I am beside myself right now. Like you, I heard that the Angels were the laying in the weeds for Albert Pujols, but I felt it was just posturing, that he would eventually end up back in St. Louis. I can honestly say I was more focused on C.J. Wilson, who I felt was coming to the Angels.
I was wrong, and right. In a move that will rattle the baseball power brokers, the Angels signed Pujols to a 10-year deal, which could be worth more than 250 million dollars. It also includes a full no-trade clause. Oh yeah, they also got Wilson for 5 years, at over 75-million dollars.
This may the biggest thing to happen in LA sports since the Kings picked up Wayne Gretzky 23 years ago. Pujols is the marquee player, not just in the free agency, but in baseball, just like the Great One was in his day. Pujols, like Gretzky, is a once in a generation player. Yes, the Angels overpaid, but like Gretzky, people will come out to the park just to see who he is.
In his 11 years in St.Louis, Pujols averaged 40 home runs and 120 RBI. That’s what he averaged over 11 straight years! His career batting average is .328, while his on base % is .420. Damn!
Now the questions will start rolling in. Like, how do the Angels pay for this guy? Not only will they become one of the top road attractions, but Southern California has a very strong Latino presence, so this deal will pay for itself. Not to pat myself on that back, but I think I mentioned that in one of these blogs months ago. I could have just said it to myself too.
10 years? what do the Angels do on the back-half of the deal? One thing the Cardinals couldn’t offer Pujols is a position for the 1st baseman when he can’t play the field anymore. The Angels will stick him at DH, and let him keep hitting. And why should we be concerned about Pujols in 5 years? With the way baseball salaries are going, this might look like a deal in 2016.
What about the Dodgers? The Angels don’t own, but they do have quite a lease on the LA market. I still think once the Dodgers get their ownership figured out, they will still be able to own a good portion of the market. So. Cal has always been a Dodgers market, and don’t forget, the Dodgers do have a budding superstar in Matt Kemp. I’ll tell you, if the Dodgers picked up Prince Fielder, the Angels would have a run for their money.
I remember back to 2004, I flipped on FSN, just in time to hear a breaking news story that the Angels signed Vladimir Guerrero. It was a huge signing, and showed the baseball world that the Angels were ready to play with the big boys. The Pujols signing proves the Angels are ready to mentioned in the same breathe as the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies.
Now what for the Angels? Pujols goes to first, while Mark Trumbo learns to play 3rd. Kendrys Morales now flies completely under the radar, but if he comes back healthy, the Angels have 3 players capable of hitting 30 or more home runs. It’s 4 if you include Vernon Wells, but who knows if he’ll be motivated.
8 years ago, Artie Moreno paid just over 180 million to buy the Angels. He paid nearly double that to get Pujols and Wilson today.
It is a great day to be an Angels fan. How much pressure do you think Mike Scioscia feels right now?
Pitchers and catchers report in just over 2 months.
About the Author
Written by Bill Mahoney
O'kay I'll talk about myself a little. I've been working in the television/radio industry for over 21 years. I started at 2 so I am just a tad over 21 (That is a joke). My career has taken me around and and even out of the United States. Right now I call Vegas home, but I just never know where life will take me next. Until 2002 my irrational love for the California/Anaheim/LAA had taken me down some very dark roads, but with Arte Moreno in charge I finally saw the a light at the end of the road. I really love most every sports and having as much fun as possible.