Okay, this is not a surprise in that Pujols has been a replacement level player the past few years, and he’s in the final year of his contract, which makes it no longer cost prohibitive to cut him. This is a huge surprise in that this would have been the correct baseball thing to do 3-4 years ago. He still hasn’t said this would be his last year, so no farewell tour has been planned. Maybe he doesn’t want one. We will see if anyone picks him up for the remainder of the season.
if this is it, though, it was one hell of a career for a sure-thing, inner-circle Hall of Famer.
2 thoughts on “Angels DFA Albert Pujols”
I cannot deny that Pujols is a great talent, a prolific philanthropist, apparently a good teammate and mentor, and a great baseball player.
His contract with the Angels was a skit on Saturday Night Live. You remember, the Bad Idea Jeans advert. Pujols gave Cardinal fans a 1.037 OPS in 1705 games, at a cost of just a bit more than 104 million dollars. Angels fans watched the 240 Million Dollar Man produce a .758 OPS. It was much, much worse than two thirds the production for double the cash.
I’m glad the Angels signed Trout for life, and I still think the Nats should have done so with Harper. Teams need a franchise defining face to claim as their own. The Yankees and Cardinals and Athletics and Red Sox and Giants and Dodgers have them. Those franchises have the most World Series titles. The A’s, the Giants, and the Dodgers all moved, and had to get new heroes to represent and define the franchise. Those players, Ruth (or Gehrig), Musial, Reggie (Or Catfish, or Rickey), Williams (or Martinez, or Yastrzemski), Mays (or Mathewson), Koufax (or Robinson) are still remembered as the greats of their teams. The names are recognized by fans everywhere, including many who never sat in the stands to watch them play. Teams need these names. These names give national recognition in a regional sport.
Because of the wealth of the history of players, and the historic strength of the organization the Cards of a decade ago did not need to mortgage the house and sell the car to sign Pujols. The Angels lacked such history and sought to buy it.
And now, having endured the injury of paying $25,000,000 for a less than replacement level season (and doing it again for $26, $27, $28, $29, and $30 million) the shit for brains Angels toss him out. This, then, is the defining player of the Angels. A player they abused and then tossed out like coffee gone cold. In generously paying respect to Pujols as they lead him to the door, in his last year no less, the Angels define the franchise as classless, stupid punks. Oh, I’ve waited for the day Pujols hung up his Angels uniform for years. Now it’s happened, and I’m disgusted.
The Angels clearly should not have signed Pujols to a 10-year deal. That was bound to end poorly. He (unlike Trout and Harper) was already past 30 when that deal was done. The only defense is that, unlike the Phillies and Ryan Howard and some other albatross deals you could recall, the Angels were not bidding against themselves. The Cardinals did still want him.
Pujols should have retired 5 years ago, but it would have been insane to walk away from that much money. $30M is why he doesn’t just retire now.
The Angels didn’t DFA him before this year because of the money owed, but also because he still had marketable milestones to achieve—3k hits, 2k RBIs, 660 HRs. Those are now all in the rear view mirror. The Angels should have released him before the season based on that. The timing of why now is odd. Was Pujols angling for more playing time? His only value is, maybe, as a DH against lefties, but I’d start him over Ohtani never. Did they really just now decide their best chance at making the playoffs was to release Albert and bring up a rookie? If so, they’re dumb because any non-biased baseball fan in the world could have told them that long ago.
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