Why the Cardinals should not give Albert Pujols a 10-year deal (11/16/11)

Long-term Major League Baseball contracts never pan out. Players who demand big contracts for 7+ years have a history of underperforming, getting injured, and having a terrible ROI (Return On Investment.) Sure, players can play baseball when they get older, but they never play like they did when they were in their 20s*.

*Without performance enhancing drugs

Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols made the Cardinals look like geniuses by giving him a 7-year-deal in 2004, but Pujols was only 24-years-old at the time. He now wants a 10-year-deal at the age of 31. Pujols had an amazing postseason and the Cardinals need him on their roster to even consider a repeat, but a 10-year contract for a 31-year-old?

These long-term contracts never seem to work out as the GotCup team will now prove with something called FACTS. We took a gander at some of the biggest long-term contracts of the past eight years and then compared these players batting averages and home run totals to their production before signing their big contracts. We have only analyzed offensive players as we are comparing Pujols to players like A-Rod and Carlos Beltran — not to pitchers like Barry Zito.

Click each chart to open in full size

Player: Todd Helton
Team: Colorado Rockies
Contract Year: 2003
Contract Length: 9 years
Amount: $141.5 million
Injured Years: Played in only 83 games in 2008

Player: Carlos Beltran
Team: New York Mets
Contract Year: 2005
Contract Length: 7 years
Amount: $119 million
Injured Years: Played in only 98 games in 2000; 81 games in 2008; 64 games in 2010

Player: Vernon Wells
Team: Toronto Blue Jays
Contract Year: 2006
Contract Length: 7 years
Amount: $126 million
Injured Years: None

Player: Alfonso Soriano
Team: Chicago Cubs
Contract Year: 2007
Contract Length: 8 years
Amount: $141.5 million
Injured Years: Played in only 109 games in 2008

Player: Alex Rodriguez
Team: New York Yankees
Contract Year: 2008
Contract Length: 10 years
Amount: $275 million
Injured Years: Played in only 99 games in 2011

Player: Mark Teixeira
Team: New York Yankees
Contract Year: 2009
Contract Length: 8 years
Amount: $180 million
Injured Years: None

Player: Joe Mauer
Team: Minnesota Twins
Contract Year: 2010
Contract Length: 8 years
Amount: $184 million
Injured Years: Played in only 82 games in 2011

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