Pujols, Fielder and free-agent decisions

As the season goes on, Albert Pujols' impending free agency will become an even bigger story. AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

This winter, five franchises will face the same decision -- is it time to say goodbye to one of the cornerstones of their team? As Jayson Stark discusses in a piece today, the St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Mets and Boston Red Sox all have a star player on the roster who is eligible for free agency this winter, and if they want to keep their rosters intact, they'll have to pony up a long-term contract in order to make it happen.

Paying for the second half of a player's career can often be a dangerous proposition. Using wins above replacement, we've decided to look back at similar historical players and see how well they held up after the same point in their careers. After all, those who don't learn from history …

Albert Pujols, 1B, Cardinals