"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Goodbye, Albert

It's a sad day in St. Louis for Cardinals fans, as Albert Pujols has apparently agreed to a 10 year/$250 million guaranteed contract with the Los Angeles Angels.   The Cardinals supposedly didn't offer more than 9 years and $200 million guaranteed, so they in essence called his bluff, and he called theirs.   I've written before that this was the smart move for the Cardinals:  here, here and here.    You just can't pay a player $25 million a year during his decline phase, which Pujols most assuredly is in.   Here, for instance, are his OPS figures (on base plus slugging) for the past four years:

Year              OPS
2008               1.114
2009               1.101
2010               1.011
2011                 .907

And here are his WAR (wins-against-replacement) for the same years:

Year              WAR
2008                  9.1      
2009                  9.0
2010                  7.5
2011                  5.1

So the Cardinals would have overpaid for him to stay, even if he'd taken their offer.   The Angels are most assuredly overpaying (at least in terms of wins; how the greatest Hispanic player ever helps them with TV audiences in SoCal is another story). 

But it's still sad.

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