Albert Pujols' struggles have evolved from a slump to a new reality. And that ugly reality shows, beyond any ability to argue otherwise, that he is going to be the biggest bust that free agency has ever seen.
I mean, if you just sat down and tried to imagine a scenario for the biggest bust ever, you would have a hard time beating this.
This past offseason, Pujols inked a reported 10-year contract worth $240 million.
It wasn't just money either. ESPN went on to report that the contract included perks such as a luxury suite he could use for his foundation during home games, and a hotel suite for him on road trips.
The $240 million is the highest total given to a player from a team by any person not named Alex Rodriguez.
In the 35 games he's played for the Angels so far, he has rewarded them with .196 average, one home run and 12 RBI.
Will Pujols hit over .300 for any month this season?
These numbers are awful for any player.
A player could be playing the greatest defense ever seen at the shortstop position, and if they were posting these kinds of numbers, fans would still be calling for his starting job. And Pujols certainly isn't adding much value with his defense at first base or DH.
Sure, it is still early in his contract, but this is easily the most prolonged stretch of futility in his career, and he is showing no signs of snapping out of it.
He looks completely lost at the plate. It is impossible to fathom that this player, who is a shell of a shell of his former self, can return anywhere near the player that tormented pitchers for the past 12 seasons.
And let us not forget, Pujols is 32. It's not like he had a big window of peak performance to begin with.
In order to make this contract even close to worth it, Pujols is going to have to be as dominant as ever in the early stages of this deal. That is not going to happen, and this deal is going to set the Angels franchise back years.