White Sox GM Critical of Pujols Contract Talks
February 22, 2011 Leave a comment
In our first piece, I talked about how the media is going to consume this story and run with ridiculous “what ifs”, even if there is nothing new to talk about. However, one aspect of the story I seemed to have overlooked is how opposing teams are going to examine the situation.
Chicago White Sox General Manage Kenny Williams is one of the first opposing front office executives to comment on the potential salary payday Albert Pujols is in line for. In a report on ESPN Chicago, Williams is quoted as calling the idea of Pujols receiving $30 million-a-year salary “asinine” (ESPN News Link).
“For the game’s health as a whole, when we’re talking about $30 million players, I think it’s asinine. We have gotten to a point of no return. Something has to happen. And if it means the game being shut down for the sake of bringing sanity to it, to franchises that aren’t going to stop the insanity, I’m all for it”.
Now, Williams calling for a lockout for the sake of restructuring salaries, that’s a bit over the top. In no way is that good for the game that is still in desperate recovery from the last player’s strike in 1994. But, Williams does bring up an interesting point: even if the player we are talking about is a future first-ballot Hall of Famer, is anybody worth $30 million? And can the Cardinals afford that?
Take into consideration that the two franchises with the lowest total team salaries were the Pittsburgh Pirates ($35 million) and the San Diego Padres ($38 million). Those salaries are derived from the total team salary of all players listed on the 40-man roster. So, Albert Pujols could receive the same amount of money 37 of the 40 players on the Pirates roster receives combined.
The Cardinals, however, had the 11th highest payroll in baseball last year (north of $95 million, and $10 million less than White Sox, run by Kenny Williams). Pujols, outfielder Matt Holliday and pitcher Chris Carpenter all make annual salaries north of $14 million. The Cardinals have the money if they choose to spend it.
But the question remains: is Albert Pujols worth $30 million? It’s a question that we will need to answer tomorrow in our State of the Franchise post about the Cardinals.
For now, what do you think?