The Miami Marlins may have opened the show but the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim look very much the part of the closing act at this year’s MLB winter meetings in Dallas.
The signings of Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson by the Angels trump the signings Heath Bell and Jose Reyes by the Marlins. And with the biggest two free agent names now off the boards, it’s hard to imagine any shock and awe in terms of free agent signings that will make a bigger splash this off season. Add that to the fact that Hanley Ramirez is balking at playing third base (you think they would have spoken to Ramirez about this BEFORE signing Reyes) and the Angels have become this off-season’s free agent winners (or losers if you’re the guy writing the checks.)
Albert Pujols, 10-Years, $254 million
Not bad for the 402nd player taken in the 1999 draft. That’s not quite as bad as Michael Jordan being cut from his High School basketball team (I bet that coach had quite a career), but quite a level of disrespect none the less.
Check out his resume. Three NL MVP’s, two World Series Championships, the only player in major league history who in his first 10 years as a pro never hit below .300, never had fewer than 30 home runs and never had fewer than 100 runs batted in. And last year, the first year he didn’t hit .300 and knock in 100 RBI, he batted .299 with 37 HR’s and 99 RBI.
Pujols’ contract, which is subject to a physical, is the second-highest in baseball history and only the third to break the $200 million barrier, following Alex Rodriguez’s $252 million, 10-year deal with the Texas Rangers before the 2001 season and A-Rod’s $275 million, 10-year contract with the New York Yankees before the 2008 season.
C.J. Wilson, 5-Years, 77.5 million
Wilson was 31-15 the past two years in addition to going 4-2 in the post season. His presence will be a compliment to a staff loaded with talented right-handers Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana. The signing of Wilson gives the Angels one of the most imposing starting rotations in the league.
You’ve probably heard me say before that I cringe every time I have to say “Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.” And while the “Miami Marlins” isn’t quite as bad, their new uniforms have men’s softball beer league written all over them. Sheesh.