Yes,  Albert Pujols is easily one of the best, if not the best,  player of the past decade.

Yes, Albert Pujols is one of the best hitters of all time.

No, I do not want to see Albert Pujols in a Cubs uniform in 2012.  I’ll re-phrase that, I don’t want to see Albert in a Cubs uniform at his current asking price.  I don’t want to see Albert in a Cubs uniform at his asking price OR for the duration of his desired contract.

I don’t think I am alone on this, at least I shouldn’t be.  You see, Albert is looking to “get even” for the relatively low dollar amount he has played for over the past eight seasons.  He is looking to get paid for what he has done in the past, not what he will do in the future.  It’s how the process works,  many times teams end up paying for what they hope to get based on a past performance.  It just sucks for Albert (or at least sucks as bad as it can suck when you are a millionaire multiple times over) that he is not 28 or 27 and in this situation.  Pujols turns 32 in 10 months and he is looking for 10 years worth of contract at an astounding $30 Mill/year.  That means you are paying him $90 million over the course of his 40th, 41st, and 42nd years of age .  Whoever signs him may even rework that contract so it is backloaded.  In 10 years that will still be a chunk of change regardless of how you slice and dice it.

If I thought Albert Pujols was going to put out like he did the past 10 years, I might be more intrigued. The problem?  He’s had at least two concerning ailments over the course of his career that could very well slow him down or even stop his play altogether.  Both injuries have popped up in the last three years.  One nagging injury was his elbow and the other is his back.  The elbow, was at one time, a possible Tommy John surgery candidate.   Now, I understand a series of surgeries supposedly took care of that, but who’s to say he isn’t gutting it out until he gets that last big payday?  The back issue scares me more.  Bad backs don’t get better with age, they get worse.  This is the type of injury that can sideline a player for extended periods.

All of this adds up to a massive gamble and one that I really don’t think the current Cubs ownership is likely to take.  Yes, it is possible that I am the only one thinking the team that wins the Pujols sweepstakes will be the sucker in the end.  Yes, it is possible that Albert will give a few good years to said team.  There is also a reason the Cardinals are not tripping over themselves to re-sign the lifeblood of their franchise for the past 10 years.  Think about it……

In case you haven’t heard…….

-Matt Garza had an adventurous first outing of the spring with his new team.

-Mark Prior and Larry Rothschild have reunited (I just threw up at the thought of him possibly being great for the Yankees some day)

-Apparently Miguel Cabrera Sheen, Austin Kearns, and Adam Kennedy all handled their DUI’s differently.

-Looks like Bartolo Colon has some serious competition for that fifth starter spot in New York.  Here I was thinking the Yankees traded away all their good prospects, they must grow on trees in their farm system.

-Kerry Wood is taking Andrew Cashner under his wing.

-The first round of cuts will be made for Cubs on March 16.

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Chet West is an IT professional living in Minneapolis, MN with his wife and two daughters. He has a pug named Banks and loves photography. Follow him on Twitter @chetwest19