How The Albert Pujols Deal Shapes The Offseason

Albert Pujols is heading to Anaheim. After flirtations with the hyper-aggressive Marlins and extended talks with his hometown Cardinals, Pujols accepted a ten-year deal worth more than $250MM from the Angels. Here's a blow-by-blow look ahead to the impact the contract will have, starting in Anaheim:

Angels: The Angels' offense was ordinary in 2011, and Pujols should help change that. The Angels' projected lineup becomes even more right-handed with the addition of Pujols, but GM Jerry Dipoto figures to make more moves before Spring Training.

Rookie of the Year runner-up Mark Trumbo and the injured Kendrys Morales are now in limbo. There has been some talk of moving Trumbo to third, but the Angels may trade him instead. Morales, a borderline non-tender candidate with a projected salary in the $3MM range, might draw interest from teams such as the Rays, Pirates, Cubs, Brewers and Blue Jays if and when he and Trumbo become available.

Dipoto has had an immense impact in his six weeks on the job in Anaheim (the Angels also agreed to terms with C.J. Wilson). It's clear that owner Arte Moreno hired an aggressive GM who believes the Angels can win soon. The Angels will lose the 19th overall selection in the 2012 draft to the Cardinals. 

Cardinals - You can't replace the best hitter in baseball. The Cardinals outscored every National League team in 2011 and they'll keep scoring in 2012, but replacing Pujols in the short-term represents a challenge for the defending World Series winners.

The Cardinals have lost two franchise icons — Pujols and manager Tony La Russa — since winning it all this October. They’ll have a new look in 2012 under rookie manager Mike Matheny. St. Louis also obtains two compensatory draft picks for Pujols in 2012.

The St. Louis lineup will look considerably different next year. Lance Berkman projects as the everyday first baseman with Allen Craig in right field. However, Craig underwent knee surgery and may not be ready for Opening Day, so the Cardinals may look to obtain outfield (or first base) depth. GM John Mozeliak should have the money he needs to address weaknesses in the middle infield, the bullpen and, possibly, the rotation. Losing Pujols also provides the Cardinals with future payroll flexibility. Though the loss stings now, they'll have more financial freedom over the course of the next decade.

Marlins - President of baseball operations Larry Beinfest improved his lineup — one that finished the 2011 season 23rd in baseball in runs scored — even though Pujols signed elsewhere. Few pitchers will want to face a group that includes Jose Reyes, a healthy Hanley Ramirez, Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison.

The lineup will also include Gaby Sanchez, assuming the Marlins don't sign Prince Fielder. Sanchez, a Miami native who has never played a position other than first base at the Major League level, would have interested other teams if Pujols had signed in Miami.

Brewers, Mariners, Cubs, Rangers, Mystery Teams – Any team interested in Prince Fielder watched the Pujols negotiations with interest. Though Pujols’ numbers are superior to Fielder's from a career standpoint, agent Scott Boras may attempt to use Pujols’ deal to his client’s advantage. 

Joey Votto – Votto doesn’t have the same resume as Pujols, but he may use Thursday’s agreement as a point of reference when he hits free agency after the 2013 season. Fielder’s deal will be a better be a better comparison for Votto.

Mark Buehrle - The Marlins agreed to sign Buehrle, but it's unlikely they would have moved as aggressively on the southpaw if Pujols had decided to accept the Marlins' offer.

Mets – The Mets would have obtained a third round compensation pick for losing Reyes if Pujols had signed with the Marlins. Instead, the Mets are looking at a second round selection for losing the All-Star shortstop.

The MLBPA – It’s the second biggest deal in baseball history, so there’s lots to like from the players association's perspective. The contract tops the average annual value of deals for lesser players such as Ryan Howard, Adrian Gonzalez and Mark Teixeira. Agent Dan Lozano obtained a deal that makes Pujols the second MLB player to surpass the $200MM contract plateau (Alex Rodriguez is the other).


