Albert the Angel

John Gruber, writing for American McCarver on Albert Pujols signing with the Angels:

Yes, Prince Albert really is going to Disneyland. Angels owner Arte Moreno broke the bank for a player whom Angels GM Jerry Dipoto described as “…the best player of his generation”, giving him a 10-yr/$254M contract. I’m not going to use this post to argue whether or not Pujols deserves such an obscene amont of money1, but for as wonderful it certainly is for Pujols and his family, I don’t think it’s as great overall for the Angels organization. At least, not for the long-term. The first 4-5 years of this deal should be great: Pujols should continue to produce as he always has. But the problem is, he’ll turn 32 next month; by the time this deal is up in 2022, he’ll be 42. The potential for the backend of his deal being a complete nightmare is highly likely. Unlike wine and cheese, baseball players don’t get better with age2. Pujols’s production will inevitably start to decline, and his ginormous contract will be the albatross hanging around the Angels’ neck. He likely won’t be playing first base any more by that point (at least not full time, anyway), and I can’t see the team being all too pleased paying mega dollars to a past-his-prime, 40-something DH. I know I wouldn’t. To me, these kinds of deals are best made before a playet turns 30. Pujols has already been around 11 seasons. It’s not very smart to hinder your future on a guy who’s in the back stretch of his career. That isn’t to say Pujols isn’t worthy of his deal -- for now, he unquestionably is -- but the bottom line is he isn’t getting any younger or any better. What's lucrative now may not look so hot when Pujols isn't hitting any more. In the meantime, though, congratulations to Angels fans. Enjoy him while he lasts.

  1. In a social sense, he doesn’t. I don’t believe entertainers/athletes/Wall Street execs should be making bank when that money could be better utilized elsewhere, but that’s another post for another time. ↩
  2. They do if they take steroids, though. See: Bonds, Barry.  ↩