Despite his time as a player in the organization ending on a rather sour note, future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols is rejoining the Angels organization that designated him for assignment early in the 2021 season as a special assistant to honor his ten-year personal services contract with the club, per Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com. Pujols signed the personal services contract he is now set to fulfill for the Angels in conjunction with his ten-year, $254MM deal he signed with the club prior to the 2012 season.
Following that DFA, Pujols looked revitalized with the Dodgers before returning to the Cardinals for a final season that saw him hit his 700th career home run. Though he finished his career elsewhere and had an unceremonious exit from the Angels organization, Pujols emphasized that there is no bad blood between himself and an Angels organization with which he’s set to spend the next decade. He plans to serve as a special instructor in Angels camp this spring and also spend time in the Dominican Republic working with prospects at Anaheim’s international complex there.
“It’s just part of the business, that’s how it is… I’m really happy to be back here.” Pujols told reporters, including Bollinger. “What happened two years ago, I don’t hold any grudges on anything. That’s part of the business.”
More on the Angels…
- Sam Blum of The Athletic reports that former outfielder Brandon Guyer is in Angels camp after the club hired him as a mental strength coaching consultant. Guyer began his big league career with the Rays in 2011 and was eventually traded to Cleveland midway through the 2016 season. Guyer last played in the majors in 2018 but continued his playing career into 2020 before retiring with a career slash line of .250/.339/.388 in 517 games, good for a 104 wRC+. He’s been working as a mental strength coach for professional athletes since his retirement, having launched a program titled Major League Mindset, and he’ll take his newfound experience in that field into camp with the Halos this spring.
- Blum also notes that right-hander Chris Rodriguez will begin ramping up this spring more slowly than other starting options as he works toward a return from shoulder surgery that caused him to miss the entire 2022 campaign. While Rodriguez isn’t considered particularly far behind other pitchers, given the club’s added rotation depth since he last pitched in 2021, any missed time could impact the chances of making the Opening Day roster for Rodriguez, who has options remaining. The 24-year-old Rodriguez pitched well in 29 2/3 big league innings in 2021, recording a 3.64 ERA and 3.14 FIP while striking out 21.6% of his opponents in that time.
- Right-hander Griffin Canning, meanwhile, was described by manager Phil Nevin as “full go,” notes Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register. The Angels plan to be cautious with the former second-rounder and top prospect after he missed the 2022 season due to a back injury, but Nevin says he’ll throw live batting practice this week. Now 26 years old, Canning was a consensus top-100 prospect prior to the 2019 season who turned in 146 2/3 frames of 4.36 ERA ball with a 24.4% strikeout rate and 8.5% walk rate to begin his career in 2019-20. He was tagged for an ugly 5.60 ERA in 62 2/3 innings in 2021, however, and he didn’t pitch in the minors or big leagues in ’22 due to that back issue. He still has a minor league option remaining, so he can be sent to Triple-A if he doesn’t win a roster spot in the next few weeks.
Man, Pujols went on a Tear last Year!
You ain’t kidding St. Louis’ restaurants and buffets will never be the same!!
Bart Harley Jarvis
I believe the preferred descriptor is ‘full figured’.
Jay – I wouldn’t doubt that Fraudman made pitchers throw him bouncy balls from from the 2021 season
Kewl insight, dood.
Guy sucked for ten years and then goes on an absolute tear… I bet you believe in the tooth fairy
Gosh, if the Angels would have used him as a part time player, mainly against LH pitchers, he might have had a chance to be a useful player.
Blame the Angels for not using him that way. Blame the Angels for not convincing him that’s how he should be used. Blame Pujols for not being open to it.
Pujols was a below-average hitter overall his last five years in Anaheim. As Halo11Fan points out, when he was platooned against mostly LHP, his numbers improved with the Dodgers and Cardinals. And being back in the city his career began in 2022, chasing 700 HR and a playoff spot just might have provided some additional motivation.
You Can Put It In The Books .
Evidence??? I’m checking the box for “Nofify me of replies to my comment via email” so I’ll know when you provide some. I imagine I’ll be waiting a long time.
