Albert Pujols in a game earlier in 2011 at Busch Stadium. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The free agency frenzy hasn’t been much of a frenzy at all in the first month of the offseason for Major League Baseball. That may be great news for the St. Louis Cardinals as they look to re-sign Albert Pujols.

There just doesn’t seem to be a lot of teams in the running to spend the type of money it will take to sign Pujols according to Yahoo Sports writer, Jeff Passan. In an article, he cites three MLB executives who all say Pujols will return to the Cardinals. One of them being quoted in Passan’s article, “I’m 100 percent certain he’s going back there (St. Louis).”

Really the only three teams that can seriously be considered in the running for Pujols, outside of the Cardinals, are Miami, Texas and Washington. Reports are out that the Marlins offer was too low, but Texas and Washington have the money and a need for a first baseman.

Realistically, if a team is going to sign the 32 year old to a nine year deal who has dealt with nagging injuries, an American League team makes the most sense over the life of that contract. At some point, Pujols will become better suited as a DH as his skills will naturally erode by age 36 or 37.

However, he’s also worth the deal to the Cardinals. He’s a true ambassador for the club and when his playing days are done, he’ll be held in the same company as Stan Musial.  Paying for nine years and even if getting five solid years from him is all the return on investment the Cardinals get, it’s  certainly worth the investment.  The Cardinals can’t lose Pujols in his prime.