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Albert Pujols signs 10-year, $254 million contract with Angels

Dec 8, 2011, 10:01 AM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds Getty Images

Last night the buzz coming from the winter meetings was that Albert Pujols wasn’t anywhere near making a decision, but either that was wrong or things changed dramatically overnight.

Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports that Pujols has agreed to sign with the Angels, getting a 10-year contract worth between $250 million and $260 million.

Wow. It didn’t take Jerry Dipoto long to make a huge splash as general manager.

Until now Alex Rodriguez was the only player in baseball history to secure a contract in excess of $200 million and according to Brown the massive deal also includes a full no-trade clause, which was something the Marlins reportedly were never willing to give Pujols.

Making that sort of investment in a 32-year-old first baseman is obviously tremendously risky and it’s tough to blame the Cardinals for not wanting to commit $25 million per season through age 41, but certainly Angels fans aren’t focusing on 2021 right now.

UPDATE: And the Angels weren’t done spending with Pujols, handing out another huge contract to C.J. Wilson.

UPDATE: The final tally on Pujols’ deal is $254 million and apparently that wasn’t even the highest offer.

177 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. bjg5091 - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:23 AM

    All along I said the sleepers were the Cubs and the Angels before they even started talking about Pujols. Didn’t think it would actually happen though.

  2. cshearing - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    For the pure entertainment aspect, I’m glad he’s not going back to the Cards. That was boring.

    I do feel for Cards fans though.

    • salvomania - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:30 AM

      Don’t feel bad for us Cards fans. We got to watch the best player in baseball for 11 years, during his prime, and we got 2 WS titles.

      The Birds are in great shape going forward, and will be contenders in 2012, and probably also in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 when Pujols will be putting up a .250/.320/.410 line in 120 games for $25 million.

  3. 1972wasalongtimeago - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    Looks like Lebron is off the hook now

  4. xpensivewinos - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    I’m fairly certain the Cardinals have a jersey size that will fit Prince Fielder………

  5. Matt - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:29 AM

    Good for Pujols. He got a truck load of money and wouldve been dumb to turn it down in some misguided loyalty to a team that wouldn’t have shown the same to him when his skills began to seriously erode.

    • stlouis1baseball - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:47 AM

      Matt: “misguided loyalty to a team that wouldn’t have shown the same to him when his skills began to seriously erode.” How do you arrive at this? He would have been a Cardinal for the rest of his career. Diminished skills or not…he has 10/5 status with the Cardinals (10 year Veteran…5 with the same club). Meaning…he has full Veto to ANY trade. So your point about the Cardinals “not showing the same loyalty when his skills diminish” is simply untrue.
      NOTE: Before anyone points it out…I am fully aware of the Angels offering a no trade clause.
      That’s not the point of my rebuttal to Matt.

      • Matt - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:03 AM

        If Pujols took less money to stay in StL (say on a 6-8 year deal) and after 5 years he looked a lot like Ryan Howard or Todd Helton do/did would the Cards have been willing to resign him for above market value when that contract ended based on some loyalty to Pujols for what he had given them? Or, would they have, at best, offered him a contract for a lot less money or let him walk? I’d wager that they wouldn’t have given him a legacy contract to repay him for all that he gave up by staying, but instead would thank him for what he gave and move on. That’s where the loyalty I am pointing to wouldn’t be shown (not that I am arguing the Cards would have any obligation to do so). He took the most money offered to him, and while it sucks for Cards fans to lose their all-time great while he’s still good, Pujols shouldn’t be expected to stay for less money when the equivalent reverse situation would never have been there for him after the fact.

    • umrguy42 - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:47 AM

      Not sure what makes you think the Cards wouldn’t show loyalty to him. Any basis for that, or just general ingorance and/or jealousy?

      • umrguy42 - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:47 AM

        *ignorance.

        EDIT FUNCTION! (as if this day wasn’t bad enough)

    • paperlions - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:20 AM

      The Cardinals FO should be loyal to the fans that support their product by putting the best team on the field that they can as consistently as they can. That loyalty should trump any loyalty to players that would compromise their ability to field a competitive team….and a 10 yr $250m+ contract would have done exactly that….some teams can have albatross contracts and just spend their way out of it, the Cardinals are not one of those teams.

