Chicago Cubs Make An Offer To Albert Pujols


Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein met with Dan Lozano on Monday afternoon to talk about the Cubs’ possibly re-signing veteran pitcher Rodrigo Lopez. Lozano also represents top free agent first baseman Albert Pujols, but at the time, the discussions only focused on Lopez. Afterwards, Epstein confirmed later on that afternoon that he did have discussions with Lozano and that the Cubs are interested in bringing Lopez back next season.

Little did we all know at the time that Epstein and Lozano would meet once again on Monday night. This time the focus was not on Lopez, rather Albert Pujols.

The St Louis Dispatch is reporting that the Cubs and Lozano met on Monday to discuss Pujols, and that is where Epstein made a “qualifying offer” to enter the Cubs into the Pujols’ sweepstakes. The belief is that the Cubs prefer a shorter term contract for Pujols but with a higher base salary. One of the leading reasons why Pujols rejected the Cardinals’ offer last season was because the annual salary was too low. Meaning that Pujols and his representatives may be putting more of an emphasis on the money rather than longevity. If that is the case, the Cubs may be putting themselves in a good position.

Then again the Cubs may have submitted offer to Pujols that they know will not be accepted only for the sole purpose of forcing the Cardinals’ to up their current offer to their long-time first baseman. That still appears, to me at least, to be the leading scenario. While Pujols on a short-term contract may be a better option than Prince Fielder, the Cubs may just be trying to force the Cardinals’ hand. In addition to the Cardinals, it is also believed that the Miami Marlins have an offer on the table for Pujols. Unlike the Cubs, the Marlins are looking at a long term deal for Pujols. Recent reports suggest that the Marlins have increased their offer to Pujols to ten years.

Lets run with the idea that the Cubs have indeed made an offer to Pujols, a realistic offer to Pujols from the Cubs is likely to be five years, worth around $150 million. While it may not be the length that Pujols was looking for out of his next contract, the $30 million that would be paid to Pujols annually under that contract would be the highest of any other contract offer that is on the table. From that perspective, that would allow for Pujols to be one of the most highest paid athletes in baseball and still have another opportunity for a pay-day once the contract would expire when he is 36.

At five years and $150 million, there is no question that Pujols is a better option than Prince Fielder. Having said that, I still question whether the Cubs’ true motive is to sign Pujols, or frustrate the Cardinals’ even more during their Pujols’ negotiations. In any event, the Cubs may be speaking softly but they are carrying a big stick.