Mark Buherle Watching the Cardinals Situation?

Just an hour ago this news came in about Mark Buherle willing to waive his no trade clause depending on where he would be traded to. Smells like he may want to finally come to the Cardinals. Wainwright out for the season and now Buherle’s ears perk up. Here is the skinny on the rest of the story.
Buehrle has full no-trade protection on account of being a so-called 10-and-5 player, meaning he has 10 years of service time, the five most recent of which have come with his current team, the White Sox. Buehrle said there are teams for which he wouldn’t want to play and would therefore invoke his trade veto. But he also said that he would accept certain trades if one were in the best interest of the White Sox because he is on good terms with the team and owner Jerry Reinsdorf.

“They have done enough for me,” Buehrle told Merkin.

Chicago, though, is considered a strong contender in the AL Central this year and is not actively interested in trading any of its starters, according to Merkin. Buehrle, in the final season of a four-year, $56MM deal, could be an attractive in-season trade target for contending teams should the White Sox get off to a slow start and fall out of the postseason picture

Information from Dan Mennella

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Wainwright Out with Injury

Bad news coming out of Cardinals Camp that Adam Wainwright injured his arm. He is being flown to St.Louis for an MRI. Wainwright has requested MRI results to Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles for a second opion, according to Derrick Goold. I has been suggested his injury may require Tommy John surgery. This maybe a wait and see situation to see what exactly is wrong with his arm. I pray for the best for Adam. Losing him will certainly hurt the Cardinals rotation and their wins factor.
Cardinals may go internally to fill in Adams position. Names mention have been Lance Lynn, Kyle McClellan and PJ Walters. ESPN had reported that the Cardinals are showing strong intrest in free agent Kevin Millwood.
Kevin Millwood

Drew Baur Passes Away

Drew Baur co-owner of the Cardinals died this morning in Jupiter, Fl. He had a massive heart attack. I remember back in 1995 when DeWitt and Company bought the Cardinals. As I watched the news about the Cardinals new owners when the story broke, it was fun to see Baur wearing Cardinal Red and smoking a cigar. I can tell the new owners would keep the team in town and put together some fun baseball for Cardinal Nation. Drew will be missed. “He was passionate about Cardinal baseball, no question about it, up until the very end, up until yesterday,” said John Wallace, a minority owner of the team and friend of Baur.
The Country Day School graduate, most recently was the chairman of Southwest Bank of St. Louis, but spend many years prior with both County Bank of St. Louis and Commerce Bank of St. Louis.

“Drew had it all. Success in business. He made the city better and the country better and certainly his friends better. He’ll be just unbelievably missed,” Wallace added.

Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said, “Drew loved the Cardinals and was a great partner.”

Drew Baur is survived by his mother, three children, seven grandchildren, and numerous friends. Funeral arrangements at still pending.

Some information used by Keith Robinson

Jimmy Baseball Retires

I found out this afternoon that my favorite centerfielder is retiring due to a nagging injury he has with his foot. “As much as I regret this announcement, I feel that it is for the best,” Edmonds said in the statement.

Edmonds finished as a career .284 hitter with 393 home runs and 1,199 runs batted in. He won Gold Gloves for his defense eight times in nine seasons from 1997 through 2005.

Edmonds spent eight seasons with St. Louis from 2000 to 2007, winning a World Series in 2006. He ranks fourth on the team’s all-time home run list, with 241.

Jimmy will be missed,just think he only needed seven more homeruns for 400.

Possible Pujols Contract Compromise?…by a Concern Cardinal Fan

Possible Pujols Contract Compromise?–Just “Throwing” It Out There

                                      (A concerned bystander’s attempt to offer a creative option)

As the silence grows deafening, and the “deadline” looms, consider this my effort to offer both sides something that, if not quite to their tastes, is at least creative and in the spirit of compromise.

The Pujols’ camp line:

Though the negotiations remain quiet, it has been suggested in many quarters that Pujols and agent had at least started with a 10 yr, 30 mill per request.

The Cardinals camp line:

Unclear and unknown, other than balking at both length and amount of Pujols’ request, and claims that “they will only consider paying for potential future production (my best guess? 7 yrs, 25 per–after all, couldn’t even consider signing Pujols for fewer years than Holladay, or less per annum than Ryan Howard, right? Fans would crucify Cards for anything less)

Now, for the fun stuff…

A Very Creative Compromise (and the logic behind)

Okay, first: renegotiate the last year of Pujols’ current contract, already! The best player in baseball isn’t even the highest paid player on his own team, for Pete’s sake?!? Even if he says nothing, that’s gotta rankle Albert just a bit, doncha think? Building that into the new contract could only help ease any feelings of disrespect Albert may be incurring.Now, of course, I realize there isn’t a ton of space in the current budget this year, but surely they could find 2 mill to jump Albert to 18 mill and over Matt’s 17 mill.

