Matt Holliday Willing to Rework Contract to Keep Albert Pujols
Albert Pujols has been very clear about his contract situation with the St. Louis Cardinals. One of the best all-around players in the history of the game, Pujols has given the Cards and his agent a deadline of Feb. 16 to work out a contract extension. By that time, he wants to focus on training camp and get ready for the season. According to SI’s Jon Heyman, the two sides are worlds apart just five days shy of the deadline.
Fear not, Cardinals fans. Matt Holliday wants to help. Well, maybe you should still be afraid if Pujols is seriously asking for 10 years at $300 million, but at least there are people trying to make it work. According to MLB.com writer Matthew Leach via Hardball Talk, Holliday is willing to defer some of his salary if it would help retain Pujols.
I deferred $2 million a year for the whole contract and I would be willing, if they came to me and said, “Hey, this is what it’s going to take to get Albert done, would you do it again or do more?” Scott [Boras] probably wouldn’t like me to stay that, but if that’s what it took, I would be willing to do that.”
Pujols is going to be seeking the largest contract in MLB history, and deservedly so. For that reason, I don’t know how much $2 million per year over the next six years — or $12 million — will help the situation. What I will say is that the gesture is nice and it’s something you rarely see in an era where professional athletes look to squeeze out every penny they can with their contracts.
Realistically, Fat Albert won’t be getting a $300 million deal. He will be a highly sought after prize if he hits the market, but he’ll be hitting it at an unfortunate time. The Red Sox just landed Adrian Gonzalez and the Yankees already have Mark Teixeira. That eliminates the two biggest bank accounts from the equation. That’s not to say some “mystery team” won’t sweep in and make Pujols a ridiculous offer, but he will be negotiating from a much weaker position than he would be if the Red Sox and Yankees were involved. Wait, what am I saying? The Yankees could always use a DH.