The issue here is what do you think you should pay for an Albert Pujols who could shut down at any time. The rehab from the surgery is supposed to be eight months, which is why it didn’t make sense to do it last October.
Eight months back from next February isÂ May, which is probably too soon to count the Cardinals out even if you’re a pessimist.
But unless the Cards are really in it come June 15th or so, it makes sense to shut Albert down and focus on the last two years of his contract with them. A half a season of Albert is worth about $20, though at this point uncertainty is going to drive his price to $30. I’m going to go with $22.
Maybe the Pujols uncertainty is a good reason to start Colby Rasmus in the minors. Or it may be a good reason to promote him aggressively, the way the Cards once upon a time promoted Pujols. That’s a story worth watching closely.