@You Can Put It In The Books
We can always count on you to muddle up every thread with your low-effort garbage.
You Can Put It In The Books .
Then my job is done.
@gbs42 Yes, but he was unwilling to accept a lesser role with the Angels. He under performed for years and showed an unwillingness to sit for a better option at the time, I don’t blame the Angels for releasing him, he would never lived up to the last year of the contract. He must have come to terms at how limited he was because ultimately he did take a lesser role with the Dodgers.
Steve Cohen Owns You
His hat size compared to when he entered the league. Don’t be so naive.
SCOY, you have Pujols’ hat size history? That’s kinda creepy in a stalker-ish way.
My hat size has substantially increased since my early 20s. Has someone been slipping me PEDs without my knowledge?
The evidence some people present to support their case is crazy.
Okay, since I’ve been busted, I’ll come clean. I’ve been slipping you PEDs without your knowledge. That’s how you’ve hit so many home runs in your softball league.
Damn… All I have to is say is ….Thank you…
One. He did not stink for ten years.
Two. He never stopped hitting the ball hard.
Three. When you use players in situations where they are more like to succeed, you shouldn’t be surprised they succeed.
Four. Who in their right mind would start taking PEDs very late in their career and risk destroying their legacy?
Steve Cohen Owns You
Good to see we have a mental strength coach. Seems like we can use all the help and experience that we can get. Definitely doesn’t hurt to try something different….and really encouraging to see CRod and Grif back and progressing. A few seasons ago they had lots of promise and a high ceiling. If they return to good health that is a boost for pitching in general and adds in house quality depth. Now what I’m wondering about is how all those pitchers from a few drafts ago are looking and progressing. All we have seen is Silseth
Yeah, CRod has always had electric stuff. But even though he has 4 above avg pitches, I wonder if they’ll keep him in the pen given his injury history. I like Canning too but it might be best to keep him stretched out at AAA since they’re using the the 6th starter as a swing man.
A once in a while 6th starter who might start 15 games is a great way to use Canning. I’d love to see Rodriguez healthy enough to come out of the pen this year.
I would love to see CRod healthy enough to start! Unfortunately his health history doesn’t give one much hope. Let’s hope he isn’t Strauburg(esque) and become the Angels “what could have been”
I like the idea of a mental strength coach. I also like the idea of a “super-duper please stay-healthy” coach that follows Rendon around with an IV, a bouquet of lucky clovers, and a bag of rabbits feet.
This lineup goes the way of Rendon……..
Rendon needs a full time bodyguard to watch where he steps, carry anything heavier than a bat and glove.
John Coffey would be perfect!!
The starting lineup for 1st pre season game were announced. Not a lot of the regulars, but Fletcher is at SS and Rengifo is a 2nd.
Bring on 2023.
Albert chasing down 700 was the only thing I cared about last season. That run was AMAZING!!
You Can Put It In The Books .
Albert hasn’t chased anything other than a box of donuts and the name of the guy who made hats for Barry Bonds’ gigantic dome.
Do you have any evidence of PED use? I didn’t think so.
MLB gives two drug tests per year. If the dates of the two 2022 tests were prior to his end of career resurgence it makes plenty of sense.
I think you need to to read up and learn and understand the human body and it it reacts to supplements. Then maybe come back and apologize about your comment.
Additionally Albert has repeatedly talked about his love and respect for the game and its history. I don’t think (in my opinion) Albert would tarnish the game or his legacy with PED use. .
Canning is not someone I would want to rely on. He has an option so let him pitch in Salt Lake all year to show he’s over the back issue.
Canning has really good stuff and as a 6th starter, he’s exactly who you want..
He has a lot better stuff than anyone in the bullpen and we are relying on them.
I agree that he had potential, but his injury record suggests to me that he should spend the year in Salt Lake to show he is over the injury. He had a few set backs throughout his recovery.
