|(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)|
Albert Pujols will leave St. Louis for Los Angeles, after 11 great years with the Cardinals.
The Angels signed Pujols to a 10-year, $250 million contract, earlier today.
Earlier today, the Angels won the Albert Pujols sweepstakes, signing him to a 10-year, $250 million contract. The three-time MVP winner will leave St. Louis after 11 years, in which he won two World Series.
The Angels seemed to sneak in and win Pujols over, the same way the Phillies signed Cliff Lee last year. The teams interested in Pujols early on were the Marlins, Cubs, and the Cardinals, but in the last 24 hours, the Angels showed huge interest in Pujols, and ended up winning him over.
Pujols' contract is the second largest in MLB history, only behind Alex Rodriguez' contract with the Yankees, and is this third contract ever to go over $200 million. In Pujols' contract is a no-trade clause, something that kept him from signing with the Marlins.
Many speculated that when the Marlins gave up on Pujols after signing Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle, the Cardinals would resign Pujols. Despite being unable to resign their franchise player, the Cardinals don't seem bitter over Pujols, but rather seem thankful for him having him this past decade.
The Angels also signed lefty ace CJ Wilson to a five-year $77.5 million contract. Again, the Angels didn't look like the frontrunner for Wilson either, but ended up signing the all-star. Last year's ace Jered Weaver will likely move to No. 2 in the rotation.
To sum up how large Pujols' contract is, when owner Arte Moreno bought the Angels in 2003, he bought them for $184 million. Pujols' contract is $250 million.
The $250 million contract could pay off though. Pujols has been arguably the best player of the decade. Pujols is a lifetime .328 hitter, and has hit 445 home runs in just 11 seasons. The 31-year old slugger is also a nine time all-star, six time silver slugger, two time home run champion, and is already in the top 15 all time in OBP, SLG, and OPS.
On and off the field, Pujols was an icon in St. Louis. Whether he was hitter home runs, or running his family foundation, Pujols did a lot for the city of St. Louis.
Pujols will hopefully turn the Angels around, and finally put them back in the playoffs. The past few years, the Rangers have been the best in the West, but now the Angels are back on top. Last season, the Angels were in the bottom five in scoring in the AL. Their pitching was fantastic, giving up the second least runs in the AL.
With Pujols off the table, the next best player in free agency is Prince Fielder, who is likely to leave the Brewers and sign with a new team. The speculation is that Fielder will sign with the Cubs, but at this point, free-agency is too hard to predict this year.