      • Matt - Dec 8, 2011 at 1:30 PM

        I completely agree. And in the same vein, a player should not be obligated to take a lesser contract merely because taking the biggest one may make him overpaid and cause him to move to another team.

  6. jhastrello - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    As a Rangers fan, I appreciate what the Angels are doing as it allows us to ‘see’ Pujols more often. However, not sure that a deal like that is the best overall for their team, especially since they ‘were’ talking to CJ Wilson also. If the Wilson deal is still on the table (good move by the Angels as it adds to their team and ultimately takes something away from the Rangers) – that is a bucketload of money to spend on two players. One an everyday contributor, the other someone that should bring around 15-18 wins to the Angels.

  7. isaiahforreal - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    How can y’all compare him to LeBron? The man has 2 rings. Cards will be ok, no one thinks LaRussa leaving may have swayed his decision..

    • stlouis1baseball - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:54 AM

      Isaiah: I have seen this TLR retirement reference far too many times. It has NOTHING to do with it. People need to do their homework prior to making uninformed opinions. TLR was operating on a year-to-year contract for the last FIVE years while contemplating retirement. This agreement was essentially a handshake agreement betweeen him and the Organization. At the end of the year…if Tony wanted to come back…he came back. He was very close to retiring LAST YEAR. In fact, he had serious conversations with the Organization about it and almost had to be coaxed into returning. In a nutshell…TLR was NOT going to be around for more than another year or two TOPS. So again…it doesn’t apply here.

  8. renorocker - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    Looks like my Royals now have the best first baseman in the state. Go ROYALS!!!

    • El Bravo - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:36 AM

      I love Royals fans. They are the most optimistic (borderline delusional) fans in baseball. The good news is, you have many reasons to actually be optimistic. When the Nats are playing KC in the series in 2015, you’ll have the last laugh.

    • Tyree Studio - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:38 AM

      Ha! Nice!

      The sad part is we Royals fan’s will be facing the samed situation in about 6 or 7 years. (Hopefully Hosmer can get us at least one WS championship before bolting for $$$)

    • paperlions - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:22 AM

      Berkman > whoever plays 1B for KC

  9. Jason @ IIATMS - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    yep, it’s about the money. I will sleep better tonight with this confirmation.

    • Tyree Studio - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:39 AM

      With these athletes it’s ALWAYS about the $$$.

    • thefalcon123 - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:43 AM

      Yeah, but it’s about $30 million dollars more money.

      I don’t fault Albert at all for taking it, or the Cardinals not going nuts and matching it.

      I still hope he’s awful and the Angels regret it every day of their lives though. I never said I was a good person.

    • stlouis1baseball - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:06 AM

      I hear you Jason. He has always maintained that winning…regular playoff appearances and routinely competing for WS titles are his #1 priority as his family is already set for life.
      With that in mind…it should have been obvious it WAS about the monies when he turned down the 22Million a year prior to Spring Training. After all…he made numerous playoff appearances, competed in 3 World Series and won TWO while with St. Louis. I realize the Angels are NOT the Marlins, Cubs or several other teams with regards to W-L records. But can someone please do a quick search and advise to the number of playoff appearances and WS titles the Angels have won in the last 11 years? I am too pissed off to dick with it.

      • Jason @ IIATMS - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:09 AM

        They did win it all in what, 2002? Hate on Albert if you want, but the Angels have a very solid organization, one that can compete every year in the AL West.

        And the Astros are joining soon.

  10. mdpickles - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    Wow, I’m a Phil’s fan and I feel sorry for Cards fans. That has got to be gut wrenching.

    • ukcardsfan - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:40 AM

      Yep. That it is.

    • stlouis1baseball - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:56 AM

      Ummmm…yeah Pickles. Thanks for the support.

  11. eagles512 - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    What a complete fraud. And I’m not a Cards fan.

