The Cubs are potentially putting themselves in a position to target Albert Pujols next winter when he becomes a free agent. However, it remains to be seen whether or not St Louis will sign Pujols to a mega-deal before he hits free agency. Despite talking during the Winter Meetings, the Cardinals and Pujolâ€™s camp are not close to establishing the basic parameters of a deal yet. But, I still believe that the St Louis Cardinals will eventually sign Albert Pujols to a long term extension. Because it just seems that the Cardinals have been setting themselves up over the past two year to give Pujols the mega-deal that he is probably seeking. Although, Pujols may be seeking a deal that is better than the 10 year, $275MM deal that the New York Yankees gave Alex Rodriguez in 2008. While it may not be for 10 years, the expectation is that Pujols could get a 7 year deal that would pay him $28MM to $29MM a year. That would put the combined total of the contract at $196MM or even $203MM. On the off chance that the St Louis Cardinals do not re-sign Albert Pujols, the Cubs are in a prime position of all the big market teams to land the gameâ€™s best player. Because with -New York Yankees having Mark Teixiera; The Red Sox with Adrian Gonzalez; The White Sox with Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko; New York Mets with Ike Davis- many of the other big market teams already have a proven first baseman, they probably will not be in the running for Pujols. Which would leave the Cubs and the Los Angeles Angels as the only two teams that can offer big money to Pujols. But lets say that Pujols does stay with Cardinals, who would the Cubs then target? Well, that answer may be the guy that Cubs just signed to a one year, $10MM deal in Carlos Pena. If Carlos Pena does in fact have a bounce back year, letâ€™s say .240 with 35 home runs and over 100 RBIâ€™s, the Cubs would be very interested in signing him to a long term extension. This is another reason why you have to like the Carlos Pena contract for the Chicago Cubs. Because, essentially Pena is auditioning for a big payday in 2012, a payday in which could be provided by the Chicago Cubs. Regardless of what happens with Albert Pujols and St Louis, the Cubs will almost certainly be big spenders next winter.