Blog Entry

Report: Cubs after Pujols, Fielder due to CBA

Posted on: November 29, 2011 9:49 am
Edited on: November 29, 2011 4:35 pm

By Matt Snyder

Once thought to be more of a longshot to get in the bidding on any significant free agent signings, the Cubs are now in on the Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder sweepstakes, reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

One of the reasons it was widely thought the Cubs weren't going to go major on the free agent market is because the team isn't exactly just one or two players away from a World Series. One of the major tasks at hand for new president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer is building a strong, youthful foundation, and that means patience.

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But, according to Rosenthal, the new collective bargaining agreement changed everything. As Danny Knobler specifically noted last week, the new rules on draft and international spending make it much harder for teams (including the Cubs) to heavily build through the draft and international free agency. Factor in that there aren't many big bats hitting the free agent market in the next few years, and it makes sense that the Cubs would change course and start seriously considering either Pujols or Fielder as a franchise centerpiece.

The report also notes the Cubs prefer Pujols, despite being several years older, because he's a more well-rounded player -- factoring in defense and baserunning.

Even if the Cubs don't sign either player, their involvement in any bidding is a huge deal. With the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies out, the Cubs can likely outpay any other team, if they so choose. Yes, there are already some big contracts on the books, but more than $50 million has dropped off the Cubs' player payroll from last season and only Carlos Marmol and Alfonso Soriano are signed through 2013. Basically, if the Cubs want, they can blow everyone else out of the water. If not, they've at least driven up the price for other teams.

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Since: Nov 7, 2008
Posted on: November 30, 2011 1:27 pm

Report: Cubs after Pujols, Fielder due to CBA

Just because there is money freed up doen't mean the Cubs have to spend it on a free agent such as Pujols or Fielder.

We've seen that move in Chicago before.  And he is playing LF for the Cubs.  Trade some players that you can get something for and try and rebuild with younger talent, not pricey veterans.  Then throw in cheaper veterans to keep the team competitive or near .500 and then jump in on a big deal in 2013 (Granderson, Hamilton, Youk, Kemp, Bourn, maybe, but none of them to 9 years deals like the Pujols deal).  

Pujols is a Soriano deal in the making and I just don't trust Fielder's weight.  I would think he would be happier in the AL as a DH.   And Reyes is a constant injury worry and not worth the money...much like the stupid Carl Crawford deal Epstein signed last year with the Red Sox.  

And Pujols isn't going anywhere anyway.  Epstein is just playing with the Cardinals to see if he can drive up the deal they will eventually give him.  If Mozeliak doesn't sign Pujols, he would need to move to another region of the country, away from the gun toting Cardinals fans.  

Since: Nov 30, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 10:51 am
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Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: November 29, 2011 8:56 pm

Report: Cubs after Pujols, Fielder due to CBA

This has to be one of the STUPIDEST article I ever read!!

Yes Ramirez and Fukudome each cost 14 million, but you have to put someone into replace those player. I don’t see the Cubs using Jeff Baker and Tyler Colvin all year at those spots, and then getting Pujols or Fielder to replace the 10 million of  Pena. That would make zero sense.

Or are the Cubs gonna get Reyes to play SS and move Castro to 3rd? Oh boy.

And the fact is, the Cubs lost money last year, since fewer people actually went to the park. Plus Wrigley Field is a cash cow, that Cub management has to keep pouring money into so it doesn’t fall down.

It would be so foolhardy for Epstein to spend a ton of money for any free agents this year. Even for someone cheaper like Reyes. They have to start over, spend the money rebuilding their farm system. If they spend any money for a “franchise centerpiece” then they are doomed to 100 more years of futility. They have done this before, and if Epstein decides to play the Cub card and keep doing it, he will keep this team in mediocrity for years to come.

I don't care what sport, what deals, etc, teams need to build a foundation, and if they can't, they are doomed. Teams do not win world series with a "franchise centerpiece" and little else.

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: November 29, 2011 8:53 pm

Report: Cubs after Pujols, Fielder due to CBA

Just because there is money freed up doen't mean the Cubs have to spend it on a free agent such as Pujols or Fielder.  All the money it would take to sign either guy would buy 4-5 players to start building around.

Since: Aug 28, 2011
Posted on: November 29, 2011 4:25 pm

Report: Cubs after Pujols, Fielder due to CBA

So, I think if the Cubs offered that same $100 million for 4 years, Fielder might have to think about it.  It would give him the chance to be a free agent again at 31 and one more big pay day.
If I am Cubs management, this is a perfect deal. It doesn't put much risk of a health collapse such as his father had with his weight. I get a face of a franchise, one of the best hitters in the game and a big-name to draw other free agents. While money talks, so does having names that are respected so potential acquisitions don't feel as if they're looking at a bare cupboard. Fielder,27, and Starlin Castro, only 21, with a leadoff hitter would provide quite the punch.

