In a column for the Chicago Tribune this morning, Phil Rogers suggests the Cardinals could look to trade Albert Pujols.
Pujols made a couple of odd and un-Pujolsy comments recently about his future with the Cardinals, saying essentially that he’s in no rush to sign a contract extension. But everything I’ve heard suggests that Pujols is a St. Louis-lifer. He went to high school in Independence, MO, and junior college in Kansas CIty, plus he’s all set up with restaurants and charities and his family in Nellyville.
But we can dream, huh?
Rogers suggests the Mets as a possible suitor in trade or free-agency, mostly because few other teams could afford what Rogers speculates he’ll cost. The Cardinals owe him $16 million for 2010 and have a $16 million option on his contract for 2011, which they’d be crazy not to take.
For some reason, though, and maybe this is some sort of schoolboy fantasy, I always get the feeling that the money is secondary to Pujols. He seems like he might be the one professional athlete with legitimately higher priorities. Like dominating.
Pujols is, according to Rogers, going to see Dr. James Andrews about his long-lingering elbow pain. That baffles me for a couple of reasons: First, if it really hurts, why is he still so awesome? Would he be even better if his elbow was fixed? Second, I was led to believe that Albert Pujols doesn’t feel pain.
Speaking of which, here are some true things about Albert Pujols. Forgive me if they sound like a Chuck Norris list:
1) In his first college game, Albert Pujols hit a grand slam and turned an unassisted triple play.
2) Albert Pujols’ career OPS+ (172) is higher than any single season in Mets’ team history.
3) In a series of coordination tests in 2006, Pujols not only scored remarkably high, but got better at the tests with practice and showed little fatigue. In one test, Pujols was asked to depress a tapper as many times as he could in 10 seconds. He tapped so hard he broke Dr. Desiree White’s tapper. Then, he fixed it for her.
4) Albert Pujols got a 100 on his U.S. citizenship test.
5) There’s also this.
6) In seven career Buddy Walk days, when the Cardinals host area children with Down Syndrome, Pujols — the St. Louis Buddy Walk chairman — has hit .393 with six home runs and 13 RBI.
7) Albert Pujols’ restaurant has 45 HDTVs.