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With Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols moving to the American League, the Great National League First Baseman Club just got a whole lot more exclusive.
If the Angels don't win a World Series or two before Albert Pujols' abilities start to decline, things could get real ugly in Anaheim.
The signing of Albert Pujols by the Los Angeles Angels was announced by the team in a public news conference (read: pep rally) on Dec. 10 at Angel Stadium. At the time, Pujols’ contract was reported to be worth $254 million over 10 years.
That turns out to be mostly correct, according to this tweet from Bob Nightengale:
Pujols’ contract is worth $240 milllion over 10 yrs, according to #MLB and #MLBPA, excluding the $10 personal services contract
One would hope that Angels owner Arte Moreno would give Pujols a bit more than ten dollars for personal services, but maybe he’s not a good tipper. (Kidding, Arte!)
Maury Brown tweets that it’s a bit more than $10:
On the 10-yr service agreement that ends once player contract with Angels expires, Pujols gets $1M annually over the 10 years ($10M)
So the deal appears to be worth $250 million. In addition, Brown also tweeted the following perks included in Pujols’ deal:
Award bonus: MVP $500K – MVP 2nd, 3rd $75K Gold Glove $75K – Silver Slugger $75K – AS election or select $50K – WS MVP $100K – LCS MVP$75K
Pujols will contribute at least $100K annually to Angels Baseball Foundation. 1/2 direction of Pujols, half at the direction Angels
Pujols has the right to buy a luxury suite between first base and third base for all home games.
Pujols receives 4 mutually agreed-upon seats for every hm gm & right to buy the same season tix after contract ends for a term of his choice
With $250 million heading into his bank account, Pujols could probably afford to buy the entire stadium. Good luck, Albert.
The Los Angeles Angels were able to fit in both Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson by getting them to accept significantly backloaded contracts.
Saturday morning, the Los Angeles Angels will introduce both Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson at the same news conference. Here is that news conference.
What did all of the teams do after Albert Pujols signed with the Los Angeles Angels? They figured out what to do next, of course.
All along, Albert Pujols said that he wanted to remain in St. Louis, and then he didn't. Let's talk a little bit about player loyalty and millions of dollars.
Albert Pujols signed with the Los Angeles Angels Thursday morning. C.J. Wilson did too, but, whatever, Pujols. Let's just talk about this.
The Angels just signed Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson. Thinking that the Rangers probably aren't going to counter with Nick Punto.
Thursday at baseball's Winter Meetings, Angels general manager Jerry DiPoto announced the pending deals for free agents Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson.
More than a few Cardinals fans are angry with Albert Pujols leaving for a huge contract from the Angels, but they should really be upset with the closer for the Seattle Mariners.
Albert Pujols is heading to the West Coast, likely for the rest of his career -- far from the NL Central. What will the division look like without him?
Good morning! Did you sleep well, out there on the West Coast? The best player of our generation is now on another team. Also, there was a Rule 5 Draft. But back to the Albert Pujols thing.
According to ESPN Stats and Info, the deal -- reported to be at least $250 million over ten years -- is the third deal to crack $200 million in baseball history. The first was Alex Rodriguez, and the second was ... Alex Rodriguez.
The first contract A-Rod received came when the Rangers signed him after the 2000 season for ten years and $252 million. The crazy thing was, he was actually worth that deal, as much as a player can be worth a quarter-billion dollars for a franchise. Over those ten years, A-Rod 424 home runs, played in an average of 151 games, and hit .299/.394/577. He also probably could have stuck at shortstop for a majority of those games if he wasn't traded to the Yankees. It was an insane contract, but it was an insane player.
When the Rangers traded Rodriguez away, though, they actually paid for the privilege. They paid $67 million to the New York Freaking Yankees to take away the best player on the team. Amazing.
Even more amazing: Rodriguez had an opt-out clause of his ridiculous contract, and he used it to get an even more ridiculous contract: ten years, $275 million, with up to $30 million in marketing bonuses as he approaches the all-time home run record. Rodriguez is still owed a minimum of $143 million over the next six seasons, and his production is drooping. His OPS is down over 200 points from its peak, and he's missed time with injuries for the fourth season in a row.
The difference between the two? The first contract was signed before he was 25. The second was when he was 32. Albert Pujols doesn't have peers, exactly, but the closest comparison we can make is A-Rod when he was in his early-30s. And the Yankees got two seasons, maybe three, before they had a sick feeling that the contract wasn't going to work out. I'm sure they expected some decline, but not that quickly.
