Point/Counterpoint: Free Albert?

If you like knowing what local assclowns think about during the day, then you probably enjoy Cards Talk over at stltoday.com. Okay, they’re not all assclowns – but the assclown population ruins it for those who want to pop in from time to time and see what the common folk are talking about.

And every once in a while, you’ll see a thread about trading Albert. It basically goes like this:

Guy with 6000 posts that no one likes – “The CArdinals shold trade Albert! Right noW! GEt what you can for him!! DEwitt is just gonna sell the team in two years anyway. Cant you people see thaT?”

First 10 replies – “What a fucktard.” (the moderators are getting a little lazy over there policing the language)

And of course, they are correct. But we actually think it’s possible to have a legit discussion about trading Bert. The Mad Librarian is up first, on why the Redbirds should deal Albert this winter:


I suspect you’re going to get out the torches and pitchforks over this, but someone has to say it: Free Albert Pujols.

The best player of our generation is getting the shaft, kids. He headlines a roster of scrubs, and routinely shares the field with the likes of Aaron Miles. His manager rates toughness on the David Eckstein scale. His front office won’t spare a penny toward crazy luxuries like protection at the plate or a third baseman who doesn’t routinely break down. The way it’s all shaking out, his one World Series ring looks like his last.

I want to see Pujols close out his career among talent, not jobbers with creative facial hair. I want to see him on a team that dominates, not a team that’s perfected the sacrifice squeeze. I want to watch el Hombre unleash the beast before he starts to break down.

Since Johnny Mo is about as effective as the rhythm method, it’s time to set free what we love.

Here’s a bonus of dealing Pujols: You can ask for anything in negotiations. And I mean anything. My trade demands:

  • Jesus
  • Superman
  • Some of the more wily G.I. Joes
  • HBK Shawn Michaels circa 1997
  • Two Alberts (so much better than one!)


This is what I’m picturing one minute before you wrote all that:

First, I’ll give credit to the ML for actually supplying a list of possibilities in return, even if Superman has a no-trade clause. It bugs me when I hear someone want to trade Albert, then they don’t supply any names that they want in return. I had a twitter exchange with someone over the summer, and when I asked what he’d want for Pujols, he replied something to the effect of “I’d target a high-payroll team.” And I’m not sure why he was so thoughtful of the other team, but it was very courteous of him.

I think if you want to trade Albert, make out your own list of players of who you’d want, and go from there. Worry about your own needs first, and don’t fucking worry about the other team’s payroll. No matter who is involved in the deal, you’ve got the BEST player as your trade chip. You call the shots, not them.

Back to the clip – I’ll admit that dealing Albert wouldn’t be completely burning the house down, but the Cardinal brass would have a hell of a hard time defending it, even if you get a young franchise player like David Wright or Justin Upton, along with prospects in return. (Or could you imagine getting an Eric Brewer-esque package in return? It would make this site much more entertaining, if nothing else).

I hate to bring public relations into the mix, but even if the Cardinals were to rape the Giants for Lincecum, Cain, Posey, Sandoval and Brian Wilson for Pujols, the headlines here would still read, “Pujols TRADED!!” And although this is a front office that can tolerate looking bad, they’re not going to risk being deemed “losers” of the trade, or worse – Albert hitting a couple bombs off Kyle Lohse and beating the Cardinals on the field.

We all know that fantasy baseball and GM’ing a professional team is basically the same thing…so my rule of thumb is to always listen to any offer. You don’t have to accept it, but at least listen. It at least gives you the right to be a smartass if the trade is insulting. John Mozeliak has the obligation to his boss to actually listen if/when another GM calls, but the odds are slim that he’s going to be blown away by an offer. And if he’s actually contemplating it, I hope he posts it on Cards Talk, so we can tell him how big of an ediot he iz.

If they’re going to let him walk next winter, then that’s the business decision made by the Cardinals. But they still have a great shot at extending Albert right now. Trading him would be throwing in the towel ten seconds into the fight.