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View Full Version : "Pujols Was Almost a Cincinnati Red"



Homer Bailey
04-17-2012, 11:13 AM
When the boys were talking about the Cincinnati Reds, Berthiaume dropped an interesting tidbit on Joey Votto’s recently signed 10 year 225 million dollar deal:

“I think, think they (the Reds) were a lot closer to getting Albert Pujols than anybody knows or anybody talked about. I think the Votto money was targeted for Pujols in the off-season and when that didn’t pan out that they said, OK, let’s keep our guy, let’s give it to Joey Votto. I think those two were more connected than anyone realizes.”

http://cardsdiaspora.com/2012-articles/april/pujols-was-almost-a-cincinnati-red.html

RedFanAlways1966
04-17-2012, 11:18 AM
I ain't buying. Not sure why Berthiaume would make this up, but I ain't buying. UNLESS... the REDS were certain Votto was gone. And that looks foolish right now if that is what they thought.

Always Red
04-17-2012, 11:27 AM
I think Vida Blue was much closer to being a Cincinnati Red than Albert Pujols ever was.

Patrick Bateman
04-17-2012, 11:33 AM
The only way that would have made sense was if the thought was to move Votto to LF for a few years and then trade him before he hits FA. The thought would be to give Pujols the contract instead of Votto because it would be the only way to getr both guys under contract at the same time.

Still, I don't buy it, Votto makes much more sense long term than Pujols does.

westofyou
04-17-2012, 11:40 AM
Johnny Mize was way closer to being a Red than Albert ever was

lollipopcurve
04-17-2012, 11:55 AM
I don't believe it.

mace
04-17-2012, 12:02 PM
Seems like quite a stretch. Especially considering that they have the same agent. That would surely have been awkward for Lozano--although it's not necessarily a disqualifier. I suppose, if he knew that Votto wanted to be elsewhere, it might have been workable. But nonetheless awkward.

Ghosts of 1990
04-17-2012, 12:05 PM
Hard to just lie. I think Berthiaume is credible.

Roy Tucker
04-17-2012, 12:06 PM
5 years ago I would have taken Pujols in a heartbeat.

Today, I'd rather have Votto.

I can believe the idea got brainstormed in a high-level Reds strategy session. WJ and team sure seem to be thinking creatively and out of the box. But its hard to say if offers actually got made. Maybe agents talked to?

Always Red
04-17-2012, 12:10 PM
Johnny Mize was way closer to being a Red than Albert ever was

http://baseballminutia.com/blog/2009/02/

(taken from one of the finer baseball history sites I know of...:D)

Mize was one step closer than Vida Blue; he actually wore the uni and played in spring training; a bad decision by Reds management- good thing that knee surgery worked out for Mize and the Cards...

http://www.baseballminutia.com/images/mize_pix.jpg

Homer Bailey
04-17-2012, 12:12 PM
Really doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but I don't think SB would just make this up out of nowhere.

redsmetz
04-17-2012, 12:13 PM
5 years ago I would have taken Pujols in a heartbeat.

Today, I'd rather have Votto.

I can believe the idea got brainstormed in a high-level Reds strategy session. WJ and team sure seem to be thinking creatively and out of the box. But its hard to say if offers actually got made. Maybe agents talked to?

This seems a more plausible scenario and, if such a thing occurred, it didn't take long for the light to go on and someone noting that if we could afford that sort of pay for Pujols, why on earth aren't we locking in Joey instead?

RichRed
04-17-2012, 12:37 PM
http://baseballminutia.com/blog/2009/02/

(taken from one of the finer baseball history sites I know of...:D)

Mize was one step closer than Vida Blue; he actually wore the uni and played in spring training; a bad decision by Reds management- good thing that knee surgery worked out for Mize and the Cards...

http://www.baseballminutia.com/images/mize_pix.jpg

Yikes, is it OK to be retroactively depressed about a move that happened 34 years before I was born, or is that indicative of a problem?

I wouldn't be surprised, like Roy said, if Albert's name came up in discussions at some point, but it's hard to imagine it got much past the brainstorming phase.

corkedbat
04-17-2012, 12:39 PM
Not buying it for a second. For one thing, Castellini is very loyal to his boys and I don't think he'd go "behind Joey's back" and give Pujols that kind of contract over JV. I think Joey is a much better risk over the long haul than Albert.

HotCorner
04-17-2012, 12:40 PM
I wonder if this would have led to a Votto for Batista swap?

Nathan
04-17-2012, 12:49 PM
My guess if anything like this happened the following would have set off the following domino effect:

1.) Votto would've been traded for either a prospect haul or a stud pitcher. I don't see them keeping both Votto and Pujols.
2.) The Latos deal would've still gone down as well. (All prospects dealt would've still been blocked.)

So, lets go to fantasy land, and they did sign Pujols. The offence probably wouldn't look to much different today, as essentially you would be trading Votto for Pujols, the main effect would be the starting rotation:

Ace
Cueto
Latos
Leake
Bailey/Arroyo
Chapman?

*This was probably never going to happen*

HotCorner
04-17-2012, 01:01 PM
Or better yet, same rotation but with this lineup after Votto for Batista swap.

Phillips, 2B
Cozart, SS
Pujols, 1B
Batista, LF
Bruce, RF
Rolen, 3B
Stubbs, CF
Hanigan/Mesoraco, C

Tom Servo
04-17-2012, 01:10 PM
Seems at least plausible.