It's a cautionary tale for the Angels, but here's the other thing: For the next couple of years, at least, they're right not to care. They contended this season with Vernon Wells making this kind of money; they'll figure out a way to do the same if Pujols starts to skip down that path in eight years. And in the near future -- Albert Pujols! The Angels have Albert Pujols. Crazy. Expensive.
To recap: a ten-year deal to a 25-year-old shortstop? Okay. A ten-year-deal to a thirty-something corner guy? Slightly insane. If there's anyone who could buck the trend, it would be an all-time great like Albert Pujols. Or Alex Rodriguez. But I'm sure the Angels and fans aren't exactly concerned with 2020 right now.
Source: Pujols will sign with Angels for 10 years for between $250 and $260 million. Full no-trade. Pujols decided Thursday morning.
And according to Buster Olney as well:
Pujols to the angels, done, sources say
As Brown stated, it will include a full no-trade clause and, at $250 to $260 million, will have an average annual value of between $25 and $26 million. It won’t quite make Pujols the highest-paid player in MLB history; Alex Rodriguez’s current contract, which also runs for 10 years, has an AAV of $27.5 million. A-Rod’s first 10-year deal, which he signed with the Rangers, had an AAV of $25.2 million; this deal might come close to that.
There has been no official announcement of this deal yet, just the tweets, but obviously we will have much more here at Baseball Nation later.
Edit: The final deal will be worth $254 million, according to Eric Fisher of the Sports Business Journal.
For more on the Angels, visit our SB Nation Angels site Halos Heaven.
Tuesday, the Miami Marlins surprised
everyone no one everyone no one probably some people when they made a very strong charge for Albert Pujols. They offered him ten years, and were looking for a quick resolution.
Wednesday, the Marlins were eliminated from the race. Upon hearing that news, and then confirming that news a couple times over since, you know, winter meetings, one sensed that the path was paved for Pujols to re-sign with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals were there the whole time. The Marlins stepped up to issue a challenge. The Marlins were defeated. Cardinals win!
The only problem is that the Cardinals did not win. They might still win in the end, but as the Marlins went away, other challengers emerged. Or stepped up. Or remained. I don't know. Two other challengers, one of which is the Los Angeles Angels. From FOX Sports:
Sources told FOXSports.com on Wednesday evening that the Los Angeles Angels, a team barely mentioned as a possible suitor until the past 24 hours, were engaged in a lengthy set of negotiations with Pujols’ agent, Dan Lozano.
However, sources told FOXSports.com that a third team — possibly the Cubs — has remained involved.
Right now, as I'm writing this, the Angels are being talked about on Twitter as a favorite to sign C.J. Wilson to a five-year contract. They're competing with the Marlins. The Angels could be the favorite for Wilson, and the Angels could be making a strong play for Pujols. They might not get both of them, and they might not get even one of them, but these are aggressive times for a new front office.
Realistically, Pujols is probably still most likely to re-sign. We don't know anything about the third team, and I'm going to go ahead and assume that it isn't a serious threat. It seems like this is down to the Angels and the Cardinals, and the Cardinals are the Cardinals. They're Pujols' Cardinals. But nothing's guaranteed in these crazy days we're living in. Nothing. (Nothing.)
Word just came down that the Miami Marlins - an ultra-aggressive suitor - are out of the running for Albert Pujols, despite having offered him a ten-year contract worth well more than $200 million. That seems to pave the way for Pujols to re-sign with the St. Louis Cardinals, right? Because the race was down to the Marlins and the Cardinals?
You fool. You naive, ignorant fool.
Who the hell even knows anymore. We know that the Cardinals have extended to Pujols one big offer, of either nine or ten years in length. The Angels are rumored to have crept into the picture, although it doesn't seem like they would compete with the Cardinals. The Cubs have been involved and might still be involved, but it doesn't seem like they would compete with the Cardinals. So. Bob Nightengale says Pujols is still looking at three enormous offers, even with the Marlins out. He might not be right. He might be right.
The Cardinals definitely feel like the favorites. Pujols, obviously, has strong ties, and there's the familiarity factor. Yesterday, the Marlins looked like the Cardinals' only serious competition, and now the Marlins are out. But. But?
Tuesday, the Miami Marlins went nuts for Albert Pujols. They offered him ten years, and they expected an answer by the end of the night. The Miami Marlins forced us all to consider the possibility that Albert Pujols could sign with and play for the Miami Marlins.
Agent Dan Lozano has called the #Marlins and told them they are out on Pujols, says source
Source says Pujols continues to negotiate with clubs other than #Cardinals. But Albert will not be going to Florida.
