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Albert Pujols Suitors From The NL East: Washington Nationals?

As the whole world knows by now, Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals did not reach an agreement on an extension prior to the self-imposed deadline, meaning the first baseman will likely test the market. The Cardinals still have a shot after the season, but realistically, you would think Pujols will go after the biggest money.

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Might this affect the NL East in any way? Let's run down the teams and their chances.

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- Braves: No. His name is Freddie Freeman.

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- Phillies: No. There is no way a trade involving Ryan Howard would ever happen, and there is no way they would be able to sign him otherwise. The Phillies have Howard for a while.

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- Mets: Long shot. You never want to count the Mets out on things like this, but at the same time, this isn't the same Mets team from the past decade. They're not spending money at all while waiting for contracts to come off the books, and they seem to be pretty tied up in an ownership situation, as well.

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- Nationals: Decent chance. The Nationals will likely throw their name into the mix, and they should be taken a little more serious after the Jayson Werth signing, but they still should not be considered a frontrunner.

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- Marlins: Hahahaha.

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So it looks like the best chance of seeing Pujols in the NL East is by the Nationals, which means there is a pretty good chance he doesn't end up in the division. If this was a decade ago, I would be concerned about the Mets and Phillies, but those two are in much different situations now.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.