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Pujols Out 6 Weeks, May Be Worth Less as Free Agent – SportsUntapped.com
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Added June 21st, 2011 by Chalk

Pujols Out 6 Weeks, May Be Worth Less as Free Agent
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St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols is expected to miss six weeks after suffering a fractured left wrist on Sunday.  Pujols was already hitting 50 points below his career average this season despite having a pretty good June, so with the first baseman set to become a free agent at season’s end, there’s already speculation that this will cost him years and dollars on his next contract.

Pujols rejected a nine-year, $195 million offer from the Cardinals before the season and has said he won’t negotiate with the team during the season. Dr. Patrick Rishe, an economics professor writing on Forbes.com, says Pujols will have to play well the final two months of the season to not take a sizeable financial hit in free agency.

If Pujols comes back looking like his old self in August and September, Rishe thinks he’ll get “$25-30 M annually for a 6-8 year contract,” but if the slugger struggles “not only will his market value drop into the $22-24 M range annually, but it will be highly unlikely that he’ll command anything more than a 4-5 year contract due to the perceived greater risks involved.”

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said his initial reaction to hearing about his first baseman’s injury was “I’m going to go find a place to cry.” But La Russa was quick to take a more positive outloook. “Six weeks is a long time,” said the manager who’s made a career of riding the steroided-up coattails of sluggers like Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, “but I think we’re deep enough to cover and remain competitive. This is the kind of thing that heals and doesn’t linger.”

 
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