How Much Money Is Pujols Really Worth?

St. Louis Cardinals 3-time MVP Albert Pujols arrived at training camp today without a long term deal in place.

Pujols, undeniably, has been the best hitter in baseball since he arrived in the MLB in 2001.

In 10 seasons, Pujols has accumulated 408 HR’s, a .331 BA and 1230 RBI’s. He has never hit below .312 in any season and is averaging 41 HR’s a year.

So why can’t the Cards pay this guy what he’s worth?

Maybe they can pay him what he’s worth, but the team is currently unwilling to pay him what he wants.

From all indications, Pujols desires to be the highest paid, per year, player in the majors. The current highest paid player, Alex Rodriguez, made a staggering $32M last year with the Yankees and is slated to make another $31M in 2011 as a part of his cleverly negotiated $275M/10-year deal signed in 2007.

The Cardinals signed outfielder Matt Holliday in 2010 to a 7-year/$120M deal. Though a pretty good player, Holliday isn’t a perennial All-Star caliber player.

Holliday makes about $17M a year, so one would think Pujols’ deal will be substantially more than that.

Pujols has publicly stated that he would not engage in contract negotiations once training camp begins so his payday will have to wait until the 2011 MLB season ends. The slugger is scheduled to make $16M during the 2011 season.

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