The Los Angeles Angels, who were a mystery team just two days ago, signed the best hitter on the planet in Albert Pujols to a 10 year deal worth $250M. The deal also has no opt out clauses like C.C. Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez deals did. He will likely be an Angel until the end and that is not a bad thing.
The Cardinals lost their icon. They lost possibly the best hitter we will see in our lifetime. But, David Pinto points out that the Cardinals already received roughly $300M in on-field production for roughly $100M. On top of that, the Cardinals had him as the face of the franchise and banked on his marketable face. This is a big loss but only after an astronomical gain.
The Angels might find it hard to recoup the entire $250M invested in on-field value but they should have no problem recouping the money when you include what they will make off the field.
This move also allows them to potentially trade Mark Trumbo or Kendrys Morales for some pitching. Trumbo would be the one I would look to move. He has huge power and can play above-average defense at first base but he will now be relegated to DH duties if he is not traded or moved to a position that would hinder the team’s defense. Trumbo’s value may not get any higher since he has a problem getting on base.
I know 10 years and $250M is a lot of money but I do like this move for the Angels both on the field (at least for now) and off the field, both for the team and for the business.
Pujols will be approaching milestones of 500 homeruns in about two seasons, 3000 hits in about five or six seasons, and possibly Barry Bonds record of 762 homeruns towards the end of the contract, all while in an Angels uniform. On top of that, Pujols is very charitable and fans of all types love him. There are few flaws and little risk in making him the immediate face of a franchise and business.
There is ton of value to a franchise in those moments and that is why you can overpay for a guy like Pujols.