Give Theo Epstein some credit for getting into the middle of the Albert Pujols sweepstakes and driving up the price for everybody else. Reports out of Dallas and the winter meetings say the Cubs made a qualifying offer to Pujols. The Cubs reportedly met Monday night with Pujols’ agent, Dan Lozano, but the Cubs pointed out that Lozano also represents current Cubs pitcher Rodrigo Lopez. The Cubs did not comment to various media outlets today about an offer.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch baseball writers Joe Strauss, Derrick Goold and Hall of Famer Rick Hummel are triple-teaming the story, and they posted this:
The Pujols stuff could all be an Epstein smokescreen, but the point is that Theo got into the middle of this fray, perhaps to get a couple of National League teams to bid higher for Pujols. The Miami Marlins reportedly have offered Pujols a 10-year, $200 million offer for Pujols. The St. Louis Cardinals, Pujols’ longtime team, may get together with Pujols again today down in Dallas.
Prince Fielder is a much better fit for the Cubs at first base. The Cubs no doubt will sit down with Fielder’s agent, Scott Boras (if they haven’t already done so) today or tomorrow and see what it will take to get Prince to Chicago. Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted today that the Cubs might offer the hefty Fielder more money over fewer years rather than going out 10 years on a guy who weighs about 275 pounds.
Fielder, 27, bats left-handed and is younger than Pujols, who turns 32 on Jan. 16, and there have been some calls in the media for Pujols to produce a birth certificate because of questions about his age.
Epstein meets with reporters later today.