Albert Pujols decided to sign with the Los Angeles Angels after they offered more money than the Cardinals did. Once Miami was out of the picture, I figured Pujols would re-sign, but then the Angels came in with a ten year 250 million dollar deal. Its a big loss for the Redbirds, but its a contract the Angels will regret. Just look at the ARod deal the Yankees signed after 2007 when he was 32 like Pujols.
Pujols career stats
|2000||20||STL-min||A,A+,AAA||133||544||490||74||154||41||7||19||96||4||5||46||47||.314||.378||.543||.920||266||13||5||7||PEO,POT,MEM · MIDW,CARL,PCL|
|162 Game Avg.||162||706||600||123||197||43||1||42||126||8||3||93||67||.328||.420||.617||1.037||370||22||7||24|
As you can see Pujols numbers have been declining for the last couple years. They are still All Star type seasons, but not worth 25 million a year. I still think Pujols will put up a few more big years, but as he gets older he most certainly will decline and recovering from injuries will take longer. Looking into the first four seasons into ARods 10 year 275 million dollar extension with the Yankees, his numbers have went down as he ages.
The Angels signed free agent left hander CJ Wilson as well, and should have a good team next year. But signing big name free agents doesn't always work, look at the 2011 Red Sox. However, they should have a top notch rotation with Jered Weaver, Danny Haren, Wilson, and Ervin Santana. Their lineup is stronger with Pujols, probably still not as good as the Rangers though. Torii Hunter and Howie Kendrick are there most established hitters, and Vernon Wells is on the decline. Rookie first baseman Mark Trumbo will probably move to third base or DH. The Angels do have up and coming outfielders Peter Bourjos and Mike Trout on their team as well. I expect them to make the playoffs, but there is no guarantee they will win a World Series with Pujols in the fold.
As for the Cardinals, Lance Berkman will move to first and Allen Craig will start at right field with Adron Chambers subbing in until he recovers from knee surgery. The Cardinals have discussed signing Carlos Beltran to a one year deal as well. The Cardinals should also look to upgrade their middle infield. Rafeal Furcal is not likely to come back, and there is not much on the free agent market now that Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins have signed new deals. I think Tyler Greene and Daniel Descalso will get a shot to play, but the Cards should look to make a trade to stabilize either second or short. Adam Wainwright is coming back from Tommy John surgery, and top prospect Shelby Miller could be ready sometime next year so the pitching should be better. Hopefully, GM John Mozeliak will use the Pujols money to upgrade other spots on the roster.
Pujols could of been a Cardinals icon like Stan Musial, but he chose money over being a lifetime Cardinal. His career route is more like Rogers Hornsby, who was traded after a salary dispute. Hornsby wanted more money after leading the Redbirds to the 1926 World Series championship, and ownership wouldn't budge and traded him to the Giants for fellow Hall of Fame second baseman Frankie Frisch. Hornsby was still really good for another 4-5 years, but he had his best years in St. Louis. It looks like Pujols will be getting a small statue after he retires instead of a big one like Musial. As for Pujols, the pressure is on him next year. If he slumps, Angel fans will be rough on him considering he hasn't done anything for that organization yet. 10 year deals are risky, especially for a player already in his 30s; and I think it will be an albratross for the Angels in 5 or 6 years.