Willie Springer

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — ‘Cardinal Nation’ will have to get use to the fact that Albert Pujols will no longer wear the ‘birds on the bat’ as the former Redbird’s slugger has made a decision to sign with the Los Angeles Angels.  Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports was the first to break the news just before 9:00am (CT).  Minutes later, multiple reporters from the Baseball Winter Meetings in Dallas, Texas made the confirmation that Pujols had made a decision to make the move to the American League West Division club.

Multiple reports indicate that Pujols will get a 10-year, $250 million deal with the Angels.  When confirmed, Pujols will match St. Louis native Ryan Howard as the highest paid first baseman per season, which also is the highest annual salary for that position in Major League history.

Los Angeles was the first supposed ‘mystery team’ to enter the Pujols sweepstakes on Tuesday night.  On Wednesday, the Angels had more meetings with Pujols’ agent Dan Lozano, and look to become the biggest challenger to the Cardinals after the Miami Marlins were no longer involved.

The Los Angeles 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 the Angels’ payroll situation, they 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.  If the Angels are paying Pujols somewhere in the range of $25 million for next season, their salary committed figure jumps up to $122 million.

Albert Pujols leaves the Cardinals franchise after 11 seasons.  In St. Louis, Pujols quickly developed his eventual Hall of Fame career by winning three NL MVP awards and two World Championships.  He became the first player to hit 30 home runs and have 100 RBI’s in his first ten seasons in the Major Leagues.  On August 26, 2010, Pujols was the first player in Major League history to hit 400 home runs in their first 10 seasons.  On October 15 in Game 3 of the World Series, Pujols became the third player along with Reggie Jackson and Babe Ruth to slug three home runs in one game of the Fall Classic.

Not only was Pujols fantastic at the plate, but became an excellent first baseman winning two Gold Gloves in 2006 and 2010.  Though he did not win another in 2009, Pujols set a new Major League record for assists by a first baseman with his 185th on October 4, 2009 breaking the old record held by Bill Buckner, who had 184 assists for the Boston Red Sox in  1985.

The accomplishments listed were only a part of what Pujols meant to the St. Louis community. In 2005, Albert and his wife Deidre Pujols launched the Pujols Family Foundation, a non-profit charity organization. They promote awareness of Down syndrome and works to support those who have it and their families, aids the poor in the Dominican Republic, and supports people with disabilities plus life threatening illnesses.

The Cardinals had already planned for not having Pujols on the roster for 2012 and beyond.  They signed Lance Berkman, the 2010 NL Comeback Player of the Year, who did play 21 games at first base last season.  Berkman was mostly in right field where most believe Allen Craig will take over after his successful season as a bench player. Craig recently had surgery on his knee, and is expected to need four months to recover.

Copyright KMOX Radio

Comments (22)
  1. Mike says:

    Albert, I hope the saying the “grass is greener” holds true for you. I think you showed St. Louis your true colors (green). Now, Cardinals, go get get us a middle infield.

  2. cardfan4ever says:

    oddie freakin ose albert! you are nothing but an ego-maniac and now the most hated man in st. louis! enjoy playing for a losing team

  3. John says:

    Prince Fielder anybody?

  4. SeriousFan says:

    cardfan4ever – so you’re saying you would have turned down the extra 30-50 million. Get real. It’s a smart move, and not just for the money. Albert is probably thinking that a “DH” spot is in his future eventually. Makes sense. Now, if he had went to the Cubs, then yes, he’d probably be the most hated man in STL. Good Luck Albert.

    1. cardfan4ever says:

      The real smart move was for the cardinals sticking to their guns and not offering the man more than he was worth! Now the cardinals can get back to being a “team” again, and not be having their first baseman call “hit and runs” and then just stand there and not swing the bat, or tell their manager they want to play third base one day, and just get to because he wanted to… Come on, do you honestly think the other 8 players on the team aren’t doing the happy dance seeing his big ego gone once and for all?

  5. soleillvr says:

    Soooo many little boys are going to be in tears over this!

  6. sherman says:

    Great! Move Berkman to first base. Move the beer from $8.00 to $4.00.

  7. Chanks Patroool says:

    LIKE @ Sherman

  8. Leo says:

    “The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works.”

  9. Chris says:

    Unbelievable. Albert blew a chance to be revered like Gibby, Brock, Musial, McGee, and Red by the best fans in baseball. I would have guessed that a man who rose from such humble beginnings would have had more class.