Looking at ERA alone, his best year was 2020 at 3.9. 2021 was awful at 5.6 and he only pitched 63 innings before getting hurt. I’m not saying he won’t be good, but he’s been out for so long that I think he should have a “prove you’re healthy” period. If not the whole year, maybe reevaluate at the ASB. I’ve always liked him.
As a predictive stat, ERA sucks. Pitchers need to have a low ERA. If a pitcher has great peripherals and a bad ERA, he had a bad season.
But if I’m going to predict what someone is going to do in the future, I look at peripherals and they do a much better job than ERA.
ERA is simple and lazy. Sometimes I’m lazy.
Canning has good stuff and I would love to see him get about 15 starts and 90 innings.
@prov The Angels have Silseth, Canning, and Barria. Right now I lean toward Barria because he is the only one that has had success at the major league level. He has the worst stuff of the group. He is very similar to Suarez. You can get by with limited stuff if you can pitch and spot well.
Silseth has the best stuff, but he showed last year that he isnt ready yet. He will get another chance, but I am sure he can benefit being part of a regular rotation in the minors.
Canning has limited stuff, lots of walks, lots of HRs, lots of injuries, Not someone I would pin my hopes on.
We’re talking about the sixth starter spot. Overthinking it a little. Angels would already have a solid 5 if they went back to full time 5 man rotation. It makes more sense to audition younger arms for the future.
@Ryan The Angels are in a win now mode. They have a lot of veteran guys on short term deals. It is not a time to hold auditions. If they are out, they can call up guys to audition.
I am just trying to simplify it based on the reports that the Angels are planning to use a swing man. Barria is the only one that has had success at the major league level. Silseth has had success at the minor league level. Canning hasn’t had any king of sustained success in majors or minors.
Albert Pujols plus $4MM of his $10MM personal services contract to the Cardinals for personal services right of first negotiation with Jim Edmonds… who says no?
I don’t see C-Rod as a option as the 6th spot out of camp. He’s gotta be at least 4th on the depth chart for many of reasons. Like him a lot for 1 of the BP spots thou.
I’m leaning on it looking like this
All of them will get some starts at some point this year, how many? Hopefully not that many. Wink, wink.
I see CRod opening the season as the closer. If Ben Joyce isn’t ready. CRod would be the best option to be the closer. Doesn’t get raddled and has the stuff to succeed
It’s possible, but he won’t be the closer out of the gate. You have Estevez and Moore on the depth chart ahead of C-Rod. It’s most likely there’s to lose to start the season. You never know, maybe by June/July thou.
Major mistake by the Angels not signing another SP, even just a 4-5 type pitcher that is steady and stays healthy. One injury away from the 6th starter group being the 5th and that cascading down.
You’d think they’d have learned after all those years with injuries to SPs.
rp…Unless they were going to get a #1 or #2, I don’t know why the Angels needed to go get more SP. They have 5 quality arms in place and potentially 4 or 5 more to take the #6 spot.
All of the top free agent pitchers had concerns about durability/ age/ etc… It didn’t make sense for the Angels to spend top $$$ when they have Shohei’s contract looming. With the exception being Bassitt, who is really a #3, but some might consider him a #2.. and I guess Elfin as well
And when you go back and look at it most teams severely over spent this winter. The Angels were not in a position to do that.
this will be interesting in 5 yrs when he selects a hat to wear in the hall.
I don’t think there is any question that he goes to the HoF as a Cardinal. Those were the years that put him in the HoF.
He should go in as a Cardinal. It would be embarrassing for him to go in with any other hat—then again Nolan Ryan went in as a Ranger…
I agree Albert should go in as a Cardinal. It is most fitting.
I also agree Nolan Ryan should not been in the HOF and a Ranger. His greatest contribution to baseball was as an Angel, He played longer as an Astro. A compromise would be to not have a logo, but to be in as a Ranger is a slap in the face to the Angels.
Nick, you can start a sentence with the word “meanwhile.” I promise you it is ok.
The Angels SP should be fine. They need to invest more into the RP staff. They don’t have a solid Closer or Setup man. They have a bunch of 6-7th inning guys. At this point they’d have to make some trades to get it done.
Good article about our outfield possibilities.