The results are in, and thanks to the hundreds of readers who responded, I think we have a pretty grasp on what Albert Pujols’s next contract might look like. The median estimate submitted by Hardball Times readers was 8 years and $250 million (coincidentally, that’s what I voted), while the mean was very similar at 7.6 years and $243 million.
So there you have it: Pujols’s contract will likely be the largest ever in terms of annual value at around $31-32 million a year, though in terms of total value, Alex Rodriguez will still have him beat (twice, actually!). Of course, this is the median expectation; our readers’ opinions were quite varied. The following two graphs show the distribution of votes for both years and total value:
As you can see, there was a fair amount of agreement on how long Pujols’s contract will be, with most voters choosing either seven or eight years, though six and 10 were also fairly popular answers. There was much less agreement, however, on the ultimate dollar value of the deal. Each value from $175 to $300 million received at least 10 percent of the vote.
Still, I think the wisdom of the crowds worked quite well here (and not just because it agreed with me, though that does help!). Ultimately, it appears likely that Prince Albert will sign a seven or eight year deal worth upwards of $30 million per season. Then again, if he ends up with a 10-year, $400 million contract, it appears that not all of our readers will be surprised.