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Is Mark Trumbo Making the L.A. Angels Look Stupid for Signing Albert Pujols?

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 16:  Mark Trumbo #44 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hits a two run homerun in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 16, 2012 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
Michael C. JonesContributor IIIJune 18, 2012

The Los Angeles Angels continued their torrid pace on Sunday night as the team defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-0 behind yet another pitching gem from starter Garrett Richards (via MLB.com).

The Halos, who are 10-5 in the month of June, are getting contributions from everywhere on the roster. But the most expensive component of the team’s makeup has not been its most productive—not by a long shot.   

To be fair, Albert Pujols, who signed a lucrative, $240 million contract to join the Angels as a free agent over the offseason, has come out of the worst slump in his professional career. It’s still going to take a great deal of work to live up to his lofty expectations.

His current .256 BA pales in comparison to his career average of .326, and he’s only on pace to hit 25 home runs, which would be a career low.

 To say the team was second-guessing its decision to bring in such a high-priced component to an already solid team while Pujols was underachieving is stating the obvious.

But the question lingers because of the stellar performance of Angels infielder and every-man, Mark Trumbo.

In hindsight, does the team regret paying such an exorbitant amount for a player who’s expected to decline in production into his 30s?

Trumbo, a corner infielder, was a capable first baseman and is putting up Pujols-like numbers (.321 BA, 15 HR). He’s one of the reasons the Angels find themselves within striking distance of the Texas Rangers at just four games back in the standings after a dismal start. He’s also been a late-game hero, hard-nosed player and a clutch performer.

The Anaheim native is only 26 years old, and tailor-made to be a cornerstone of the franchise for years to come. A long-term financial investment in him is a no-brainer for the front office.

And then there’s Pujols—the 32-year-old that has terrified Angels fans by not living up to lofty expectations thus far. But despite his struggles, the team is going to be better off with both components.

The Halos are built for the postseason, and they will need both players to step up when the time comes.

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