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Ten years too much for Pujols: La Russa

QMI Agency

The Cardinals were right not to offer free-agent slugger Albert Pujols a long-term contract, former St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said Wednesday.

Any agreement beyond six years is risky, La Russa told ESPN.

The Cardinals let Pujols walk after he demanded a long-term deal, and the first baseman then signed a $254-million, 10-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels.

"I don't think 10 years was a smart move for the Cardinals," La Russa said. "I think Albert is perfect -- I call him Albert P. Pujols for Albert Perfect Pujols -- but I don't think that I would ever endorse a contract beyond six years, tops."

He said he wasn't second-guessing the Angels' decision, adding that acquiring Pujols made sense for them.

La Russa, who retired after leading the Cardinals to a World Series crown in 2011, said he felt the same way about free-agent-to-be Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers.

"It's one of the dangers in our game when an organization is pushed beyond something -- five or six (years) is a big commitment," he said. "When you go longer I think it's scary and dangerous."