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Albert Pujols is injured and struggling again with seven seasons and $189 million left on his contract

Jun 23, 2014, 10:15 AM EDT

albert pujols getty Getty Images

Early on this season Albert Pujols was healthy and looked pretty close to his old, MVP-winning self, playing every day for the Angels and hitting .302 with 10 homers and a .965 OPS through 32 games.

Unfortunately his production has slipped and now he’s hurt again, sitting out Saturday and shifting to designated hitter Sunday because of back soreness after hitting just .217 in the previous 40 games.

Pujols’ power has remained strong throughout his overall struggles and his 16 home runs rank eighth among AL hitters, but that comes with a lowly .255 batting average and .315 on-base percentage. And after a decade of walking more often than he struck out for the Cardinals he’s whiffed 36 times compared to just 23 walks in 72 total games.

He’s been better than he was last season, but just barely, and overall Pujols looks nothing like the all-time great hitter he was in St. Louis. Sadly it was just a hot start for a banged-up 34-year-old with another seven seasons and $189 million left on his contract.

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141 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. jimatkins - Jun 23, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    Albert is having trouble adjusting to the fact that he isn’t 25 anymore. Scioscia still bats him third most of the time, despite the fact that he’s an atrocious hitter at this point. Before he got the two-run single against the Rangers Friday, he was about 1 for 20 or thereabouts with RISP. Albert’s ego won’t let him bat sixth, where he should be if he’s even in the game.

    • ramrene - Jun 24, 2014 at 2:22 PM

      Albert is having trouble adjusting to the fact that he isn’t on PED’s anymore.

      • danfrommv - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:18 PM

        His age-appropriate decline would seem to refute your PED accusation.

    • leoimpr - Jun 24, 2014 at 10:44 PM

      no sir, Albert is having trouble adjusting to not having the JUICE, no roids and they all become human again. I am so happy the Angels will pay for it, no team sjould pay salaries like that. We know what happened with ARoid, and we will see what will happen to Cano. Oh, forgot Manny. Common denominator? they are all Dominicans, they had the good chemist, \now they are all done.

      • damer419 - Jun 26, 2014 at 3:58 PM

        You sir are no geographer

      • brewfangrb - Jun 26, 2014 at 10:52 PM

        A-Rod is Dominican? I…what?

  2. tmovingstar - Jun 23, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    He got over on the Angels, period. What were the Angels thinking when they gave this OLD player that much money? At the most he was only going to be a great player for 2 maybe 3 more years. He has not even been worth 1 tenth of what they have paid him. I just hope they give Mr Trout more than they gave this old guy that is not on PEDs anymore. Notice how he has declined since baseball has gotten tougher on the PEDs. I know he has never been caught on them, but the way he is playing now and always getting hurt, it only shows that he has stopped taking something. Maybe Jack Clark was right when he said Albert was taking them.

    • danfrommv - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:20 PM

      Jack Clark didn’t have the conviction to back up his claim. Refuted it once Albert’s lawyers called.

      This contract should be a cautionary tale for giving any BB player who is 32+ a contract of any length. The decline of the skills (unless PEDs, e.g BigHead Bonds) is pretty dramatic. I’m glad they captured Mike Trout’s “good years”.

  3. chiadam - Jun 23, 2014 at 7:05 PM

    One day teams will learn to not hand out contracts like this under any circumstances ever. Probably not any day soon, but one day.

    • 1historian - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:38 PM

      Wanna bet?

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:39 AM

        I’d bet you …

        One day means one day… could be in the year 2110 and we’d be dead but I’d have your money.

        He didn’t say one day soon… but one day.

        If someone told you in 1910 that one day ball players would make tens of millions of dollars, I’m guessing you would have said “wanna bet?”

        Give it enough time and it will happen…

  4. savior72 - Jun 23, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    I agree. Players in that age group should have more of a performance based contract.

  5. racksie - Jun 23, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    Who knew that deal would turn out so poorly? Josh Hamilton, maybe?

