- (Photo: MLB via Getty Images / Tony Firriolo)
The wait is over, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have signed megastar 1st baseman Albert Pujols to what may be the second biggest contract in baseball history.
It started with a Tweet by Tim Brown of Yahoo sports. "Source: Pujols will sign with Angels for 10 years for between $250 and $260 million. Full no-trade. Pujols decided Thursday morning," it read.
Just 14 hours later he Tweeted, "Can confirm Fox report. Angels are now in strong on Pujols," which was an oddity in itself because the slugger was supposedly favored to stay with the St. Louis cardinals, the team he broke in as a rookie with in 2001 under the tutelage and guidance of a ready to retire Mark McGwire.
Other rumored contenders for Pujols were the Miami Marlins and the Chicago Cubs.
The new Angels 1st basemen will be the proud owner of the second highest contract in MLB history falling right between Alex Rodriguez in 1st and A-Rod in 3rd. A-Rod's contract when he signed to the New York Yankees was worth $275 million. He also had a contract for $252 million when he signed to the Texas Rangers.
Albert Pujols was not only the face of the Cardinals franchise, he is also the face of the MLB and everything that is right with it.
He has never been accused of using steroids, Human Growth Hormone, or even making a miss step over his words to cause controversy. Pujols has been the poster boy for Bud Selig's post steroid era baseball, and the one true saving grace of the sport.
Now he will take his talents to the American League where he will try to be a dominant force to a whole league of new pitchers who have only heard or have seen in short bursts his assault on pitchers.
Most importantly, "Prince Albert" moves to the American League to prove he can win another title elsewhere after winning two with the Cardinals in 2006 and in this past season.
Die-hard Cardinals fan Marissa Pessolano updated her Facebook immediately upon hearing the news. "No loyalty left...goodbye Pujols...," she said. "He always said he would 'never play for the money' Whatever...at least he is in the American League."
"Angels really?!!? Ten years between 250 million and 260 million dollars I'm sorry Albert Pujols is not worth it," said baseball fan Christopher Velazquez.
Fearing the dreaded slugger doing damage on his beloved Yankees, Cig Fifth Boro said, "Pujols gonna be a problem for the first few yrs."
Pujols' had his worst statistical season of his career last year, which is not saying much considering he hit .299 (lowest of his career), hit 37 homeruns, and drove in 99 RBI's (also the lowest of his career).
Last year he also spent some time on the disabled list after breaking his wrist, but miraculously made a return in just 15 days and finished the season off stronger then he began.
Ending on a high note, he then led his team, which was almost 20 games behind the Atlanta Braves going into September, past the Braves, through the playoffs, and into the World Series where they played catch up to the Texas Rangers and prevailed.
In just 11 years in the league, Pujols has already sealed his legacy as one of the greatest to ever put on the cleats and is a sure-fire 1st ballot Hall of Famer.
He won the Rookie of the Year award in his first season in 2001, is a three time MLB MVP in 2005, 2008, and 2009, has won two Gold Gloves in 2006 and 2009, is a six time Silver Slugger at three positions (3B, OF, and 1B), and a nine time All-Star, also at three positions.
As well as a slew of other awards, Pujols career numbers are a marvel in themselves. He has a lifetime batting average of .328, 445 homeruns, and 1329 RBI's. These numbers are projected to be a little less than double-bled by the time he retires making him the record holder of many offensive categories.
Pujols is just 31-years-old, but already his legacy is great.