[UPDATED with God Smack:] Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson Coming to the Angels

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UPDATE, DEC. 8, 2:50 P.M.: Step aside, Rick Warren, Robert Schuller and Bishop Tod Brown: the next great Orange County Christian soldier may very well be Albert Pujols. Christian author Scott Lamb, who co-wrote Pujols: More Than a Game, believes the slugger may do more than knock baseballs over the walls at the Big A. He may rise from the ashes near the Phoenix Club to save tens of thousands of souls. Make that, to the chagrin of the Barbara Coe crowd, Spanish-speaking souls.

Lamb brings this up near the end of a Christianity Today blog post that hems and haws over how the faithful should react to Pujols agreeing to a 10-year, $250 million contract with the Halos. The fear is it may not be perceived as very Christian leaving a place where you've established roots and faith-based charities for the big payday farther west and, let's face it, H-E-double-matchsticks-adjacent.

"I do think it will hurt what people perceive to be his Christian testimony. I'm not saying it's the way it should be, but I think it will," says Lamb of the deal for Pujols, who has said, "Baseball is simply my platform to elevate Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior."

But, later, Lamb notes that when he has seen Pujols speak about his faith in English to midwesterners, the remarks have been "short and stilted." That could change before the kind of massive Spanish-speaking audience the first baseman will be exposed to in Southern California.

"You get the sense that if you turn him loose and took the yoke of English off of him, he could speak more in his native tongue," Lamb tells blogger Sarah Pulliam Bailey. "[The deal] sure seems like it's just about the money, but I'm hoping it's more than that and time will tell."

ORIGINAL POST, DEC. 8, 8:44 A.M.: One of the best hitters and pitchers in baseball are reportedly coming to the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles.

ESPN breaks the news* that free agent slugger Albert Pujols has agreed to a 10-year, $250 million contract with the Halos that includes a no-trade clause. Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated just broke the news that Anaheim signed Newport Beach-born C.J. Wilson to a five-year, $75 million deal.

Kendrys Morales must be so happy about the Pujols deal. (Read that line with sarcasm, of course.)

Morales, the everyday first baseman with the biggest bat in the Angels lineup, went down with a season-ending broken left ankle suffered while celebrating a homerun at home plate on May 29, 2010. He was cleared to resume playing this past March, but his recovery slowed and he was out for 2011 as well.

That cleared the way for Mark Trumbo--who also must be thrilled with the arrival of Pujols--to step in at first and have such a successful season he was the American League's runner-up rookie of the year.

Ah, well, at least the Angels should be solid at DH as well as first base.

Pujols had been in talks with the only major league team he has played for, the St. Louis Cardinals, who reportedly offered the most popular player there a nine-year deal worth less than $200 million that would have made him the fourth highest-paid first baseman in baseball.

Then talks heated up with the Miami Marlins, as the Florida Marlins are now known. Those talks apparently hung up on the no-trade clause--and allowed the Angels to swoop in and snag Pujols.

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MLB
C.J. Wilson is coming home.
The first big Angels signing expected to come out of the winter meetings had been for Wilson, and when news of the Pujols deal came down some wondered if there would be no money left to snag the pitcher, who was also in talks with the Marlins.

But Arte Moreno, the Angels owner known as a sleeping giant in baseball, obviously woke up and opened his checkbook to remind everyone who he is and really stick it to the Texas Rangers. Wilson had served there five years as a reliever, two as a starter, and helped Texas reach two World Series. The crafty lefty posted a 16-7 record this past season while also recording a 2.94 ERA in over 220 innings of work.

Pujols, the 2001 Rookie of the Year and a three-time MVP, batted .299 with 37 homers and 99 RBIs in 2011, the only season in his 11-year career that he didn't have 100 RBIs or hit better than .300. However, he was battling an arm injury, and his lifetime batting average is .328 with 445 home runs. No one has seen a slugger like him in 50 years.

The one ding the Angels will deal with from naysayers: Pujols and Wilson are both 31. Screw that. Savor the moment. We're back, baby.

