I remember thinking back in 2011 when the Angels signed Albert Pujols to a ten year deal “man, that seems way too long.” Now that the future Hall of Famer is maintaining an OPS below .800 and is only going to decline in his twilight years, the Angels need to pull some magic out of their ass in order to clean up this mess.
It’s almost as if they thought giving Pujols this ridiculous contract, which has him earning his highest pay at age 41, was worth it as long as they win a ring or two. And it’s not as if Albert hasn’t earned his keep. Despite criticisms he’s actually performed close to what his contract requires. But 40 is basically the new 60 in baseball, so how can he possibly keep this up?
Looking at the incentives will make you laugh as well. Once he gets to 3,000 hits (which could happen this year) he earns a $3mm bonus. He also has a full no-trade clause and he can also earn another $7mm by simply breaking the home run record.
Of course, we should come to expect this sort of thing from the Angels. They’re still paying oft-injured, oft-high outfielder Josh Hamilton after signing him to a five year deal worth $125mm even though he’s currently trying to play for a different team. They also traded for Vernon Wells and took on his contract, and I’m pretty sure he didn’t get a hit in his two seasons with the Angels. CJ Wilson…that was a thing too. He’s racing cars now.
Maybe this is the one giant contract with tons of warning signs that won’t blow up in their face. Maybe I’ll also get drafted this year.