    • clemente2 - Jun 23, 2014 at 8:05 PM

      Its funny, the people complaining about Pujols’ long contract are trashing Hamilton’s not-long contract, too.

      • nsideindy - Jun 23, 2014 at 8:25 PM

        I believe he’s just referencing bad deals.

      • racksie - Jun 24, 2014 at 1:23 AM

        And remember, just for fun, the Angels are paying Vernon Wells $18.6 million to NOT play for the Yankees.

      • danfrommv - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:22 PM

        The Vernon Wells deal got the previous GM fired. Getting Vernon was the worst trade ever.

      • damer419 - Jun 26, 2014 at 4:01 PM

        Dont forget Joe Blanton………..26 million this year to both of them so they can sit at home and watch the World Cup

      • damer419 - Jun 26, 2014 at 4:08 PM

        Just think – Miggy could be a Halo but they wouldnt give up Brandon Wood to the Marlins……BRANDON WOOD!!!!!!!

        Had they done that they would have hopefully spent $$$ to resign him and not in the discussion with Albert

  6. genehennigh2 - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    When will these sluggers — especially first basemen, realize that the stadium in Anaheim is a pitcher’s park? Mo Vaugh and everyone else who has gone there suddenly hit like wimps.

  7. carpi2 - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:31 PM

    I am pretty sure the Angles have made their money’s worth from increased ticket and Pujols jersey sales within the first few years of his contract to cover the cost of the remaining 7 years. The Angles will be just fine

    • 1historian - Jun 23, 2014 at 10:40 PM

      7 years and $189,000,000 left on the contract.

      Shirley you jest.

      • southpaw2k - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:41 AM

        I don’t really take his comment at face value considering he called the team the “Angles.”

        And don’t call me Shirley.

    • djg209 - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:08 PM

      You’re not very good with math, are you?

    • sportfan2 - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:02 AM

      Making money from Trout not from Pujois.

    • midwestdoesitbest - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:52 AM

      I’m pretty sure nothing in your post is correct. I’m shocked it has 13 thumbs up. Winning sells the most tickets, and Albert has not helped with that one bit. Has he even hit a walk off winner yet? And the fans pay to see Trout, not Albert.

      Lastly, the Angels are not the only ones to profit from Pujols’ jersey sales. MLB splits memorabilia sales evenly. The Astros make as much $$$ from Pujols’ jerseys as the Angels do.

      • carpi2 - Jun 26, 2014 at 11:03 PM

        It appears Pujols’ signing was, in part, about gaining leverage in negotiating The Angels’ new TV contract, which went from $50 million, pre-Pujols, to $3 billion, following his signing. I guess one can argue his contract paid for itself within it’s first year.

        However, I didn’t know memorabilia sales were evenly distributed amongst the teams.

    • mangoman1966 - Jun 29, 2014 at 10:48 AM

      Thats ahelluva lot of jerseys

  8. sidelineshot - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:46 PM

    All of these terrible contracts make Red Sox GM Ben Cherrington look smart.
    If you are going to overpay, make it 3 years max.
    Heck, the Sox have one of those “mistakes” as well … Pedroia’s contract.

  9. droopy925 - Jun 24, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    All that Disney money can’t but a clue nobody but the angels thought he was still worth half that much his last few years with the cards were injury filled why would that change in LA

    • midwestdoesitbest - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      Actually Pujols had a pretty good track record for staying healthy while in St Louis. I think he was only on the DL once. That being said, its a LOT harder to stay healthy post-30 and it’s only going to get worse for the Angels, especially considering Albert is probably a couple years older than he claims to be.

    • danfrommv - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:17 PM

      Disney Money? The owner is Arte Moreno. That’s billboard money, droopy

  10. harley5571 - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    They gave him Miggy money but 3 yrs past his prime and not in the middle of it like Miggy is

    • SocraticGadfly - Jun 29, 2014 at 10:55 PM

      Uhh, Miggy’s not in the middle of his prime. He’s in the same age as Pujols was in his last St. Louis year, and starting a bit on the downslope. Have fun in Detroit when that new contract starts.

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