65 Responses to How The Albert Pujols Deal Shapes The Offseason Leave a Reply

  1. KINGMOJO 4 years ago

    pujols=champion

  2. start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    To be honest I see this less as a big win for Dipoto as I do for Moreno. I never saw the Angels as huge spenders (of the $200M variety) and I was puzzled by the Pujols deal until I heard of the $3 billion deal with FOX. Adding that in it makes a more of a business move, thus more of a Moreno move than a Dipoto move.

    • WasianCU 4 years ago

      It’s true that Moreno was heavily involved with the Pujols signing.  However, if Reagins were still the GM the Angels would have just been arriving to the winter meetings just in time to see him holding up a Miami jersey at a press conference.

      • Ta-Kuan Fuan 4 years ago

        Even if Reagins were to miraculously sign Pujols, I wouldn’t be as comfortable simply because he’s in over his head as to how to build a team for the present and for the future. Dipoto has a clear blueprint for what to do and finds a means to do it.

  3. Small point of fact: It’s the 2nd biggest deal, as it was 10/$254MM, topping ARod’s 10/$252MM.  Otherwise, good summary

  4. johnsilver 4 years ago

    Marlins making a serious mistake if the sign Fielder to some ludicrous contract and move Sanchez. granted, they are the same age, but Sanchez only has 1+ year of service time and is way more affordable, plus is not worse on defense than fielder.

    it’s like beinfest and Loria treating getting Fielder as a consolation prize, but he is more like picking the incorrect answer in a game and resetting to zero.. the one you try to stay away from..

    • Onetimeaccount 4 years ago

      I’d choose Fielder over Pujols. Not 200m though, or ten years.

  5. JacksTigers 4 years ago

    Albert is going to regret this. His heart belongs in St. Louis, not LA.

    • Anthony Hughes 4 years ago

      That’s just it, his heart WASN’T in St. Louis.  He feels like management screwed him over and it’s simple as that.  He wasn’t going back there if he got any kind of a better offer.  He feels disrespected by them.  He was basically a 30MM a year player for 10 years and it cost the team about 110MM for those years, so it’s not unreasonable for him to have expected that they would actually give him a market value deal the second time around.  Instead, he watched as they gave Matt Holliday a big deal 2 years ago, didn’t lock him up that year or last year, and allowed him to reach free agency.  If they had given him a 10 year deal TWO YEARS AGO for about $230MM or so, there is no way he would have turned that down.  That would mean that in today’s marketplace, it would be an 8 year deal for less than $200MM and they actually offered him more than that.  So, if you want to blame somebody, blame the Cardinals.  They didn’t take care of him, he felt slighted, and he was going to leave if he had the opportunity. 

      • Gabraham 4 years ago

        You make some good points, but it’s not like the Cardinals didn’t try to sign him the past two years.  They did try, but then the season started, which killed contract negotiations because Pujols refused to negotiate during the season.

        • mookieblaylock 4 years ago

          they (cardinal owner or gm whichever) lowballed the best post ww2 hitter in MLB

          • 200 Million $$$$ a low ball…. WOW

          • But at least the Cardinals got the best years of his career.

          • I am incredibly glad that they did not offer him what the Angels did.  He’s a great player but the Cardinals know what they can afford, and he decided that they could not afford him.

            Reality is, the Angels are paying almost double what the Cards paid for probably half the production…

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            Pujols, while an amazing hitter, isn’t the best hitter post WWII.

          • johnsilver 4 years ago

            Hmmm Shall we speculate here and enter a Sox favorite Teddy ballgame.. Possibly Willie Mays.. or would it be and outside shot at Mickey Mantle?

            I go with either Williams or Mays any day…

      • skoz 4 years ago

        “Instead, he watched as they gave Matt Holliday a big deal 2 years ago, didn’t lock him up that year or last year, and allowed him to reach free agency.”

        Why is it that everyone assumes that it was up to the Cardinals whether Pujols reached free agency or not? Why would Dan Lozano have ever let Pujols pass up free agency? Any offer from the Cards just set the minimum asking price for when he hit the open market. 

        • Hollidays contract was not even 1/2 of what Albert was DEMANDING!!!! 10 years 300 Million $$$$. Are you kidding me. Was never going to happen.