*S.I. claims it beat ESPN on the Pujols scoop by 15 minutes.


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35 comments
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fashionbbjdafd

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Jim Gilchrist
Jim Gilchrist

Albert Pujols should be playing for the Angels.  They need a savior. 

Just my blatant personal opinion.  Thanks for listening.  :)

By the way, about one-half of this slugger's $250 million contract will go to federal and state income taxes.  Gov. Brown should use that dough to lessen the outrageous tuition increases for the Cal State Univ. system.  Brown could virtually hit a home run with that.

Jim Gilchrist, President, The Minuteman Project

Alex
Alex

As far as the mountain of cash Pujols is getting and the Christian thing...hopefully he'll use some of it to help people and hopefully he'll conduct himself in a positive manner (though Christians sin and can be some of the biggest douches out there at times...i.e. Chuckie, me and many others etc).

Alex
Alex

Mc"Bankruptcy"Court is killing the Dodgers. Glad to see the Halos are throwing some cash around. Pujols is hands down the best right-handed hitter in baseball and he's got plenty of good years left. It sucks that players are being paid this much (which equals higher prices for fans)...but it is what it is. Pujols "seems" to be a good character guy, which is a bonus. I think, however, even the Atheist Angels' Fans will like him if he hits .300, belts 40 homes and knocks in 120 runs a year for awhile.

Briansays
Briansays

now if someone is smart they are rushing into production #5 Pujols Angels jerseys just in time for xmas

TheRefriedMexican
TheRefriedMexican

Sorry Angel fans but Arturo Moreno way overpaid for Pujols. By the time he takes his first swings as an Angel he will be 32 (Rumor has it he may actually be older. Judging by his receding hairline, I wouldn't doubt it). Historically a players trajectory starts to fall off in their mid 30's. (Unless of course your Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens or any other juicer). So you mean to tell me your ok with him making $25 p/ year into his late 30's and into his 40's? I guess time will tell if it was a wise decision by the Halos

laura devere
laura devere

"Update with God Smack"...  No.  The term is "Gob-smacked".  Gob, as in mouth.  To be gob-smacked is to be rendered speechless.

You're a disgrace to all writers.

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

My Facebook is full of snarky "have fun playing for a second-tier franchise" pendejadas. We'll see how well St. Louis does this year.

DanChmielewski
DanChmielewski

Sweet news for the Halos.  Mo's stats were not that bad in Anaheim; not Red Sox career numbers but not awful either.  Injuries played a role and those barriers in front of the dugouts is a lasting legacy to Mo's time in OC.  Mo was never going to be the clubhouse influence he was in Boston. 

909Jeff
909Jeff

Smoltz was in the Cy young race at 40 and its obvious he wasn't juicing... And while the totality of the contract is for 250 mil Pujols is the only player on the open market that is capable of earning that money for his team during the front end of his contract.  So yes by the time he's 40 he wont be posting 25 mil a year type numbers but his value to the franchise over the next 5-7 years is well in excess of 250mi.  Also National league fans always forget that the AL has the designated hitter which helps elongate a power hitters career by taking him out off the field where a majority of injuries occur.  

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

If it weren't for disappointment, you wouldn't have any appointments.

YouIsntBright
YouIsntBright

You're a disgrace to all snarky commenters.

Matthew_T_Coker
Matthew_T_Coker

Actually, Laura that was a reference to Jim Rome and Sully Erna.

909Jeff
909Jeff

Tell your supposed friends that the Angels had the 5th highest attendance and the 4th highest payroll and they were losing....  

Advantagetitleflunky
Advantagetitleflunky

Yeah.

This coming from Mr. Credibility himself!

You and your overgrown kid getting a kick out of calling me anonomously FATASS??

Stick to sending anonymous packages Dan.

LOSER! - That's not Journalist, Thats not Blogger: THATS LOSER!

Get a job and leave me alone fatso!

Chris
Chris

Maybe you can send him some anonymous BULLSHIT too Dan!

That seems to be your M.O. hide behind the anonimity you condemn others for. Right out of the Jubal hand book.

