Re: What If Pujols...
As with so many contracts at this stage in a player's career... it won't be the salary, it will be the length that hamstrings his suitor.
If I were Vegas, I'd give the Cards the edge with the Cubs and Brewers (if Prince signs first, elsewhere) slightly farther behind. Which will only inflate the contract.
Which will only help the rest of the Central in the long-term (and possibly short-term if said club can't resign its other important pieces).
I have a love-hate relationship with Albert Pujols. Mostly hate.