      • its a market issue more than a respect issue that albert is trying to make it.

        Angels market is 10x the size of the Cards.  The Cardinals would not have been able to afford the contract they offered him, that was way beyond what they legitimately could offer.

        Angels have money and the DH.  It wasn’t really a competition.  And Albert clearly had his mind made up long ago that all respect means to him is $$$

        sounds like my dad, jesus

      • He was never going to get locked up in St. Louis for the kind of money he was demanding. And if he feels disrespected. Well lets just say he is a great player, but not to smart.

    • Eddie Millhauser 4 years ago

      Well thats good because last I checked the Angels don’t play in LA

      • JacksTigers 4 years ago

        Los Angeles Angels. Is that not the name of the team? They dropped the “of Anaheim,” I believe. So as far as I’m concerned, he went to LA. If someone goes to the Detroit Pistons, are you going to say that they went to Auburn Hills and not Detroit? Of course not.

      • Last I checked neither do the Dodgers.

  6. flickadave 4 years ago

    “Cardinals – You can’t replace the best hitter in baseball.”
    Sure you can. Sign Prince Fielder. For less years and less money to boot.

  7. Anthony Hughes 4 years ago

    I have seen on more than one website than Kendry Morales is a non-tender candidate.  This just shows that these people don’t follow Angel baseball that closely.  Morales was a BEAST when healthy and there is no way that they are just going to non-tender him.  Three million or so is a very reasonable amount to see if he can come back.  If he is close to what he was before as a hitter, he has .300/30/110 upside, easily, and he can DH and stay off of that leg as much as possible.  There’s no way they are non-tendering him, no chance.  A trade is much more likely than a non-tender, but since his value is at a low point coming off two straight injury-marred years, he’s likely staying put.

    • legaryd 4 years ago

      Kendry is legit when healthy for sure, but his injury is really that severe.  He had a second surgery in 2011 to remove several degenerative cysts around his ankle joint, along with bone spurs.

      The fracture is healed, but the damage to the joint may be chronic and career ending.

  8. Salmon4Coach 4 years ago

    Whats the point of getting Pujols, if Angels trade Trumbo and Morales? Seems dumb to me..Morales is beast when Healthy he will be a bonus if he comes back..And i prefer Trumbo as DH over Abreu..Dumb if Jerry Trades these guys

    • Anthony Hughes 4 years ago

      Kendry’s not going anywhere, as he actually has difference-making talent if healthy.  If he is OK, they will DH him.  Trumbo, although he hit 29 bombs with 87 RBI last year, is not, I don’t believe, a difference-maker.  His OBP was less than .300, and that suggests that although he has power, he could be a highly exploitable hitter by good pitching.  He’s also going to be 26 next year, so he wasn’t a young rookie.  If they could get back a legitimate piece in return if Kendry can handle DH’ing, such as a late-inning reliever, it makes sense to improve the club.  But until Kendry proves he’s capable of hitting every day, I wouldn’t move Trumbo.  I don’t think Trumbo is capable of handling third base, by the way, no matter what the team says. 

      • Salmon4Coach 4 years ago

        There saving Trumbo till the trade deadline..and like you said that’s if Morales is back beastn it

  9. Morales to the jays makes some sense. Depending what it would take to get him,t they could make a play and if he didn’t come back healthy they still have Lind or EE to slot back in at 1B.

  10. cookmeister 4 years ago

    Angels are better off keeping both Trumbo and Morales and trading Abreu away for as much salary relief as possible.  I think Trumbo could be a huge beneficiary in this deal if the Angels do not deal him.  I would hope and imagine that he is going to learn a ton from Albert and is going to have really good numbers hitting around him in the lineup.  Plus he is dirt cheap, which is good for the Angels.  Morales is still cheap as well, even though he hasn’t played recently.  The high reward alone is worth the small risk.

    • crashcameron 4 years ago

      you’re assuming that there is a team on the planet that wants a $9mil Bobby Abreu

      • cookmeister 4 years ago

        “as much salary relief as possible.”  aka trade him and 4-6 mil for nothing in return.

