signed in the AL. I agree that Epstein is using smoke and mirrors. And I love it because it probably just priced St. Louis out of the discussion!

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    Probably true. It is nice that we truly have no idea what T/J are thinking.

    Marlins are turning into the new Hendry. Telegraphing everything that they want and perhaps mortgaging the future to win now.

    I'm so impatient. I wanna see what it is the Cubs are going to spend on!!

    I was thinking about it, and it must be important for Pujols to get the years on his contract. If it wasn't, why would the Marlins and Cards have gone that long. I can only think that it is because that was a demand of Pujols and his agent. That really does surprise me, but it looks like what is happening.

  • In reply to Still Love the Cubs:

    I'm glad the Cubs aren't laying their cards on the table, but I'm also extremely impatient for some news. COME ON! Do something!!!

  • In reply to Eddie:

    I know!!! Anything, give me an Erik Bedard or a Chase Headley deal. Give me a minor signing even...anything!!

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    I heard. Moving Berkman to 1B makes a lot of sense. And agreed, great gamesmanship by Epstein so far.

  • I'm happy with any Pujols deal that involves MEGA money.
    And it doesn't have to be the Cubs making the deal.

  • In reply to eaton53:

    One rumor has the Marlins offer at 10 years, $250M

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Woah!! No way Cubs or Cards are going that high. That is insane money.

    If I'm Pujols, I ask for the same money over 9 years. That makes me highest paid player and still gives me a spot to play until I'm 100 years old.

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    I don't believe the Cubs are serious enough for Pujols or Fielder. Its all about putting pressure on the Cardinals and Brewers to ante up. Pujols and Fielder want max dollars. So expect both of them to get 200+ million. My guess is Pujols around 250 million and Fielder about 210 million. There's no way the Cubs can go 40-50 million per year for 5-6 years for Pujols and the same goes with Fielder but a little less. Expect both to get at least 8 years+.

  • In reply to Danny Guerra:

    Agreed...and if that's the case the Cubs won't match those offers.

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    Angels to sign Pujols. 250ish mil.

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