Pockets of fans in St. Louis and New York are understandably upset after Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes sold their legacies and moved them out of town as mercenaries.
Pujols thought $220 million over ten years, his developmental years in St. Louis along with his businesses and foundation weren’t enough, so he took $30 million more and shuffled off to Los Angeles.
Reyes could have had close to $100 million from the Mets – which included incentives – but in the end took roughly $6 million more to move to Miami.
In the end, reports from Pujols supporters and Reyes himself, were that they weren’t “loved” enough by their former teams so they went with the money.
I never expected Reyes to stay. I always believed he’d go to who flashed the most bling. However, I thought Pujols might have been one of the rare few to spend his entire career with one team.
Stan Musial did it and so did Mickey Mantle. So did Cal Ripken and Don Mattingly. They were thinking of a statute for Pujols in St. Louis. Not any more.
Who is to blame?
As much as it would have been nice to think about Pujols staying home, in the end I was naive. It was something I wanted to believe in.
Pujols and Reyes; the Cardinals and Mets; the Angels and Marlins all made business decisions this week.
For Pujols and Reyes it was for the money. Pujols might also have the additional incentive of setting the career home run record with the aid of the designated hitter. Reyes sought the comfort of a guaranteed contract because of his house-of-card hamstrings.
The Angels are competing with the reeling Dodgers for the lion’s marketing share of Los Angeles and now have star power for their television network. As an American League team, the Angels can offer Pujols the DH during the back end of his contract. Pujols is worth all that money to them.
As for the Marlins, they significantly upgraded not only with Reyes, but Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell, and should have a good product in their new stadium. They might not be good enough to catch the Phillies, but with the extra wild card, they have a chance at October.
For the Cardinals and Mets, they have $220 million and $100 million, respectively, to build with. The Cardinals always have been a smart organization and based in the average NL Central, they should be able to rebound and retool quickly.
For the financially strapped Mets, they couldn’t afford to risk that kind of money on Reyes’ brittle hamstrings. The Mets have holes and ownership is drowning in red ink. The last thing the Mets needed was to be on the hook for another brutal contract.
So, nobody is to blame. And, the winners? It seems as if all the players got something they wanted. That is, of course, except fans of Pujols and Reyes, but who is surprised by that?