Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes today about how the Yankees dealt with Alex Rodriguez’s last contract. It could be instructive, Goold notes, given how the Cardinals are now poised to give out the biggest contract in the game’s history.
The story is interesting because it touches on something that has always troubled me: if teams can’t give players bonuses for actual performance benchmarks like 100 RBI or 40 home runs, why can the Yankees give A-Rod bonuses for hitting his 660th home run, for example? The answer is that MLB approved the language in A-Rod’s deal specially. It doesn’t say how those clauses are distinguishable from the banned ones, of course. Makes it seem like the Yankees and A-Rod were maybe given special treatment. Which would not surprise me at all.
As for Pujols, I’m not sure how the A-Rod example could come into play. The milestone game has been more or less ruined as a result of steroids souring everyone on Bonds, A-Rod and their friends in the PED-using community. All-Star appearance bonuses and the like aren’t going to cut it because Pujols will get support for that sort of thing even after he’s ceased to be a force.
It seems like the Cardinals will just have to write Pujols giant checks.