This is just an unconfirmed rumor right now, but earlier Wednesday the Marlins appeared to be turning their attention away from Pujols, so it would make sense. The Marlins put out their best offer, and if it isn't good enough, it isn't good enough. The Marlins wanted a quick resolution, and that's what they got.
Just because the Marlins seem to have fallen short on Pujols, though, doesn't mean we can pretend like this whole pursuit never happened. Let it never be forgotten that, in the midst of a coke-fueled offseason, the Marlins came close to signing Albert flipping Pujols to a ten-year contract.
So if this report is true, the Marlins will look at other dudes. The Cardinals, meanwhile, will stand as favorites to sign Pujols, although they are not entirely without competition.
The Miami Marlins are looking to make a splash in free agency. And by "splash", I mean they're flailing around the Winter Meetings like a methed-out manatee having a seizure, possibly after staring at their own logo, and I mean that in the best way possible. After signing Jose Reyes to a huge six-year contract, the Marlins have been aggressively courting all-time great Albert Pujols, forcing the St. Louis Cardinals to improve the offer that they were adamantly refusing to improve.
Now the scuttlebutt is that the Cardinals are likely to re-sign their franchise icon, leaving the Marlins without another splash to make. At least for the next few minutes. Jon Heyman suggests that the Marlins have already moved on to another big splash, Prince Fielder:
marlins already in pursuit of prince. Signs indicate cards likely to get pujols
The Marlins are looking to commit what was a decade's worth of payroll for them over the last two years, and while they were hoping to do so with Pujols, it's not like Fielder is a bad fallback option. He still has the star power that Miami is craving, he's younger, and he's likely cheaper.
But if the Marlins are already looking into Fielder, it's probably a sign that Pujols is returning to the Cardinals. Or it could be a strategic gambit to let Pujols know that they're moving on, which will force Pujols to panic. It could be anything! I'm sure there won't be conflicting reports on Twitter in the next five minutes to let us know which one it is.
Most reports on Tuesday claimed that Albert Pujols would sign with either the Cardinals or Marlins, with the signing possibly complete by late Tuesday night. That didn’t happen, although Jayson Stark added to the mystery by tweeting:
#Marlins offer to Pujols includes provisions that would link him to team beyond playing career.
Intriguing. But late Tuesday, many tweets indicated that a third “mystery” team had entered the bidding. Who could it be? Ken Rosenthal tweeted that he knew:
Sources: #Angels pursuing Pujols. Ongoing conversations. #MLB
Other “folks” did too, according to Jon Heyman:
folks believe the #angels are indeed the #mystery team. Good organization but would require change of leagues for pujols.
Mystery team on Pujols is believed to be Angels, as @Ken_Rosenthal reported
Okay… Angels. Kind of makes sense, even though, as Rob Neyer wrote in this stream Tuesday night, the Angels are already fairly loaded at first base. Arte Moreno has made big moves like this before, when he signed Vladimir Guerrero in 2004.
I just talked to two #Angels people who seemed shocked by report that they’re the Albert Pujols “mystery team”
Spoke to one prominent AL GM, whose response to #Angels’ rumored pursuit of Pujols was: “No way.”
Tim Brown adds agreement and yet another “mystery team”:
Angels are definitely not in on Pujols. Cubs have made contact. Beat goes on…
Don’t you just love Twitter? Finally, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, in a non-tweeted report, says the Cardinals have upped their offer to approach $220 million. As always, we await further
tweets reports developments.
What, you thought only two teams would be interested in Albert Pujols at (roughly) $22 million per season?
Ha. The game is afoot, and the Angels might have a big advantage. Because, you know, they can actually fly.
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Angels have gotten in on Pujols.
Yes, this might seem a little strange, considering that the Angels' 2010 first baseman is on the mend and their 2011 first baseman finished second in the Rookie of the Year balloting. But nobody knows if Kendrys Morales will actually come back strong this spring, and Mark Trumbo's .291 on-base percentage was actually one of the Angels' problems.
Also, while Vernon Wells' contract is obviously a millstone for the Angels, in the long term Arte Moreno is going to have plenty of money to spend, and $22 million per season really isn't a great deal of money for a player like Albert Pujols in a market like Southern California.
Remember when Pujols was going to get $30 million per season? Now that he's perhaps going to have a lower AAV than CC Sabathia, there's no reason why half a dozen teams shouldn't get involved. As long as they don't mind someday writing huge checks to a grandfather...
The story of the day has been the Miami Marlins offering ten guaranteed years to Albert Pujols. Ten guaranteed years without a no-trade clause, but still, ten guaranteed years, and a lot of money. It's a hell of an offer. The focus then shifted to whether or not the St. Louis Cardinals would counter.