    1. Mike says:

      I think it’s a great business move, and anyone would take guaranteed money. However, if Albert had only said that he wanted to test the fee agent market PERIOD, The comments would be more understanding, but Albert chose to talk about the “greatest fans”, the birds on the bat, loyalty and tradition, he just spit on all that. I would have more respect for him if he just had said, I am up for bid and I will go to the highest bidder. Thanks for the memories, but so long!

      1. Chris says:

        With St. Louis fans, it’s about the team taking care of their players and it’s about the players exhibiting loyalty to the franchise. St. Louis fans love their sports heroes. Remember when Todd Ewen and Tony Twist left the Blues? Not great players, but fan favorites. Twister is back because we love our players.

        I’m sure I’m dreaming that loyalty still matters. Even Albert proved that a little more gold is what matters. 😦

      2. Stephen Fee says:

        Love you dad.

  10. Peter Osbourne says:

    While he played, entertaiment us and gave us two wordl series, getting underpaid by one of the most sucessfull baseball org (The Saint Louis Cardinals) , he was the face of The Cardinals. Now these ingrates fans want him in a Stake burning and forget that, we live in a Capitalism sistem. All is about Money. If you want to see a profesional player, playing “By the love of the game”, Dude!! you’re living in the wrong Country;Move to Cuba,North Korea, Myammar or one of the litle Comunist regime in the wordl. Thanks Albert for all you did, Good Luck!!! and Fu..!!! These ingrates!!!.

  11. Gussie says:

    Hey Hey Hey…It’s FAT ALBERT !!!
    His quote, “It’s not always about the money” LIE. For only 3 MILLION more a year!!
    Disgusting! FAKE!!! We can get 2 Berkman’s a year for that kind of money!!!
    He won’t be worth it as his stats decline every year.

    Cards are a Shoe-In for the post season in 2012 and beyond.

    Not a Legend in St. Louis….A SELLOUT!!!..to pure GREED.
    He even let Stan the Manj (The Best Card Ever) down…PITTIFUL!! ALL Talk!!!
    That much money when we squeak by every month for are families. He never signed autographs…WHAT AN EGO!!!

    What about his Westport Plaza I Love Me” Statue??? He has to move that big statue now…he won’t get one at Busch!!

    It’s not about history and the love of the game. It’s about MONEY!!!

    Stan The Man, Lou, Gibson, Hornsby, Dizzy, Slaughter…all TRUE CARDINALS and all better the Fat Albert.

    Adios Amigo…You’re a sellout to Money…the route of all evil!!!

  12. Paul Wilcoxen says:

    The issue with STL is not the money. It’s the unfair DH advantage the American League has over the National League. MLB should end the DH. Not an equal negotiating field.

  13. Ashen says:

    I wish Albert well. I am glad to have been able to see him play in his prime.

  14. Jason says:

    As a person who promoted Christian values and beliefs, I am saddened that Christians may now be viewed as greedy, ungrateful, money suckers.

    You’ll always be a SELLOUT to any good baseball fan and you will retire a lonely man with only your money.

    Please don’t cheapen the Cardinals brand by coming back at the end of your career hoping to go into the HOF as a Cardinal.

    I am glad management stuck to their guns and didn’t overpay for him either.

  15. Poncho says:

    Thank you, Cardinal ownership & management, for hot doing what the dummies at ESPN seem to think you should have done. You were going too far by offering 10 yr / 220 mil as far as I am concerned, and I was hoping we wouldn’t get stuck with him for that. Give more money to the low salaried players who won the World Series for us. I think Albert is on his way down. Look at this years strikeouts, double plays, bad base running, popping up on first pitch ball with winning run on 3rd. No lifetime league records. No statue. No retired number. No having to make deals to satisfy Albert. But Big Al gets more millions. LA area has a lot of things going on. Albert will be just a small part of that. Ask Mark & Jim about California vs St Louis.

  16. THE BOSS says:





  17. Ryan says:

    St. Louis, we in cleveland feel your pain. We had one of our own sell us out. Im sure you know who. At least you got two championships b4 al bolted. Ol lebron quit on us, cuz he couldnt get it done by his self. Time heals!

  18. meade says:

    Wonderful paintings! That is the type of info that are meant to be shared across the web. Disgrace on the search engines for no longer positioning this put up higher! Come on over and talk over with my site . Thank you =)

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