ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick writes that Albert Pujols agreed to backload his lucrative contract to help the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim land free agent pitcher C.J. Wilson.
Part of Crasnick's story:
Pujols agreed to a backloaded deal -- taking significantly less money in the first two years -- to aid the Angels in their pursuit of free agent pitcher C.J. Wilson, baseball sources told ESPN.com.
Pujols will make a base salary of $12 million in 2012 and $16 million in 2013, said a source. His salary will gradually increase until it surpasses $30 million annually near the end of the deal.
By agreeing to take less money up front, Pujols helped the Angels sign Wilson, who reached agreement on a five-year, $77.5 million deal three weeks ago. Wilson, who went 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA and finished sixth in the American League Cy Young Award balloting, will combine with Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana to give Los Angeles one of baseball's most formidable starting rotations.
Sources said Pujols' deal could peak at about $265 million if he attains some reachable award bonuses and milestone incentives. A source confirmed a recent Yahoo! Sports report that Pujols will receive $3 million from the Angels for his 3,000th hit and $7 million if he breaks Barry Bonds' career record of 762 home runs.