Albert Pujols: The Quarter Billion Dollar Man – Winners & Losers

Posted: December 8, 2011 in ALL II
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A quarter of a billion dollars will quickly divert your attention even if you planned to write a college football post previewing the BCS.  Albert Pujols signed with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for a whopping 10 years, $253 million stunning the baseball world and reorganizing power throughout both leagues.  The stunning part of the deal besides the size of the contract for a player who will allegedly be 32 this January is the fact that general manager candidates felt the Angels would not spend money.  Well that is not the case at all.  Through some brief Wikipedia-ing, I found that Angles owner Arte Moreno paid slightly over $180 million to buy the entire franchise.  With this deal and the five-year, $77.5 million deal for C.J. Wilson, the Angels entered the top-tier spenders league and solidified themselves as a contender for the next years.  To get through all the ramifications, let’s use my favorite gimmick: Winners and Losers!

Winner: Albert Pujols – Rich and Smart

The two-time World Series Champion and one of the most prolific sluggers of all time (after ten years) is now one of the richest.  His deal also guarantees a no-trade clause throughout so his money is his money.  But when his career is waning, Pujols can move over to a DH role which ensures value when his gold glove years are behind him.  Nothing about this deal is bad for Pujols.

Another point, somewhat underrated, is the ability for Pujols to connect to Latin American/Latino populations.  Part of the Marlins pitch was stake in the team and to immerse himself among the Spanish-speaking population.  While the Marlins did not strike gold, Pujols gains access to an incredibly diverse population and city capable of making him an even bigger star.

Loser: St. Louis Cardinals

Lost the greatest baseball player in the last ten years following the departure of La Russa.  Also, we all knew that Pujols was not staying the second La Russa retired. Don’t act surprised.

Winner: Franchises tied to lucrative television contracts

As is the case in basketball, locking up a deal with a cable entity means more money to spend on your team.  The Yankees started it (YES  Network), Boston caught up (NSEN), and the Angels now show how to separate themselves from median spending teams.

Loser: Texas Rangers

Besides losing their top starter, they also get to battle a revitalized offensive team notorious for being a pain in their side.  The path to a third straight World Series, let alone a playoff berth, looks grim. Also, multi-homerun outings.

Winner: NL Central

St. Louis is much weaker and their best asset is in another league.  Prince Fielder may also be on the way out leaving room for development (read: CUBS) and a new power to take control of the weak division.

Loser: Houston Astros

Leaving the NL Central and joining the AL West means ten more years of Pujols rocking their pitching and exposing that franchise for its deficiencies.  Also, homeruns on train tracks narrated by a guy that sounds like Ric Flair.

Winner: Prince Fielder

The price range is set for a superstar and it is high.  People do not have the same doubts about his actual age and his ability is unquestionable.  Certainly will not make as much money but the ceiling means a happy contract in the $150 – $210 million range.

Loser: Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles

Once the beacon of baseball in the second largest city in America, the Angles now own that market to punctuate insult to injury through the collapse of Dodgers baseball.  Free agents dreamed of playing for the famed Dodgers franchise; all that is left are the golden pipes of Vin Scully and a handful of stars people do not care about, don’t support, and don’t lead to playoff appearances.

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