December 08, 2011
The baseball world is still feeling the aftershocks of Albert Pujols(notes) becoming an Angel on Thursday morning, but it's never too early for us to start keeping score as the lawyers start dotting the I's and crossing the T's on the 10-year deal.
Albert Pujols: Duh. Despite turning 32 next month, Phat Albert just pulled down the type of payday usually associated with big Powerball winners. The contract will keep him employed for serious coin past 40, no matter how much he's hurt or how far his Hall of Fame skills decline. Enough said.
Arte Moreno: The popular Los Angeles Angels owner saw his rep fall just a tad with a few playoff-less years, but this (and the subsequent C.J. Wilson(notes) signing) was the big splash he was looking to make. As the first Latino majority owner in baseball history, Moreno just signed arguably the best Latino player in history and will get the pleasure of selling Pujols' run to history in a Latino-rich market. Though the Angels have been winning the Southern California baseball battle for quite some time, this move can only help bolster the Halos' dominance over the Dodgers.
Dan Lozano: Albert's agent may have had his self-interest and motivations questioned by his enemies before this derby started, but his client just landed a contract that was much bigger than the $200 million the St. Louis Cardinals were offering before the season. When all is said and done with his career, Pujols will have made over $350 million just from salary alone.
Prince Fielder(notes): With Pujols becoming the second resident of the $25 million first baseman neighborhood (Ryan Howard(notes) is the other), Fielder can expect a similar payday in the coming days or weeks. Seeing as how Fielder is much younger than both men, it'll be interesting to see how many years of that AAV Scott Boras can extract from the team with the winning bid.
Vernon Wells(notes): The struggling slugger will no longer be the No. 1 big-money target for criticism if the Halos fall short. Wells and the $63 million he has remaining on his contract have become role players in the story of the Angels.
Stan Musial: Albert's defection ensures that Stan The Man's statue will always be the biggest standing outside of Busch Stadium.
Cardinals fans: St. Louis baseball fans just got to watch 11 of the best seasons that anyone has ever put together and got to celebrate two World Series championships. All without having to pay the huge bill that was due at the end of it. The length of Pujols' contract is a huge risk and perhaps families divided between the Cubs and Cardinals can come together to wipe their brows in the relief of dodging a big bullet.
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Cardinals fans: All of that said above, it just plain sucks to see a franchise icon heading west, no matter how much additional money he's getting. Though Pujols will likely wear a Cardinals cap atop his head in the Hall of Fame one day, the chance to see him break Barry Bonds' home run record in a Cardinals uniform is likely gone.
Pujols 5 Westport Grill: Early indications don't have Cardinals fans acting like Cleveland Cavaliers fans in the wake of LeBron taking his talents to South Beach. But it's hard to imagine anyone having an appetite to eat at the restaurant that just dedicated a big Pujols statue on its grounds back in November.
Texas Rangers: Has GM Jerry Dipoto avenged the loss of Mike Napoli(notes) by signing the best player in baseball and stealing away the Rangers' ace? One thing is for certain: No longer do the two-time AL champions have an easy ticket to a division title.
Mark Trumbo(notes) or Kendrys Morales(notes): The two men were already one Halo too many at first base before the Pujols signing. Now one of them could be the odd man out if things don't work out. A possible solution would be to move Trumbo to third, Morales to DH and find a taker willing to take Bobby Abreu(notes) (as well as relief for his paycheck).
Frank Robinson: He's the only player in baseball history to win MVP awards in both leagues, but that could change if Pujols nabs award No. 4.
One-team Hall of Famers: There are 47 Hall of Famers who only played for one team during their career and it sure looked like Pujols could increase those ranks. No more.
Jim Crane and the Houston Astros: Just when the fans at Minute Maid Park thought they were getting away from Albert's big bat, they find out they'll be reunited in the AL West come 2013. Can Crane apply for a bigger break on his purchase price?
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