Albert Pujols signed with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim today for $254 million. This is good and bad for the Angels. Good for the Cardinals and bad news for the rest of the American League. Pujols is probably the best active player in baseball. He is the epitome of his nickname, “The Machine.” The Angels meant business and in one afternoon became the favorites to win the American League.
The Good for the Angels
In the short-term, say the next three seasons, the Pujols signing will pay dividends for the Angels. Pujols is one of the most prolific home run hitters in baseball history. A career .328 hitter, Pujols is literally a turbo boost for the Angels lineup. Three MVPs, two Gold Gloves, and post-season experience (including two World Series titles in 2006 and 2011) come along with 445 HRs. Barring injury, he is the best bet to legitimately surpass Hank Aaron. Secondly, going to the AL is a smart move for Albert’s longevity. He doesn’t need to play first base everyday. Simply DH.
The Bad for the Angels
Pujols is 31. Unlike a machine, he will begin to slow down. Skills deteriorate with age. Father Time will catch up. Even if he only plays DH. The business of baseball today clearly favors the players. The 10-year contract can hinder the Angels ability to acquire talent later on. That will hurt current players chances of winning championships long-term. Time will tell.
The Good for the Cardinals
Where Pujols’ long-term contract may hinder payroll for the Angels, the Cardinals have money to spend. The Cardinals will remain a strong, competitive team in the National League. Matt Holliday, Lance Berkman, and Chris Carpenter….enough said.
The Bad for the American League
Unless you are an Angel, Albert Pujols doesn’t play for your team.
Let’s not forget the Angels signed C.J. Wilson who will join Jered Weaver in the rotation. The rest of baseball take note, the Angels just showed you how to conduct business. The question remains is it sustainable? Time will tell.