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Albert Pujols: Baseball’s Most Underpaid Player

Despite making nearly $16 million last year, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols is the most underpaid player in baseball. That’s according to an article on Forbes.com at least.

Using Baseball Prospectus’ Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) stat, Forbes determined Pujols should have been reimbursed nearly three times what he actually received last season.

VORP uses a bunch of different stats (too hard for me to figure out) to weigh a player’s productivity compared to the expected production of a minimum wage rookie. In 2010, the average superstar (if that’s not an oxymoron…I don’t know what is) made $534,318 per VORP point. Most All-Stars linger around 30-60 points per season. Cy Young Award winners Felix Hernandez and Roy Halladay almost topped the charts at 70 points, but they didn’t hold a flame to Pujols’ 81.8 points.

Thanks to some number crunching by Forbes (so I didn’t have to), Pujols should have received $43.7 million last season. That’s $28.1 million more than what he was handed last season by the Cardinals. Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal and Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks were also underpaid last year, but only by a few million dollars (I say that like a million bucks isn’t a lot of money)…it was nothing close to what Pujols missed out on.

Pujols becomes a free agent after this year. Say goodbye St. Louis…say hello New York City. I can smell a record breaking contract (Forbes is pitching a 10-year $300 million deal) coming up. I’ll just have to get used to the idea of seeing the slugger in a Yankees uniform (because no one else can afford that price tag).

Do you think Albert Pujols is underpaid? Can you imagine a contract worth $300 million? You can leave a comment below, connect with me on Facebook or Twitter, or email me at tim@timlewissports.com. I would love to know what you think!

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