Curt Schilling Questions if Albert Pujols is Worth $25-30 Million a Year
Albert Pujols is scheduled to be a free agent for the first time after completing his existing contract with the Cardinals. The sides were unable to agree on an extension before the season, putting Albert in a difficult spot. He’s worth a lot of money, and he wants to remain with the Cardinals, but it will be hard for St. Louis to keep him if he wants to be paid more than any player in baseball. Former pitcher and current analyst Curt Schilling isn’t sure Pujols is even worth that.
“I’m not sure if eight years … you’re talking about a $200-$250 million deal if the numbers are to be believed. They’re some questions in my mind if this is a 25 or 30 million dollar [player],” Schilling said after the World Series ended. “[He's the] best offensive player in the game — not for a second do I question that. But if I’m going to pay a guy $25-$30 million, I need everything.
“I need that clubhouse presence. I need that guy who stands in front of the media win or lose and doesn’t shirk that stuff off to his teammates. I was a little disappointed after the Game 2 situation. Regardless of what happened, you’re a leader. I don’t want my teammates to have to field questions about me.
“The Alex Rodriguez contract, I don’t think is coming out to be a very good thing for the Yankees and the future of that organization. He’s going to hamstring somebody by signing a contract. If [Pujols] does it [in St. Louis] he’s got the surrounding cast. He goes somewhere else, that might not be the case.”
The A-Rod contract is an argument against paying big money for a slugger in his thirties, but Pujols has always been more consistent than Rodriguez. Still it’s hard to argue with Schilling; when it comes to big-money, long-term contracts, it’s difficult to say a player will be worth the money every year. As good as Pujols is (and I’d love to have him on the Angels), it’s hard to envision him being worth $25 or $30 million in 2018 or 2019 when he’s 38 and 39 years old. That’s what St. Louis has to evaluate when they negotiate with him.