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Was It Smart For The Los Angeles Angels To Sign Albert Pujols To A 10-Year, $254 Million Contract?

Submitted by on December 9, 2011 – 1:38 pmNo Comment

Albert Pujols just became a very, very rich man. Not that he wasn’t rich before. The former St. Louis Cardinals first baseman has, of course, been playing baseball for quite some time now. He’s 31 years old and he’s made plenty of cash so far in his career. But yesterday, the Los Angeles Angels shocked the baseball world when they agreed to pay Pujols $254 million over the course of the next 10 years to play first base for them. That’s right: 254 million dollars!

In baseball, there is no salary cap. So the truth is that the Angels—or any other team out there, for that matter—could have paid Pujols any amount that they wanted. Even if he only produces big numbers for a few more years, it’d still probably be worth paying him hundreds of millions of dollars, provided he continues to produce and gives your team a chance to reach the MLB Playoffs and, ultimately, the MLB World Series over the next few seasons. But, was it smart for the Angels to bite the bullet and pay Pujols a king’s ransom for his services? Well, let’s just say that the verdict is still out. So we put together arguments for and against LA’s other team signing Pujols to such a large contract. What do you think?

SMART! The Angels look like geniuses for getting Albert Pujols to sign with them.

Pujols is one of the best hitters in the game. More importantly, he’s proven himself to be clutch. So unlike other guys who have been given huge contracts to play in big markets (ahem, A-Rod!), Pujols won’t shrivel up and disappear under the bright lights in LA. Is his age an issue? Of course! But by signing with an American League team, Pujols has added a few years to his career. If his back flairs up or his knees start to go, the Angels can use him as a designated hitter and continue to get production out of him. Signing Pujols now also makes the Angels an automatic favorite to make it to the World Series next season. So, why not pay the man his money? It’ll be well worth it in the end.

NOT SMART! The Angels are going to regret making this decision in about two years.

At 32, Pujols is no spring chicken. From this point on, his numbers are only going to get worse and, from a health standpoint, Pujols hasn’t been able to stay in the lineup consistently the last couple of seasons. So, why pay him all that money? True, you could let him bat DH. But, for $250 million, shouldn’t a guy be able to do everything on the field? The Angels should have made an offer to Pujols but it shouldn’t have been for this much money. They also shouldn’t have let him add a no-trade clause to his contract. He’ll be productive for the team for a couple of years. But, after that, he’ll be one of those guys that ends up on lists called “The 10 Worst Contracts In Sports.” The Angels are stupid for signing him and even stupider for allowing him to dictate where he’ll be playing five years from now. This wasn’t a smart move.

THE CONCLUSION: We’re not sure exactly what will happen with Pujols and the Angels, but one thing is for sure: For at least the next year or two, the Angels will be a better baseball team than they would be without Pujols. And if they win a World Series, then the signing looks great. But if they don’t, they’ll owe a lot of money to a guy who will be on the decline in his career. We applaud the signing and the guts it took to make it. But we’re not sure if this deal is going to work out the way the Angels want it to. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see…

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