After giving the caveat that neither the Cards nor the Pujols camp are talking much about their ongoing negotiations, Jon Heyman reports that the sense around the game is that there’s some pretty substantial distance between the parties right now:
While neither side is talking publicly, early word is that Pujols has used A-Rod’s contract, the richest in baseball and one that guarantees him least $275 million over 10 years as the only comp … The Cardinals, meanwhile, are said to have initially suggested a contract that would guarantee Pujols at least a bit less than $200 million. The exact particulars of their offer or offers aren’t known, but there is a belief around the game that the Cardinals are hoping to keep the deal to seven years or less.
A difference of three years and close to $100 million? Zoinks. Mystery teams, start your engines. Because unless that’s way off — or if the parties aren’t really negotiating yet — maybe it ain’t crazy to think that Pujols could be had.