Albert Pujols is the best hitter in baseball, but he is only the tenth highest paid hitter at $13 million according to Sports Illustrated.
While six other hitters made over $20 million a year, Tori Hunter made $18 million, Prince Fielder made $15.5 million and Derek Jeter made the same $13 million.
Why do I say Pujols is the best hitter?
A player may hit 30 home runs, but if he only gets 80 RBIs, its not a great season.
A Player may get 100 RBIs, but if he bats 265, it is not a great season.
A player may bat .300, but if he only hits 9 home runs it is not a great season.
To me, a great season for a hitter is a 30 home run, 100 RBI and .300 batting average season.
It will put him in the top 10 or 20 in each category.
Albert Pujols has done that every year for the first ten years of his career. He’s done it 10 out of 10 years. No player has come close to that consistency. Compare the nine players who are better paid:
Alex Rodriquez – $33 million – 8 out of 15 full years
Joe Mauer – $23 million – 0 out of 8 years
Vernon Wells – $23 million – 2 out of 12 years
Mark Teixera – $22.5 million – 1 out of 10 years
Carl Crawford – $20 million – 0 out of 9 years.
Derek Jeter – $13 million – 0 out of 16 years
Ryan Howard – $20 million – 1 out of 7 years
Torii Hunter – $18 million – 0 out of 14 years
Prince Fielder – $15 million – 0 out of 6 years.
If we add all these nine players together, they have done 30/100/.300 a total of 12 times in 97 years (12%). If we take out Rodriquez’ 8 for 15 years (53%), we have 4 out of 82 years (5%). Compare that to Pujols who has done it 10 times in 10 years (100%). If baseball owners pay about $20 million for players who have great seasons 5% of the time and about $30 million for players who have great seasons 53% of the time, what should they pay for a player who does it 100% of the time?
He has brought St. Louis to the playoffs in 6 out of 10 years and to the world series twice. They won the world series in 2006. No team has a better record except for the N.Y. Yankees (9 playoffs, 3 world series, 2 wins).
Pujols reportedly turned down an offer of $200 million over 8 years ($25,000 million per year) before the season started. He reported wanted $300 million over 10 years. Based on this data, I would say that a $300 million over 10 year contract is a fair market price for the greatest hitter of our time.