I’m sure Cardinals first basemen Albert Pujols was a happy man last night when he heard the news about Philadelphia first basemen Ryan Howard’s new contract extension.

It’s great news for the former Missouri State Bear, who signed a five year extension worth $125 million. Its good news for Pujols, because now he has a comparison he can use with someone who can only come close to what Pujols can do on the field. If Howard can get $125 million for five years, after Matt Holliday got $100 for seven, then what is the price for Pujols?

The Cardinals are watching this closely, and I’m sure they’ve tried to make an attempt to sign Pujols earlier, but I’m sure he and his agent are sitting back and letting these other numbers roll in. By the end of 2011, what will the going rate be for the best player in baseball? Five years, $180 million? Who knows at this point?