If there were any truth to this rumor, is would be a fireable offense on the Cardinals side of things.
Rumors are just that, rumors. Okay, I know that, you know that. Pujols and Ryan Howard know that. Everyone around baseball knows that.
But the thing is; why would this even be entertained? Even if it were real, why would the Cardinals want to do this?
It would be one thing if say, the Cards were pessimistic getting an extension done with Pujols, who had a year left on his contract. So they came up with this scenario where they could trade for Howard who has three years left on his agreement.
But that isn’t the scenario. Pujols has one season at $16 million, and a club option for 2011 at another $16.
Howard on the other hand, will be paid $19 million in 2010, and $20 mill in 2011.
So what they would be doing is exchanging one of the greatest players ever, for an inferior but still good player, who is MORE expensive.
Granted, part of the reason this would be an option, is because Howard would be able to be extended for less money than Pujols, therefore, keeping him more in the Cardinals financial range.
So let us say, the trade goes through, and part of the agreement is that Howard will extend his contract a few extra seasons. Maybe the Cardinals end up with Howard for five seasons vs. two with Pujols.
Maybe that makes it a little more understandable…
Except for this, as mentioned by someone on Twitter. After 2011, Howard is a free agent. Adrian Gonzalez is a free agent. Prince Fielder is a free agent. And the odds are, that one or more of those guys is actually STILL a free agent when the time rolls around.
So the Cardinals would be costing themselves wins for the time being, the next two years in particular. And they would have an opportunity to address the 1B position anyway, as there will be so many options by that time.
So yea, this rumor seems even stupider when examined further.
Trade hometown hero, who is the best player on the planet. And receive someone of the inferior, who is much more replaceable in the future.
It isn’t out of the question to trade Pujols if negotiations are going nowhere (Unless it is related to Matt Holliday in any way). But it IS out of the question to ever make a trade like this.