The St. Louis Cardinals have countered. And oh by the way there's another team supposedly in the mix too, turns out. Bob Nightengale:
Marquee free-agent first baseman Albert Pujols, fueling the most lucrative bidding war in baseball history, obtained three 10-year contract proposals Tuesday that would pay him in excess of $200 million, an official close to the negotiations told USA TODAY.
This is an unconfirmed rumor, like most things that come out of the winter meetings, but it sounds legitimate, and if it is, then what we have are the Marlins offering ten years and gobs of money, the Cardinals offering ten years and gobs of money, and - wait for it - a mystery team offering ten years and gobs of money. We've been waiting for that mystery team to show up in Dallas, and now here it is, being all flashy like always.
The Cubs reportedly offered Pujols a contract earlier, but it wasn't for ten years, or for anything close to ten years. I don't know who the mystery team might be, or if it truly exists, but given the way things have gone, it might be the Marlins. "If we double the offers, we double the chances!"
Earlier, I was getting the sense that Pujols could make his decision Tuesday night. Now I'm thinking Wednesday, at the earliest. But I'm not an expert. (Seriously.)
We're glad you're here, because we've got the inside scoop on exactly what's happening with Albert Pujols.
Okay, that was a lie. What we do have are dueling reports. Sort of dueling.
It's been the Conventional Wisdom since last spring that the Cardinals offered Pujols a nine-year contract ... a contract that Pujols spit on, and his agent used to blow his nose in.
Tuesday night, that the Miami Marlins have offered Pujols a contract for ten years and $220 million. They also say the Cardinals had earlier improved their offer to nine years and $198 million.
One has to think that Pujols would like to stay in St. Louis, all things being equal. And there's not really that much difference between 9/198 and 20/220. What's $22 million between friends, really? Especially when it buys an extra year and impossible-to-quantify goodwill?
Of course, the Cardinals might up their offer only to see the Marlins move up, too. Just matching might not be enough. Pujols's agent's job is to get the biggest offers he can from both clubs -- along with any other team that might be lurking -- and then let the player choose one of them.
But all indications are that Pujols a) is going to decide very soon, and b) he's not going to earn anything like the $30 million per season that was bandied about last winter.
He should be fine, though.
In this post I am going to tell you very very little. I feel like I should get that out of the way here, in the beginning, so you can choose whether or not to read the rest. Okay. If you're still here, the news is that the Miami Marlins have offered Albert Pujols a ten-year contract. They have not offered to include a no-trade clause, per team policy, but a ten-year contract offer is a ten-year contract offer, and it's an offer for a lot of money, too.
Pujols hasn't made a decision yet, obviously. He's giving the Cardinals a chance to respond, as he and his agent should, and we'll see where things go from here. But the current perception? From Joe Capozzi:
Growing buzz in lobby that #Marlins will emerge as winner Albert Pujols derby. Nothing final yet but fish r favorites, accd 2 lobby walkers
That is a very subjective tweet. Capozzi deduces that people in a hotel think the Marlins are the favorites to sign Albert Pujols. There's nothing scientific about it. But take a step back and think about where we are.
This offseason has been happening so fast that I don't think any of us truly understand and appreciate what the Marlins have done to themselves.
Albert Pujols, one of the greatest free agents in the history of free agency, would seem to have a bit of leverage. He has the Miami Marlins fighting for him, and he has the St. Louis Cardinals fighting to keep him. One of things that Pujols plans to do with that leverage, apparently, is push for a no-trade clause. Not so fast, says Marlins president David Samson:
Marlins pres David Samson says: "There will NOT be a free agent signed that includes a no-trade clause." So team sticking with policy.
If Pujols were to re-sign with the Cardinals, he would have de facto protection from a trade as a 10/5 player -- a player who has been in the league for ten years, and with the same team for at least the last five. The Marlins would need to write any no-trade protection into a Pujols contract, which they're apparently unwilling to do. And if they didn't do it for Reyes, there's a bit of a precedent for the team not caving on this particular policy.
Pujols's fear is crazy, though. It's not like the Marlins are going to go all wacky in free agency and then turn around and trade everyone after a year or two, right? What sort of team would do that?
Albert Pujols hasn't signed anything yet, but chances are good he will be entering the small club of players with 10-year deals.
Really, there isn't a ton of new news to report just yet. The Marlins reportedly have a 10-year deal on the table for Albert Pujols for more money than the team paid their team from 1998 through last year. It's up to the Cardinals to counter that offer.
