I think you're being a bit too cavalier about replacing Pujols, especially with a 35 year old, but Beltran did have a good year. I'm with amp, though, in expecting a decrease in performance. I expect them to beat the Reds, though.
And yes, the Pujols contract is going to be an albatross in a few years. I can't wait! ^_^
The reason I am not super worried is that the Cards had the best offense in the NL by far last year. They have some room to come back down without it hurting too much. The pitching will likely be better, so that should help too.
I hated seeing Pujols go, but for that number of years and that much money...I can deal with it. It would have hurt the Cards in the long run.
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