In an Orioles dream world: Pujols or Fielder?
I’ve been saying all year that I just don’t see the St. Louis Cardinals allowing Albert Pujols to leave Missouri. He is that city’s Ripken, and we know what happened every time Ripken approached free agency.
After Saturday’s historic performance – most total bases in a World Series game and just the third person with three homers in one October Classic game – I really don’t see him going anywhere now.
As I tweeted Sunday, I think there is a better chance St. Louis becomes a dry town before it allows Pujols to move elsewhere.
And if he does leave, he isn’t coming to Baltimore. You don’t walk away from a World Series team for a consistent loser unless the money is unspeakable. And the money won’t be unspeakable here.
If the Orioles have a chance to land a top free agent at first base, it would be the Milwaukee Brewers' Prince Fielder – and I don’t think there is a chance with that, either.
But let’s assume for a moment that the Orioles – all things being equal – could choose between Fielder and Pujols. Is it a slam-dunk for Pujols?
Yes, he is headed to the Hall of Fame and is nearly as good of a defender as he is an offensive force. He is one of the best baseball players of the past 50 years – and he might be able to make a case for one of the best ever.
But he’ll be 32 in January and has played in 150 games per season just three times in the past six seasons (but never fewer than 143 in that time). So, no matter how tough he is, he’s had to deal with slight injuries as he has aged (he played in 154 or more in each of his first five seasons).
Fielder, on the other hand, is a serviceable first baseman and isn’t anywhere near the physical specimen as Pujols, who is nicknamed “The Machine.”
But Fielder won’t be 28 until May and has played in 157 or more games in each of his first six full seasons. The big guy has missed just one game in the past three seasons.
Fielder also will come cheaper – not cheap, mind you – than Pujols if they each reach the open market.
So that’s probably something you need to take into consideration when you answer this question.
If you have a chance to sign Fielder or Pujols for the Orioles—and you can’t sign both – who would you take? The better but older player or the younger guy who may still be peaking?
Let's assume you have to sign each one to an eight-year deal.
I understand neither scenario will occur, but, hey, it’s October. Dream a little.
Daily Think Special: In your Orioles’ dream world: Pujols or Fielder?