    • thefalcon123 - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:44 AM

      Yeah…what a phony! I mean, what did the Angels offer that the Cardinals didn’t?

      …I mean, beside $30 million more dollars.

  12. ikedavisnose - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    Holy Crappers im kinda sad im not gonna get to see him play but anyway hes out of the NL and I dont like the Cards anyway especially Yadier Molina

  13. shrimpking55 - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    This was a move that only an American League team can do by giving him a no-trade clause. He can be a first baseman for 4-6 years and then be a DH. Sad day for the Cardinals. Being a Marlins fan, I never wanted Pujols to leave St. Louis. I couldn’t imagine him in any other uniform. At least we know that the Marlins are Pujols 2nd favorite team for driving up his price.

  14. cozmokramertheassman - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    WOW! now flip morales and bourjos to the marlins for hanley.

  15. bchaz19 - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    That’s INSANE. A 10yr deal for a 31yr old – for ANYONE – is crazy simply for the fact that players decline in physical ability after 36 but to hamstring a club for a decade if the guy simply fizzles and doesn’t do squat, or ‘loses motivation’, after the 3rd or 4th year is organizational suicide.

    But, NOBODY is worth $25M a year. NOBODY.

  16. denny65 - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    File this one under “Worst. Deal. Ever.”

    • paperlions - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:26 AM

      Nah, ARods 2nd deal was much worse, Crawford’s deal was worse, Werth’s deal was worse, Wells’ deal was worse…it is a bad deal, but not as bad as paying solid above average guys like they are super stars.

  17. davenstl - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:55 AM

    It’s all about respect and respect = dollars. He was a bargain for 11 years and the Cardinals can’t afford to pay him that kind of money. I hope he succeeds and survives the LA media.

    • stlouis1baseball - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:00 AM

      Dave: The only thing I can relate to with regards to your post is the LA media.
      He is in for a very rude awakening. The St. Louis media and fans have always coddled their ballplayers. The media throws you Softball questions and when you are slumping the fans tell you to keep your chin up by you a drink and/or pay for YOUR dinner. How do you think the LA media would have reacted to his horrendous slump the first half of this season?

      • lanflfan - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:20 PM

        Even though LA is the broadcasting hub for the LA basin area, it is the Anaheim media, NOT LA, as the Angels play in Anaheim. And I’d be far more worried about the fans (the good, the bad and the ugly ones) than the media. The New York media is far, far worse.

  18. dude1974 - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:56 AM

    Wow. Should I mention the fact that the COL in LA is massively larger than St. louis? Also, I predict thanx to his money grubbing agent,he is divorced in 2 years. Hope you enjoy your 10 year-125 million deal. Jerk.

  19. cosanostra71 - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    We got rid of Jeff Mathis, and signed Albert Pujols in the SAME offseason? IS THIS REAL LIFE?

  20. cornersportsnet - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    Every day is christmas for albert,and when he accepts a buy out in six years when hes 41 ,he will make even more money with the buy out plus interest smart man dumb organization

  21. mdpickles - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    So it will end up being a bidding war between the Cubs and Cards for Fielder?

  22. loungefly74 - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:06 AM

    As a Giants fan…thank you for leaving the NL.

  23. frozeninfear - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    I’ll bet some scouts have already detected Pujols’ abilities at age 32 have begun to slip. His weight will begin to balloon in coming years. I think the Cardinals dodged a bullet.

  24. bigtganks - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    He’s taking his talents to Huntington Beach…

  25. florida727 - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    Great PR move. Horrible business decision. Check the productivity stats for power hitters as they age. He’s 32 now. What kind of production will you get from him at 35? 37? 39? FORTY-ONE? Jerry Dipoto just proved what kind of GM he is… an idiotic one. Enjoy your one or two years of success, Jerry. After that, good luck getting rid of the albatross around your neck. Short-sighted and stupid go hand-in-hand sometimes, don’t they?

    • southbeachtalent - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:25 AM

      While what your saying makes sense, I’m sure most Cards fans (even though they wont admit it now) would have liked to see their team atleast match that offer.

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