Albert Pujols and the Anaheim Angels Both Made the Right Move

Michael FitzpatrickFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2011

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 30: First baseman Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals waves to the crowd during the World Series victory parade for the franchise's 11th championship on October 30, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Szczepanski/Getty Images)
Ed Szczepanski/Getty Images

Albert Pujols betrayed the incredibly loyal St. Louis Cardinals fans.

In the end, it was pure greed that got the better of Pujols.   

The Angels must be out of their minds to offer a 32-year-old (in January), somewhat injury-prone ball player a 10-year deal.

Well, no, no and no.

Although St. Louis Cardinals fans may feel betrayed by Pujols, this is a business, and the best the Cardinals were willing to offer Pujols was a nine-year contract for under $200 million, which would have made him the fourth highest paid first baseman in the league.

Can anyone name four better first basemen in baseball?

Heck, can anyone name a single more productive bat in baseball than Pujols?

This wasn’t a case where there was a difference of a few million dollars and Pujols simply decided to turn his back on St. Louis. This was a difference of more than $54 million. The Angels’ overall offer to Pujols was close to 20 percent higher than what St. Louis was willing to shell out.  

In terms of the 10-year deal, Miami might have been out of their minds offering Pujols a 10-year deal with a no-trade clause, but the Angels are not.

Why?

Because the Angels play in the American league where there is a DH.

A 10-year, $254 million deal between Pujols and the Angels was good for both sides.

Pujols can be a highly-productive, every-day first baseman in Anaheim for the next three to four years.

After that, he can split time between first base and DH for another couple of years as his body begins to age.

Then, during his final few years in baseball, Pujols will have the opportunity to DH full time and chase down any batting records he may have within his grasp at that point in his career.

Of course, no fan likes to see their team’s biggest star up and leave town for a larger salary somewhere else, just ask the good old folks of Cleveland, Ohio about that.

But in short, get over it. 

Baseball is a business and Albert chose to do what was best for Albert.

It was a win/win for all parties involved other than the St. Louis Cardinals. But then again, the Cardinals didn’t lose out to disloyalty or backstabbing on the part of Pujols, they simply couldn’t offer Pujols what Anaheim was able to both in terms of salary and the opportunity to DH during his twilight years of his career.

In this life we all do what’s best for us and our families.

And Pujols simply chose the path that he felt was best for him, his family and his career.

So instead of chasing him out of St. Louis with your pitchforks drawn, step back, take a deep breath and remember that baseball is a business, and Pujols simply made the best possible business move available to him.

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