In addition, they are able to creep closer to Albert’s request for 10yrs without actually adding time to a 7 yr offer–just adding in the current year to increase the overall length of the new contract to 8 years, and I’ve only started.

OK, the Cards are concerned to paying appropriately for potential future production? Then, surely, a player over 30 would be most likely to be most productive in the early part of the contract, so…man up and design the contract as such, instead of these backloaded deals. Hey, the Cards set the perameters with their statement–I’m just taking them at their word. So, make Albert the highest paid player in baseball: For the next 3 years pay him 27.3333 mill a year (plus, say, a mill if he’s voted MVP–and lets add that incentive on to the first year, too–after all, if he wins MVP in a year, he clearly earned his money).

So, four years down, four to go: follow up with 25 mill per year for the next four years (which is really only what the Cards base offer for those years should be anyway). But, increase the bonus to 2.5 mill in any year Pujols is voted MVP–or, if he finishes first in RBIs, Homers, batting average, or OPS+slugging, or if he finishes in the top 5 in any two of the categories. If Pujols continues to produce at a pace expected of the “best player in baseball,” he will continue to make over 27 million (27.5, to be exact), the highest salary. And, if he produces like that, how can the Cards complain that they are overpaying?

Now, finally–why not add on the extra 2 years Pujols is asking for–but at a base salary of, say, 5 mill, with SERIOUS bonus incentives, like 10 mill for winning the MVP (5 mill for finishing in top 5 voting), and 5 mill EACH for finishing in top five in RBIs, BA, HRs, OPS/SLUG?). If Pujols is still producing at that time (which, given his demands, he seems to think he will be, he could make 35 mill each of those years, while the Cardinals are only out 5 mill each year if he’s not producing (which they were willing to give Jim Edmonds a couple of years ago at the end of his contract, so why not Pujols?).

So, where does this all leave us? Well to summarize and streamline my contract compromise suggestion, a quick year-by-year overview

The CONTRACT

YEAR 1: A renegotiation of current year salary, raising it to 18 mill, and making Pujols the highest paid player on his own team (about time!)

YEAR 2: A base salary of 27.3333 million, with MVP champ bonus incentive worth another million

YEAR 3: A base salary of 27.3333 million, with MVP champ bonus incentive worth another million

YEAR 4: A base salary of 27.3333 million, with MVP champ bonus incentive worth another million

YEAR 5: A base salary of 25 million, with a 2.5 million bonus kicking in if Pujols wins MVP, or finishes first in any major offensive category, OR in the top five of any TWO categories (potential: 27.5 million)

YEAR 6: Ditto

YEAR 7: Ditto

YEAR 8: Ditto

YEAR 9: A base salary of 5 million, LOADED with incentives, such as 10 mill for MVP or 5 mill for finishing in top 5 in voting, plus 5 million EACH for finishing in the top five in RBIs, HRs, BA, or OPS+SLUG (for a potential 35 million)

YEAR 10: Same as YEAR 9 (potential 35 million)

Final Thoughts

You will note that, if Pujols continues at his current production pace, he should be the highest paid player in the league, at over 27 million a year, from YEAR 2 through YEAR 8 (he WILL be the highest paid in years 2-4, on guaranteed money alone, and the incentives in years 5-8 are nothing he hasn’t accompished one way or another in most of his previous seasons).

Now YEARS 9 and 10 may seem a bit outrageous with the potential for $30 million in incentives, versus on $5 million in guarateed money, but, after all, this is supposed to be a COMPROMISE offer. I can’t imagine the Cards would balk at offering that much in potential incentives, because, well, I’m pretty sure they don’t believe Pujols will be producing like that in 9 or 10 years. On the other hand, if Pujols believes he can, and actually does, it will be a giant payday for him. (And, will the Cards be upset if he actually makes the bonuses? That would simply mean they still have a fantastic player under contract).

The overall contract is, technically, 10 years–meeting one of Pujols’ requests, and should make him a Cardinal for life, which should make everyone happy. However, the Cardinals are really only guaranteeing BIG money for 7 additional years beyond his current contract (years 2-8).

The guaranteed money over the life of the contract is 210 million, which is way less than Pujols request for 300 million over the 10 years–however, with incentives acheived, it could reach 284 million, a very respectable number for his agent to come out of the negotiations with (I’d certainly sign), and not too far off 300.

Now, 210 million is also significantly more than my guess of the Cards starting point of 7 years, 175 million, but, remember, the first year is really simply a 2 million dollar raise this year, bring the actual additional guaranteed costs of a new contract down to 194 million, which is much closer to the Cardinals starting point than the Pujols’ camp’s starting point in the negotiations. True, the Cardinals could be on the hook for a boatload of money in incentives if Pujols maintains his current production throughout the life of the contract, but if the club does end up paying all the incentives, they should be rejoicing instead of complaining because: 1) that means Pujols lived up to the contract and his skills did not deteriorate, and 2) the Cardinals will have had probably the greatest player ever to play the game on their team for his whole career, who will prabably have EVERY major offensive record, except steals, when he’s done.

