ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — Hours after the Miami Marlins were no longer in the running to score a deal with Albert Pujols, the rumor mill finally shut down after two and a half plus days of speculating where the three-time NL MVP may land for next season and perhaps the next decade. Following the news of the Marlins moving on, multiple reports indicate that the Los Angeles Angels and Chicago Cubs are the two other remaining franchises still taking an interest in acquiring Pujols.
Ken Rosenthal & Jon Paul Morosi, National Baseball Writers for FOXSports.com, are reporting that the Angels have the advantage of having the designated hitter when offering a contract that could be for 9-10 years. The Angels did not become part of the Albert Pujols rumors until late Tuesday evening when a fourth team was rumored to enter the mix. Not much has been made of AL West club’s interest, but according to some, such as Rosenthal and Morosi, the Angels are probably the next biggest threat to outbid the Redbirds.
The Cubs apparently have not only stopped taking interest in Pujols, but they may have met with agent Dan Lozano on Wednesday at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. Like the Angels, not much has been speculated about how interested the Cubs may be in acquiring Pujols.
Another similarity between the Cubs and Angels is that they are both under new front office management. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer now make the baseball decisions for Chicago while Jerry Dipoto, the interim general manager for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010, was hired by the Angels on October 28 just after the season ended.
The Angels finished 2011 with a 86-76 record, which was good enough for second place in the AL West Division behind the Texas Rangers. They had AL Rookie of the Year runner-up Mark Trumbo at first base for 149 games last season, but he is capable of playing one of the corner outfield positions where they had outfielders Vernon Wells and Torry Hunter stationed.
Looking at their payroll situation, the Angels already have $97 million committed for the 2012 season according to their franchise page on Baseball-Reference.com. Last season, they spent $142.7 million.
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