  11. skoz 4 years ago

    Also, is it “disrespectful” of a team to pay out the last year of a player’s contract and then pick up his option year, rather than extend him prematurely for a higher amount?  To me, that’s just bad business…

    • If you are referring to Albert. They did try to extend but they could not reach an agreement. He was never going to be a Cardinal for life if it took 254 Million or more. St. Louis loves Albert Pujols, but not that much.

  12. tbone88 4 years ago

    I would prefer them keep Trumbo (move to 3B) and Morales.  I’m curious if we were to move one of them, what kind of return we would get.  Replenshing the farm is always a great thing or maybe they upgrade the 5th spot in the rotation (even though Jerome Williams did well down the stretch).  I agree with the previous poster that Trumbo and other young hitters (and that bum Vernon Wells) can learn from Pujols. 

    They should attempt to trade Izturis, Callaspo, and maybe Bourjos.  You can move Abreu, but they will have to eat at least half of his contract.

    Man, I can’t wait for this season to start.

    • cookmeister 4 years ago

      No Bourjos.  Young, cheap, great defender, only going to get better offensively and bring much needed speed to a team that lacks speed besides Aybar and Kendrick

    • slider32 4 years ago

      Dipoto seems to be a dynamic GM, I see him moving players to address the Angels weaknesses. I would think Trumbo, Abreu, Morales,Wells, with Trout starting out in the minors.

      • tbone88 4 years ago

        Other than the 5th starters, they can choose to upgrade current positions.  There isn’t really much they can do to address weaknesses until the season starts-trade deadline.  They need to restock the farm system with good young pitching.
         
        Since the Angels have an issue with Trumbo and Morales, I’m curious what they will do with CJ Cron (2011 first round draft pick).  Another first baseman that will have to find another position to play.

  13. guest_54 4 years ago

    “his hometown Cardinals” – ? – I didn’t realize he was from St. Louis 

    • start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

      I lived in Missouri for a few years, so trust me when I say unless you live in Kansas City people who like baseball see the Cardinals as their hometown team.

  14. Milmurph 4 years ago

    What about Trumbo to the Cubs for Marmol?

    • Salmon4Coach 4 years ago

      No if Trumbo gets traded it has to be for a 3B

  15. The CJ Wilson signing is a great move by the Angels, considering he now moves within his division.

  16. crashcameron 4 years ago

    party at dan lozano’s!!

  17. drumzalicious 4 years ago

    I have this feeling that the Phillies were the mystery team for Pujols.

  18. drumzalicious 4 years ago

    I have this feeling that the Phillies were the mystery team for Pujols.

  19. Ta-Kuan Fuan 4 years ago

    I’m getting a Latroy FREAKING Hawkins jersey tomorrow after the press conference. *rock on*

  20. Salmon4Coach 4 years ago

    Why would it be funny? This team has a top rotation with very talented Pitching prospects..This team looks like it will be elite for a long time to come

  21. cookmeister 4 years ago

    Well the tunnel vision you speak of the next 5 years won’t really matter.  CJ will be gone.

  22. Eddie Millhauser 4 years ago

    machine=champion

    proof by hypothetical syllogism.

  23. You can’t know it. But that does not mean he won’t regret it at some point. I don’t think the Cardinals will though. It will be difficult to reproduce what he did in St. Louis for 1/3 or the money.

  24. JacksTigers 4 years ago

    /facepalm

  25. FunkyTime 4 years ago

    therefore Wheaties = Breakfast of Machines

  26. JacksTigers 4 years ago

     /facepalm

    And you do?

  27. JacksTigers 4 years ago

     /facepalm

    And you do?

  28. JacksTigers 4 years ago

    /facepalm

    Then stop being ‘that guy.’

  29. JacksTigers 4 years ago

    /facepalm

  30. JacksTigers 4 years ago

    And one more time….

    /facepalm

  31. JacksTigers 4 years ago

    Stop being the ‘you don’t know for sure’ guy.

  32. JacksTigers 4 years ago

    Stop being the ‘you don’t know for sure’ guy.

  33. JacksTigers 4 years ago

    You are so annoying that it’s not even funny.

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