Roy Tucker
04-17-2012, 01:51 PM
I'm sure a lot of trial balloons get floated in the Reds' boardroom.

WildcatFan
04-17-2012, 02:17 PM
Or better yet, same rotation but with this lineup after Votto for Batista swap.

Phillips, 2B
Cozart, SS
Pujols, 1B
Batista, LF
Bruce, RF
Rolen, 3B
Stubbs, CF
Hanigan/Mesoraco, C

If that's the case, Phillips wouldn't have been extended after taking on Bautista's $14m/year salary. Count me in the group that thinks Bautista is about to decline quickly.

Vottomatic
04-17-2012, 03:20 PM
I heard they wanted to sign both Pujols, Votto, Phillips, and Heisey long term. :laugh:

Dan
04-17-2012, 03:28 PM
Rollie Fingers was a lot closer to being a Red than Pujols. A hair whisker one might say.

gilpdawg
04-17-2012, 04:49 PM
Hard to just lie. I think Berthiaume is credible.

Yeah, I don't think he made it up. It must have at least been discussed internally.

Johnny Footstool
04-17-2012, 05:27 PM
Really doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but I don't think SB would just make this up out of nowhere.

He probably didn't make it up. He probably heard it second-hand and passed it on. You know, like every other rumor ever.

camisadelgolf
04-17-2012, 05:38 PM
If there's a single team in baseball that could have secretly pursued Pujols, I think it's the Reds. Just look at all the surprise moves the Reds have made over the years (Chapman and Hamilton immediately come to mind). But if there's any truth to this rumor, my best guess is that the Reds were making offers with the sole intent of driving up Pujols' price. It's the stuff that GMs do behind the scenes that make all the difference if you ask me.

757690
04-17-2012, 06:20 PM
Most likely the Reds offered Pujols a shorter contract, around 5-7 years, which they knew he would turn down. I doubt they were willing to go ten years for Pujols, considering his years and decline, which had already started.

reds44
04-17-2012, 06:28 PM
Phillips
Cozart
Votto
Pujols
Bruce
Rolen
Stubbs
Catcher

Good lord.

mth123
04-17-2012, 08:34 PM
Well, they obviously had the money to commit and Walt and Cast have a history with Pujols. Why so hard to believe?

RedEye
04-17-2012, 10:22 PM
Well, they obviously had the money to commit and Walt and Cast have a history with Pujols. Why so hard to believe?

Yeah, given what has happened over the past few weeks, I don't find it hard to believe either. Before the Votto/Phillips extensions, I would never have thought they'd have money like that. But now? Seems plausible -- even likely -- that this is not just some blown-up rumor, and that they actually had serious discussions about this.

alexad
04-18-2012, 12:48 AM
Votto has a no trade clause for a reason. Maybe Toronto is still a possibility. He can give his blessing and the first fees of this contract is not $25 million a year. So who knows.

Albert is an awesome player and heading to a first year ballot induction, but Votto appears to be the fit.

Bob C wants to win and he is not afraid to spend the cash. Maybe Votto was serious about not wanting to sign a long term deal and the Reds decided to kick the tires for Albert. Can you blame them.

But the Reds are mysterious. The Votto signing came out of no where and so did the Phillips signing.

powersackers
04-18-2012, 12:57 AM
I just don't see any way I could bring myself to root for Albert. I suppose I would have come around, lots of former Cardinals have come through Cincy lately. But not him thank goodness.

camisadelgolf
04-18-2012, 01:47 AM
Votto has a no trade clause for a reason. Maybe Toronto is still a possibility. He can give his blessing and the first fees of this contract is not $25 million a year. So who knows.
If Toronto won't sign anyone beyond five years, why would they trade for a guy on a contract more than twice that long?

Raisor
04-18-2012, 06:23 AM
Wait, are we really talking about trading a player with a no trade clause 11 games into the new contract?

buckeyenut
04-18-2012, 08:48 AM
Actually, given the amount of money we had to work with, it makes tremendous sense to consider. The other things we do during the offseason would have changed dramatically, but it sure would have been fun.

Pujols has played 3rd before. I wouldn't have any qualms about either one playing LF in that situation and learning on the job. We could have made room and we could have made deals to shore things up.

The idea of signing a free agent stud to replace a stud who is an upcoming free agent and deal the upcoming stud for valuable parts is a GREAT approach to managing a team from a value perspective. Also very out of the box. But it didn't happen and they didn't force it from there, which is also good. They could have made same offer to Fielder, but probably didn't as he isn't good enough to go through the trouble and he COULDN'T play anywhere but 1B.

Fascinating stuff.

HotCorner
04-18-2012, 11:50 AM
Wait, are we really talking about trading a player with a no trade clause 11 games into the new contract?

No we are talking about a different path this offseason could have gone. I could imagine the Reds' reached out to Pujols' agent Dan Lozano (same as Votto). The conflict it would have caused Lozano may have led him to steer Albert to a different team.

WVRedsFan
04-18-2012, 11:57 AM
Wait, are we really talking about trading a player with a no trade clause 11 games into the new contract?Trade talk and Votto is a RedsZone tradition.

RedEye
04-18-2012, 04:10 PM
Trade talk and Votto is a RedsZone tradition.

I heard Erik Bedard is available!

Tom Servo
04-18-2012, 05:57 PM
I heard Erik Bedard is available!
Better throw in Cueto for good measure, that could get it done.