This is a compromise that I could live with as a fan, and, if the Cards actually offered this deal to Pujols and he rejected it, then I would not blame the team for letting him test free agency. If someone will give him a significantly better deal, and the money is that important to him, he should take it. If it’s more about respect, and his expectation that, as the best player, he should be paid the most, I think this contract accomplishes that goal for several years (though my knowledge of professional sports contracts is, admittedly, limited, and perhaps I amvery naive about these processes).

And those, my friends, are my very detailed thoughts on the subject.

John P. Carey

*I just want to thank John P. Carey for contributing his article to the McBrayer-Baseball Blog.

Things Are Not Looking Good………..

USA Today is reporting that the Cardinals did offer Pujols a contract offer recently. Well team Pujols rejected the offer. It is also being reported that he will cease all talks with the Cardinals on Wednesday(16)
Is it possible to get the contract talks done by the 16th?  I say no. This situation doesn’t look to good to me.
Here is the USA article:
All-Star first baseman Albert Pujols has rejected a contract proposal from the St. Louis Cardinals, and unless a dramatic change is made, will announce Tuesday he’s ceasing contract talks for the duration of the season, a person close to Pujols told USA TODAY.


Pujols, 31, eligible for free agency after the World Series, is seeking a 10-year contract, according to the person who requested anonymity because of the sensitive state of the negotiations.


Pujols, trying to avoid distractions, has no intention of addressing the contract talks when he reports Wednesday to the Cardinals’ spring-training camp in Jupiter, Fla. Manager Tony La Russa told reporters Sunday he will also encourage his players to avoid the issue.


“This is a spectacular distraction potentially,” La Russa said. “We won’t allow it to be.”


Even if Pujols continues his silence about his future, it won’t squelch the firestorm that has already been created in St. Louis. Newspaper columnists are picking sides. The phrase “#Albertageddon” is gaining popularity on Twitter. And a Web site — albertcountdown.com — is counting down to when he arrives at spring training and terminates negotiations.


“I read that he’s looking for $30 million a year, and I just can’t see how that’s going to happen,” said Andy MacPhail, Baltimore Orioles president of baseball operations, during a Q&A at the Baltimore School of Law Sports Symposium.


Pujols, a three-time MVP and perhaps baseball’s best player, also could have an effect on Milwaukee first baseman Prince Fielder and the rest of the upcoming free-agent class. Pujols will make $16 million this season in the final year of his eight-year, $111 million contract.


“Alex Rodriguez to Texas was the worst signing in the history of baseball in my view,” said MacPhail, referring to the 10-year, $252 million deal signed in December 2000. “There is this assumption that because this guy got (a huge contract) and this guy got (an even bigger contract), Albert Pujols has to get (more than both). Well, what if there are no bidders? What if the music stops and there are no chairs?”

Then again, Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt says, there is no one quite like Pujols. “He’s one of the greatest players to play the game,” DeWitt said last month. “You can’t go out and find an Albert Pujols.”

Source: Bob Nightengale

Holiday Willing to Defer Money

God Bless Matt Holiday! When I heard he would defer some of his contract in order to sign Pujols, I was speechless. What a class act Holiday is. This story came out this morning on the Mike and Mike show on ESPN Radio 101.1. Here is the rest of the story written by Derrick Goold:
St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday, who signed the largest contract in club history last year, told an ESPN radio program this morning that he’d defer additional money from his salary if that’s what it would take to sign Albert Pujols.

Holliday appeared on “Mike and Mike”, ESPN’s signature morning show that is broadcast locally in St.Louis on 101.1 FM ESPN/WXOS. He was asked by the host, his friend Doug Gottlieb, if he would defer additional money from his contract to fit Pujols into the Cardinals’ payroll. The question provided the answer as much as Holliday did.


“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 would you do more?'” Holliday said on the show. “Scott wouldn’t like me to say that. But if that’s what it took, I would be willing to do that.”


Scott is his agent Scott Boras
Reached later, Holliday said the team has not approached him about deferring additional money from his salary. He added that he would “do that” if it was needed.


The deal he currently has with the team calls for $2 million to be deferred from his salary each year. His total deal is worth $120 million over seven years, and Holliday is entering the second year of that contract.


Holliday has repeatedly said the Cardinals are obviously a better team with Pujols in the lineup and that he hopes to “finish our careers together here” with the Cardinals.


The local ESPN affiliate, 101.1 FM, plans to re-air the interview or portions of it throughout the day.


Negotiations with Pujols are ongoing as the advertised deadline of his arrival at spring training nears. Pujols is expected to report to the facility in Jupiter on Feb. 16, and he has said that he would end talks before he starts his spring workouts.


With the enormity of the contract being discussed, it’s unlikely the deal would hinge on a player, Holliday or otherwise, chipping off some salary to make room for Pujols.

Derrick Goold