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HBT Daily: Is Albert Pujols’ deal still worth it to Angels?

Apr 23, 2014, 3:50 PM EDT

  1. karlton3 - Apr 23, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    From a baseball perspective, it will never be worth it.

  2. biasedhomer - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    How is this even a discussion?

    “Is Albert Pujols’ deal still worth it to Angels?”
    And when was this deal ever worth it? He was overpaid from the get go, according to most people. And since then, the deal looks even worse.

  3. 4d3fect - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    I always figured Arte was looking for publicity and putting butts in the seats.
    So maybe that part works for him.

    otherwise, *shrugs*

    • paperlions - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:46 PM

      Attendance was lower during Pujols’ first season in LA (which included the arrival of Trout as a superstar) than it was the year before…and it hasn’t bounced back.

      • 4d3fect - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:18 AM

        To paraphrase Douglas Adams, that’s a SEP (somebody else’s problem) :)

  4. Detroit Michael - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    With hindsight, of course the deal wasn’t worth it to the Angels. During the deal’s first two years, Pujols declined more quickly than expected (with health problems being a significant factor) and the Angels didn’t come close to winning a championship. The nature of these long-term free agent deals is that everyone knows they will become less favorable with time as the player ages. If the early part of the deal already looks bad, there’s no way that the deal as a whole will be favorable.

  5. gibbyfan - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    Well, you know what they say about in the eye of the beholder. I was always a huge Albert fan and felt bad about the Cards losing him. Even thought I think he may be able to return to his old glory for maybe a year or two, just can’t see how any reasonable person can see this as other than massive overpayment.

  6. goawaydog - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    Does he go into the Hall od Fame wearing a Cardinals or Angels cap?

    • cohnjusack - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:58 PM

      I can’t imagine it would be with an Angels cap. His Cardinals credentials are:
      3 MVP Awards
      2 Gold Glove Awards
      1 Rookie of the Year Award
      6 Silver Sluggers
      2 World Series Championships
      3 NL Pennants
      5 Division Titles
      7 Postseason Appearances
      2 Home Run Crowns
      1 Batting Title

      His level of accomplishment with the Cardinals is pretty legendary, and he would be extremely hard pressed to come close to repeating that level of success with the Angels, especially considering this contract started at age 32…not when most players begin their run of success.

  7. mazblast - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:38 PM

    The writers keep saying that you can’t really evaluate a contract until it’s at least half over.

    Then they write columns about how it’s not worth it, around 10% or 20% into the deal.

    (My opinion–Not worth it, but worth a try. The Hamilton deal may have been worse. However, I’m reserving final judgment on both until they’re both at least halfway. Obviously, I’d make a terrible columnist.)

    • infieldhit - Apr 24, 2014 at 12:13 AM

      By the time Hamilton’s deal is over, Pujols will only be halfway done, so I’d take the former every time.

  8. detectivejimmymcnulty - Apr 23, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    I didn’t watch the video so maybe this is addressed in it, but the Angels signed a 20 year/$3 billion dollar TV contract not long after signing Pujols. They would have signed a sizeable deal anyway, but signing Pujols probably added some value to that deal. $150,000,000 a year average just from a TV contract says it was worth it, and then some.

    • Reflex - Apr 23, 2014 at 10:49 PM

      This right here. People insist on believing that teams evaluate players based on their performance over the life of the deal. They do not. MLB is a business. Everything is measured based on ROI. A contract for Pujols is not based on his performance, its based on whether or not they will get back what they paid for him, and ideally make a profit as well. Pujols was part of their negotiating for the tv contract mentioned, he helped them make that deal far larger than his contract. As a result, even if he was injured for the life of the contract, the signing already more than paid for itself.

      The same is true of several other teams and their recent signings. A-Rod was the lynchpin that Texas signed a huge tv deal for in 2001. The Dodgers spent big the past two years, but were in the midst of negotiating an enormous tv deal that more than covers all the payroll for the next decade plus. The Mariners are in the midst of negotiations as well, rumored to be around 8x the money they guaranteed Cano. Suffice it to say, he is well worth it if that deal is closed.

      There certainly have been some very foolish long term deals. The second A-Rod deal. The Mike Hampton deal in Colorado. But on balance these are business decisions with much larger money on the line than the small amount (comparatively) that they pay the star in return. Cable companies are making an investment in the team, they need to see that the owners are investing in the product so that the ratings will guarantee a ROI for them for the investment.

      It really is all business. And the Angels deal with Pujols was a very good one for them.

  9. baseballisboring - Apr 23, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    I love how Kay always starts nodding before Craig has made a point.

  10. 13arod - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    yes it is if he keeps this up it will be a good deal

  11. Carl Hancock - Apr 23, 2014 at 6:44 PM

    No. But good analysis Craig. The Angels are paying $240 million for a player that will wear a Cardinals cap on his Hall of Fame plaque.

  12. djpostl - Apr 23, 2014 at 9:22 PM

    It’s not as if owners, or baseball in general, are hurting but it’s hard to say it was a good deal.

    First years production was “good, not great”, second year was just terrible (and injury prone). He’s off to a great start this season but we’ve got a long way to go and a lot of innings to beat up his body.

    Then you still have seven more seasons of escalating salaries (say what ya want about the Arod deal Hankenstein forced on Cashman but at least he was wise enough to not severely backload the thing) with what one can reasonably expect will be maybe one decent year and then a bunch of major disappointments.

  13. dylanthom2013 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:23 AM

    They’ll be paying him $30 million when he’s 41. Whether or not it was a good contract for the Angels it sure was an awesome contract for him.

  14. stex52 - Apr 24, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    The only way these really big contracts pay off is with runs deep into the playoffs. An entrée to the WS is like a license to print money for a team. If he ends up being a key component in a couple of deep playoff runs, then you can start marking the deal down from a horrible overpay to just not an efficient use of money.

    Personally I think he did very well for himself, and the Cards made a wise decision in saving their resources for other investments. The Angels need to make the playoffs a couple of times in the next three to four years to make it pay for them.

    • Reflex - Apr 25, 2014 at 4:13 AM

      It already paid for itself the moment the ink dried on their new tv deal, which they did soon after signing Pujols.

  15. twinfan24 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Less than 1% chance it will be viewed as a good deal in the end. Albert needed to come in and play near MVP level the first 2-3 seasons, then All Star for a couple, good for a couple, and then competent while not being an embarrasment the last few seasons to have any hope of it being a “good” contract. Given that his first couple seasons have seen one good and one maybe competent season, he would need to really crank it up for 3-4 seasons here to reach his overall output needed. I just don’t see him sustaining it for that long.

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