Blog Entry

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

Posted on: January 24, 2012 4:25 pm

By Matt Snyder

Two superstar first basemen helped lead NL Central teams into the playoffs in 2011. In 2012, each will be playing in the American League.

Albert Pujols signed a whopping 10-year, $254 million contract to leave St. Louis and head to the Angels. Several weeks later (today), Prince Fielder accepted a nine-year, $214 million deal to join the Detroit Tigers.

We long had this matchup slated to run at some point in this Would You Rather Have series, but wanted to hold off until the dollar figures were known. Obviously if Fielder signed for half what Pujols did -- especially being younger -- he'd be the choice. But we now have contracts that are essentially apples to apples, as they're close enough in average annual value. 

Would You Rather Have
The case for Pujols

Ever since Barry Bonds retired, Pujols has been either the consensus best player in baseball or the runner-up (at times Alex Rodriguez was considered superior). Pujols has won three MVPs and finished in the top 10 of MVP voting every single season of his career -- and the top five all but one time. He already has 445 home runs and sports an absurd 1.037 career OPS (170 OPS-plus).

On top of all the considerable damage Pujols can do with his bat, he's a well-rounded player. He's widely regarded as an exceptional baserunner and an above average defender. He's certainly a much better defender than Fielder, so leave the puns alone.

Pujols also doesn't have the weight concerns many attach to Fielder.

The case for Fielder

He's no slouch with the bat himself. In only six full seasons -- and change -- Fielder has 230 homers and a .929 OPS. Last season he hit 38 home runs and drove home 120. For the third consecutive season, Fielder drew more than 100 walks, too, so his plate discipline can rival that of Pujols. And Fielder does have three top-four finishes in MVP voting in the past five seasons.

Despite concerns about weight, Fielder trumps Pujols in the durability category. Prince has only missed one game in the past three seasons combined. In his six full seasons, Fielder has averaged 160 games played. And that's a segue to the age issue.

Prince Fielder is only 27 -- he'll turn 28 this May. Albert Pujols just turned 32. And Pujols' contract is one year longer.

So, obviously Pujols would have been the choice for this past decade, but what about the decade to come?

Our call

I'm sticking with Pujols in a ridiculously difficult choice. Each player probably switches to designated hitter around the same time and I'll take Pujols' defense as the separation point in the next few years.

Fan Vote:

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Since: Jan 28, 2012
Posted on: January 28, 2012 12:32 pm

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

There are two things that Pujols brings with him that Fielder doesn't.  First, a positive clubhouse presence.  He has always been the perfect team player and clubhouse leader.  Second, box office draw.  Who wouldn't pay to see one of the best that's ever played the game!  As an owner, these would be as important to me as the stats that both will surely post.

Since: Jan 25, 2012
Posted on: January 25, 2012 10:59 pm

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

tripleight, you are a sad individual...You may feel superior insulting people, but it truly shows your lack of character...

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 10:36 pm

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

Albert Pujols. He showed he can take over a series. He has 2 rings. Is an elite hitter in every statistical category. He can play more than 1 position. He is a leader and not a psycho.

I can't take Fielder, because he has on several occasions pulled a Milton Bradley and gone psycho after people and while he is a good player he has not taken his game to the level of dominance when it mattered. He is not a team player.

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 9:26 pm

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

Simple answer.  If I was a baseball fan, I'd rather have Albert Pujols based on that you are likely looking at a top 3 player of all time.  However, if I was a GM I'd rather have Prince.  Pujols contract ends at age 42, Prince at 36.  But without question, if I had to pick one player to have on my team THIS year (no long term contracts included), you take Pujols.

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: January 25, 2012 8:34 pm

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

I'll take Fielder becuase he is 4 years younger and because there is less danger of him getting busted once a good HGH test hits the market.  Fielder was hitting balls out of Tiger Stadium as a kid when his dad played there.  If Fielder plays his cards right and has a good nine years, he may end up being Detroit's most beloved living sports icon.  

They will still like Stevie Y better in the suburbs, though. 

Since: Dec 29, 2011
Posted on: January 25, 2012 7:30 pm

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

You've gotta be kidding me. Pujols is the superior player all around.

Since: Oct 17, 2006
Posted on: January 25, 2012 7:28 pm

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

I think I'll take Fielder, we already have Pujols on our team, his name is Cabrera.....SWEEEETTTTTT!!!!!!!

Since: Apr 2, 2009
Posted on: January 25, 2012 7:11 pm

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

Albert Pujols, contracts aside, shouldn't be compared to Prince Fielder. 

Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Willie Mays, Hank Greenberg, Barry Bonds, Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente sure compare away, but not Prince Fielder.

If we're talking just Tigers firstbaseman, I'd rather compare Miguel Cabrera.

But we're not, so I voted Albert Pujols.

Since: Jan 12, 2012
Posted on: January 25, 2012 7:03 pm

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

I kinda agree and was going to put the same kinda comment on, both only really have three years like you said for the 30 home run a year gig anymore.

Since: Feb 4, 2007
Posted on: January 25, 2012 6:02 pm

Would You Rather Have: Pujols or Fielder?

i think its a wash.  each player promises about 3 years of the production that got them their huge deals.  after that youre going to get 3 years of production more in line with a player making half what they are.  the last 3 or 4 years for both guys youre going to be talking about players making 25 million a year providing 5 million a year production.

albert at 40 will still be light years ahead of prince fielder at 28 defensively.  as a brewers fan watching prince doing the fielder flop at hot smashes to his corner with his man boobs swinging in the wind is not a sight im going to miss. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or