DALLAS, Tx. – The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have agreed to terms with Albert Pujols on a 10-year, $250 million contract early Thursday morning. Three of my sources confirmed the deal moments ago from the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.
Rumors had been circulating all week of where Pujols would go between Miami, Los Angeles, St. Louis and the Chicago Cubs. After the Marlins seemingly pushed Pujols away, the stud was overtaken by an offer he just couldn’t refuse by Los Angeles.
The Miami Marlins were said to be the frontrunners in the the Albert Pujols sweepstakes. However, the Marlins grew overly cautious over the past 36 hours due to their need for pitching, especially a left-hander. Miami gave Pujols an ultimatum that the future Hall of Famer apparently didn’t appreciate. Miami demanded a decision from Pujols by Wednesday afternoon or else they’d move on without him. Albert refused to rush the process just so Miami could grab pitching and declined the Marlins offer.
Miami went on to sign Mark Buehrle instead, absorbing half the southpaw pitching on the market. No sooner did the Marlins sign Buerhle, did Pujols accept an outrageous offer from the Angels. The best offer Pujols was said to have on the table late Wednesday was a 10-year, $210 million offer by St. Louis. Los Angeles waisted little time amping the stakes and thus taking everyone else out of the competition.
The Pujols signing is one of the worst and weirdest series of events I have seen in a long time. After Miami pushed Pujols away to sign Mark Buerhle, the slugger ended up signing hours later, thus enraging the Marlins front office staff. Did they just choose the lefty finesse pitcher over one of the greatest hitters of all-time? Quite possibly.
I like what the Marlins are doing and Pujols will be retired by the time his contract ends with the Angels. This was one of the craziest waists of money, as Los Angeles just threw Albert an extra $40 million to go over the top of his former club. But 10 years?!? Are they kidding?!? The Angels will be lucky to get 4-6 good years out of him and the rest of the league is lucky they don’t owe a 32-year old $250 million over the next decade. Good Luck paying that debt off.
This changes the face of the free agent frenzy this off-season. Now, Prince Fielder becomes the No. 1 object of desire for hitting-desperate ballclubs and C.J. Wilson remains the top pitcher available on the market. It is tough to say right now who will end up where, but I can see Wilson signing with Miami to bolster an already stout rotation and I see the Chicago Cubs and surprising Toronto Blue Jays fighting over the rights of Fielder. Either way, it should make for an interesting last day at the 2011 MLB Winter Meetings in Dallas.
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