Albert Pujols signs a 10-year, $254 million with the Angels of Anaheim. It has also been reported that this contract includes "milestone bonuses" that could push this deal up to $280 million.
- First off, it's a shame that baseball economics rarely allows a historic player to play in one place for his entire career. That said, with any contract of this magnitude it is very difficult for mid-market teams like St. Louis to absorb this kind of risk. $200 million? Absolutely. $220 million? Barely.
- The Angel's offer for $254 million with incentives as high as $280 is in another stratosphere. It doesn't make sense for the Cardinals when extrapolated out at that level, but kudos to the Angels for pouncing on a truly epic player. The Angels will use this deal and the signing of C.J. Wilson to take advantage of the recent misfortune of the Dodgers. This deal will allow them to put a stranglehold on LA relevance. If this happens, the Pujols deal was a success in their eyes, regardless of his on-field production.
- From the Cardinals perspective, it's hard to argue with their approach. Find a dollar amount that makes sense, and hold fast to it. Don't bid against yourself and don't allow emotions to foster unintelligent decisions. Kudos also to the Cardinals for the discipline of the front office. They will be rewarded for their efforts with a wealth of resources and flexibility...which will be available in free agency this year, and will return in many years to come. The return of Wainwright and the resigning of Berkman will soften the blow, as long as the Redbirds can add a few pieces and make the 2012 roster as complete as the 2011 version. Look for the Cards to explore outfield free agents and some middle infield trade possibilities. Carlos Beltran, Jason Kubel, Adam Jones, JJ Hardy and Alexei Ramirez all make a great deal of sense at this point, so will see what kind of bullets Mo uses.
- In summation, the Cards plan on winning plenty of "gangs" without "the Mang."