But Jon Morosi gives us at least a little insight on what's going on down at the Winter Meetings:
I'm no body language expert, but #Marlins looked rather smiley as Albert Pujols talks approach critical point.
And if you're looking for how sports journalism has changed in the Twitter era, I think "rather smiley" is a great place to start. It conveys information, but not really. Yet I'd rather read a tidbit like that than not know about anything until the official deals are looked over by lawyers. Different times.
One thing should be clear, though: the Cardinals are probably just a wee bit nervous. The face of their franchise -- as much as Stan Musial or Bob Gibson was -- is inching closer to wearing the teal and fuchsia and purple and rainforest frog green and seaborgium magenta and Đinđićian mauve, and they'll have to commit well over $200 million to keep him.
While Albert Pujols reportedly mulls the reported offer he has reportedly been given by the Miami Marlins (enough "reportedly"s for you?), Joe Strauss reports that the Chicago Cubs have also made an offer to Pujols, through his agent Dan Lozano:
The Chicago Cubs also engaged Lozano in talks about Pujols Monday and are believed to have made a qualifying bid. Lozano declined Monday night to address any team’s status in talks.
Cubs president Theo Epstein attempted to deflect speculation about his team’s interest in Pujols by noting that Lozano also represents free agent pitcher Rodrigo Lopez, another Cubs target. However, the Post-Dispatch confirmed early this morning that the Cubs submitted a bid for their rival’s longtime offensive centerpiece.
Ironically, Rodrigo Lopez was responsible for a dramatic Cardinals win on June 5 in St. Louis when he gave up a 10th-inning walkoff home run to Pujols. Of the 18 homers Lopez allowed in 2011, three were hit by Pujols. Perhaps this is the Cubs’ way of saying, “If we can’t beat him, have him join us.”
The article quotes an unnamed baseball executive as saying the Marlins have a “50-50” chance of signing Pujols. No odds were given for the Cubs’ chances.
The Albert Pujols contract sweepstakes started off slowly this offseason; no specific offers were made early and only two or three teams — the Cubs and Marlins in addition to the Cardinals, the team he could be leaving — appeared to be interested.
The Marlins, who just made a splash on the free agent market with their six-year, $106 million deal with Jose Reyes, are now offering a 10-year deal to Pujols, according to Jon Heyman:
Serious business, that, if it turns out to be true.
The Marlins have been one of baseball’s smallest-payroll teams for most of their existence, except for the brief times when they expanded it — and won the World Series doing it, particularly in 1997, only to then immediately break up the team. Where they’re suddenly getting all this money — a 10-year deal to Pujols would likely cost at least twice as much as they’re giving Reyes — no one knows.
And all of this is coming on the heels of the announcement of a government investigation of the financing of the Marlins’ new ballpark.
The old saying “May you live in interesting times” surely applies to the Miami Marlins. We await further developments.
Albert Pujols is a free agent. He's available. He's available to anyone and everyone. Albert Pujols has a lifetime four-digit OPS, and in a down season last year - a season that had many wondering if Pujols had much left in the tank - his OPS was .906, and he followed that up with an amazing playoffs. You'd think, based on that knowledge, that Pujols would be the object of everybody's desire.
In truth, Pujols appears to have a very limited number of suitors. At least for the time being. And Pujols' agent, Dan Lozano, has met or is meeting with all of them Monday. First, from Ken Rosenthal:
#Cubs met today with Pujols' agent, Dan Lozano. No word on nature of talks.
Next, from Clark Spencer:
#marlins just finished 30 minute meeting with pujols agent
And finally, from Jon Heyman:
Cardinals gm mozeliak confirms @joestrauss report he's talking to pujols agent today. Word is, cards have little room to move
The Chicago Cubs, the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals. These are the three teams currently chasing after Pujols, or at least the three teams most aggressively chasing after Pujols. It's been reported that the Cardinals have already offered him nine years and about $200 million. The Marlins made a smaller offer before, but could and probably will come up with a bigger one. As for the Cubs, Danny Knobler hears that they might offer bigger money over fewer years.
So that's that. I wouldn't expect Pujols to settle real soon. And, yeah, the Marlins. The Marlins and Albert Pujols, even after signing Heath Bell and Jose Reyes. Did I mention that the Marlins are looking to sign C.J. Wilson or Mark Buehrle too? The Marlins are trying to do what people always accuse the Yankees of doing even though the Yankees never do this. This is the weirdest offseason.
If Albert Pujols leaves the St. Louis Cardinals as a free agent, he'll be missed. But considering their options for replacing him, should the Cardinals do whatever it takes to keep Pujols?
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