Discussion

Pujols deal huge -- in the short run

Updated: December 8, 2011, 11:50 AM ET
By Keith Law

By signing Albert Pujols to a 10-year, $250 million contract, the Los Angeles Angels made themselves substantially better for 2012, replacing out-machine Mark Trumbo (.291 OBP in 2011) at first base while avoiding any reliance on Kendrys Morales coming back from a career-altering injury that could even be career-ending. With the Angels also signing C.J. Wilson -- and weakening the Texas Rangers in the process -- they are at least a co-favorite in the division and in excellent position for the wild card thanks to the unbalanced schedule.

It's a Pyrrhic victory for the Angels, however, because it's almost unthinkable that this contract will look like a good one in 2021 when we look back on it after its conclusion. Offering Pujols -- or any player past the age of 30 -- a 10 years is just not rational; there's no way we can accurately project a player who will spend more or less the entire decade of his contract in his decline phase, and even if we assume Pujols' listed age is accurate, a 10-year deal takes him to an age when most hitters are shadows of their former selves.

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