‘Blockbuster move’ would be an understatement in regards to the moves the Angels made early Thursday morning. No, these moves are having fans in southern California asking themselves, “Is this heaven??” No, it’s Anaheim.
All ‘Field of Dreams’ references aside, hardly anyone saw this coming. We knew Miami made an offer to Albert Pujols, supposedly the Cubs had an offer on the table…then there was the ‘mystery’ team, some thought was possibly the Red Sox. This morning Angels GM, Jerry Dipoto formally announced the signings of free agents Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson. Arte Moreno bought the Angels for approximately $184 million. He will now pay over $327 million for Pujols and Wilson combined.
It’s hard to fathom where the Angels are coming up with the cash. It’s obvious some moves will need to be made, especially if Kendrys Morales makes a comeback; that would give the Halos three first basemen. Regardless, by signing Pujols to the largest contract for a first baseman in baseball history (second largest by any position, only behind A-Rod), and by signing the best free agent pitcher in Wilson, the Angels just became the frontrunner for not only the division, but possibly the entire American League.
The deal for Pujols is reportedly worth around 10 years, 254 million. But how does that all translate?
On one end you can argue that the Angels have paid too much. Some question Pujols’ real age and although he had a great year last season, it was a down year for ‘Pujols standards’ in that he failed to hit .300 and reach 100 RBI for the first time. If he fails to play solidly for even seven or eight years, that amount of cash could cripple the team for the last two or three seasons. On the other end, the Angels could have just signed the new all-time home run king, especially considering he is now playing in a warmer AL climate in which he can also play DH.
The Cardinals are rumored to have offered Pujols something around 220 million over nine or ten years. Although this has to hurt for Cardinals fans, the bright side is that St.Louis now has a huge surplus of money to spend. With the emergence of Allen Craig in right, and moving Lance Berkman to first base, the Cardinals will be just fine. Expect them to be contenders again in 2012 with Adam Wainwright coming back. Not to mention if they can sign a great middle infielder like Jimmy Rollins, even better. Like I said, they will have the cash.
As for the Rangers, don’t expect them to just sit around either. They won’t let their division rivals steal their best pitcher and not have anything to respond with. I expect them to make a splash before it’s said and done. Many great players are still out there that include not only Prince Fielder, but Roy Oswalt and Michael Cuddyer as well.
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS