Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand
Monday, November 21, 2011
DLB name-checks Pitbull, proclaims team’s desire to make Albert Pujols the Latin Ichiro!.
... Keep in mind, the Marlins told popular Dan Uggla they wouldn’t ever give a player older than 30 a contract of more than four years. And now they’re offering nine to Pujols, whose age they don’t even know.
Why? Because they think he can be their LeBron James not just in this country but beyond. They think he’ll pay for his contract in the first three or four years of the deal, rendering the burdensome and scary last half of the contract irrelevant. They believe they can sell his face and name all over Latin America in a way they can’t sell, say, Prince Fielder.
It is not a smart baseball move. But it is a fascinating business move. Fielder, younger and cheaper, a man whose age is known, makes more baseball sense. If this were strictly about baseball, not business, Fielder fits Florida’s philosophy a lot better than Pujols because you don’t have to give him as much money or years, and you get him in his prime and ascending as opposed to Pujols, who has to terrify you coming off the worst year of his life now that, in the post-steroids era, there is no fountain of youth and the normal decline of a hitter begins around the 33, 34, 35 that Pujols indeed might be. But you can’t sell Fielder to Goya and Cafe Pilon before your new park has even opened. He doesn’t pay for himself as immediately as Pujols does on Calle Ocho.
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