If I am Prince, no thank you. I know that at 31, I won't be a big boy anymore. I'll be an overweight star on the verge of falling off the map. Atleast, that is what the talk will be. Fielder needs to maximize his money now and look for a 6 year deal worth around 140 million with incentives and benchmarks that could push it to 7 years. At 34, he should still have a killer bat if he maintains his health and can work on 2-3 year deal(s) to end his career, possibly searching for an elusive ring.

Ryan Howard, Miguel Cabrera, Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Teixiera, Joey Votto, Paul Konerko, his competition in Albert Pujols and even Michael Morse all put up comparable numbers in some respect, as well as Todd Helton. Prince's only exceptional selling points are his HRs, RBIs, OBP and SLG. Of those, he topped the league in RBIs but he had the NL MVP batting in front of him in Ryan Braun. A lot more opportunities to knock in a guy who was on base forty percent of the time you were batting.

Undeniably great hitter. However, his thunderous HRs don't warrant the ignorance of a Ryan Howard deal. He is entering his prime as it was his most all-around productive year in 2011 but only way I'd sign him to longer than 4 years is with several club options for the remainder. If I'm an AL team where there really are no big spenders out there, I'd up it to 5. I would love to see him pair with Bautista in Toronto.
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Since: Jun 13, 2009
Posted on: November 29, 2011 3:33 pm

Report: Cubs after Pujols, Fielder due to CBA

I was just being funny about both going to the Cubs. I don't know why they wouldn't want one of these players. All the media talk here is there two years away from competing and they won't make a bid. Didn't the Cardinals just win the World Series with one stud player, Pujols and one stud pitcher, Carpenter, and some of good players who got hot at the right time. Put Pujols on the Cubs, Fielder anywhere but Milwaukee and the division is wide open with the Reds probably favored.

Since: Nov 9, 2006
Posted on: November 29, 2011 3:03 pm

Report: Cubs after Pujols, Fielder due to CBA

It'll take a lot more than 5 years $110 million to sign Fielder.  Before last season, Milwaukee offered Prince and Boras 5 years $100 million and were told they weren't even close.  That's when negotiations basically ended.  Had they only wanted $10 million total more for those 5 years, clearly they could have worked it out.  So, I think if the Cubs offered that same $100 million for 4 years, Fielder might have to think about it.  It would give him the chance to be a free agent again at 31 and one more big pay day.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: November 29, 2011 3:01 pm

Report: Cubs after Pujols, Fielder due to CBA

bosaun80 - I like your reasoning. No, I don't think it does make sense for the Cubs to get in on either one of these guys. Build the organization up from the ground, not down from the top. It's common sense. When you've built a solid, young foundation that is a player or two away, then you open up the checkbook and make a splash. Not now. There are too many other needs.
Take the Cubs team from last year and add Pujols to it. Do they win a ring? Of course not. They don't have a Carpenter, a Wainwright (even though he missed the season), a Frese, a Holliday, a Molina or a Berkman. Now I read that one of their two real building blocks - Garza - might be traded. Trading Garza and adding Pujols really makes no sense.

Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: November 29, 2011 3:00 pm

Report: Cubs after Pujols, Fielder due to CBA

A Rod to Texas, Bonds w/ the Giants, Beltran with the Mets, the Cubs and Soriano, The White Sox and Albert Bell, the list goes on and on of teams who blow all their free agent $$ on 1 guy and then are stuck w/ his non performing contract for many yrs.  If I had to choose it would be Fielder because his contract would be for his prime where as Pujols will be past his prime on the back 1/2 of the deal and Pujols has had a few injuries lateley.

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: November 29, 2011 2:56 pm

Report: Cubs after Pujols, Fielder due to CBA

Nice dream mikeheads, and I don't blame you for having it..LOL  But, reality, (1) no way Pujols, at 31 o 32 years old, settles for a 3 year deal to go anywhere.  He may not be all about the money but this will likely be his last big contract so I dont think there is anyway he walks away from likely over $100million to leave STL and go to the Cubs, especially if he has to change positions this late in his career. (2) Fielder, too, will want more than 5 years although the $22million/yr you propose might be about right for the market, (3) while the Cubs may be willing and able to spend big on one of these two, $52million per year (probably more than 1/2 the total payroll) for just two players is likely too steep for any team trying to rebuild.

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