The Los Angeles Angels created a tidal wave of buzz today, acquiring free agent first basemen Albert Pujols. He agreed to a 10 year/$254 million deal which shocked baseball fans everywhere! Pujols had only ever played in St. Louis, and was widely expected to resign with the Cardinals. The 31-year-old Pujols will be 42 by the conclusion of this contract, which is why most teams didn’t even bother making an offer.
The Angels didn’t stop with Albert, signing top free agent pitcher C.J. Wilson for 5 years/77.5 million dollars. Wilson joins a staff that is already deep including Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, and Ervin Santana. Moving from a hitters haven in Arlington to a pitcher’s park in Anaheim.
With the Texas Rangers winning the division, and representing the American League in the World Series the past two years. Angels management must have felt they were losing ground rather than gaining it in the AL West. After today, that has officially changed!
Apparently the Angels didn’t want the Miami Marlins to have all the fun this off-season. The Angels were in play last year for Carl Crawford, but lost out when Boston made a huge offer that Crawford couldn’t refuse. The Angels learned their lesson. This off-season they swooped in and signed Pujols in a 36 hour window from when they made their initial offer. Then, seemingly moments later, C.J. Wilson was an Angel also. The roster in LA for opening day will feature speed, experienced bats, and a huge power source in the heart of the order, along with a rotation that has the capability of pitching deep into games.
Some questions still have to be answered though.
- Will Mark Trumbo take over DH duties for aging Bobby Abreu? (Hopefully!)
- What is the time-table for Kendrys Morales’ return? (Is he returning?)
- What will they do with Trumbo if/when Morales returns?
- With a log jam in the outfield, and at DH, do the Angels look to move Torii Hunter, Vernon Wells, Kendrys Morales, Mark Trumbo, Peter Bourjos, or Mike Trout?
I believe the Angels are a legit contender for the AL West crown after the huge free agent splash they made today. When your team has Albert Pujols on it, you have a chance. I’m not completely sold that they are World Series contenders yet. That being said, opening day isn’t until April, and there are still free agents to be signed, and trades to be made.