Next thing you know, you'll be writing about Irvine's underage drinking problem, ignoring Mayor Krom's dead, drunk Son. 

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Yeah, but Moo was a toxic clubhouse presence. My cousin was a batboy during those years, and the stories he'd tell...

909Jeff
909Jeff

Did they put those barriers in front of his shower too? 

909Jeff
909Jeff

Agreed... I just hope they can re sign Torii next year!  

goose goslin
goose goslin

great pull comparing to a pitcher to a batter. Same uncanny logic of comparing Brett Favre's longevity to Barry Sanders. Get a clue, bo!

TheRefriedMexican
TheRefriedMexican

I can give you many examples of finesse pitchers excelling well into their latter careers (Smoltz as you referenced, Maddux, Moyer, Orozco, Hough, Wakefield, Blyleven, etc). Major league hitting is a whole different animal. If you disregard the Steroid Era there isn't any historical evidence of power hitters maintaining the same statistical level into their mid to late 30's much less their 40's

LAPBANDDAN
LAPBANDDAN

That's how we roll in the Chmeiliwinski Family. I have spent my whole life teaching my "boy" Al, he doesn't need to be responsible for his actions.

We just hide behind anonimity (while condemning others for internet posts) and send vibrators, dildo's, te shirts and Dog Shit to people (HEE HEE HEE, thats the 14 year old boy in me!).

Meanwhile I run a PROMINENT PR FIRM.....from my garage!

TheRefriedMexican
TheRefriedMexican

Vlad wasn't all that either Gus. Yeah he was a spectacular regular season player. But what happened to him during the play-offs? Each and every time he disappeared like linguini on Tommy LaGorda's plate!

DanChmielewski
DanChmielewski

Good thing Bernie Fine wasn't an assistant coach to the Angels then.  Like I said, Mo was never going to be the clubhouse influence in Anaheim that he was in Boston.

goose goslin
goose goslin

Albert is much thicker than most of all those players. And gravity is a bitch. And there's a reason the CArdinals didn't offer hm a 10-year golden brick road. And argue all you want about other players' seasons. The only thing we all know for sure is buttressed by the two best hitters he'sd ever had around him, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman, Phat Albert had the worst statistical season of his career last year. Can he bounce back? Who knows. But better hope he follows Jim Thome's path and not ToddHelton's. speaking of which, why in the helll mention Helton's name as someone who's been productive after 32.  Are you an idjit?

909Jeff
909Jeff

As I said he probably wont be putting up those number late into the contract... Its the value he adds over the first two thirds of it thats going to earn the money for him and the team... I counted in 2 minutes 13 power hitters who played until they were in their late 30's early 40's Jackson, Thome, Griffey Jr, Scmidt, Thomas, Murray, Helton, Sheffield... there is 8... If you go old school Teddy ball game, Mays, Mantle, Dimaggio, Aaron. 

909Jeff
909Jeff

Which is why I brought up A-fraud, he was always a spectacular regular season player but lackluster postseason...(Until 09) Yet no one ever says "he aint all that"  I will yield to your contention that Vlad didnt produce postseason I'm not disputing that.  But Vlads knee's were shot from playing on that terrible turf in Montreal for 7 years.  Had he played on natural grass he might possibly still be raking. 

TheRefriedMexican
TheRefriedMexican

LOL that's exactly what I'm doing!!! And no Vlad isn't my scapegoat but he didn't help much.

909Jeff
909Jeff

Judge the guy on his entire contribution to the team.  Not because you are looking for a scapegoat for the postseason... There were 8 other dudes who failed to perform as well. 

TheRefriedMexican
TheRefriedMexican

I did say Vlad was a "spectacular regular season player". I'm not sure where your going or what point your trying to highlight, with you bringing A-Rod into this conversation.

909Jeff
909Jeff

Hey, A-fraud's post season batting avg was .118 until 2009 when the Yanks won the series he finally broke out of his post season slump.  Vlady had little to no plate discipline but he did more each year to get the Angels to the post season than anyone else on the team.  Same thing with Garrett Anderson...  

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