On Twitter, Mark Feinsand says a source tells him the Angels are releasing veteran “slugger” Albert Pujols today. This was the final season of his ten year, $253 Million contract with the club. He never moved to the West Coast, keeping his home in St. Louis in all that time and the California locals of Anaheim pretty much felt the same way about him.
Feinsand is the MLBdotCom Executive Reporter and the designated MLB Network’s “Insider”.
Here is a statement from owner Arte Moreno.
If Albert has played his final game in the major leagues, he goes out as an unquestionable first ballot, inner circle Hall of Famer. But for the Angels, the memory will be more of a lost decade with one playoff appearance and a few seasons of almosts and late-inning solo HRs in blowout games and GIDPs when clutch would have been what the doctor ordered from “The Machine”.
According to one writer for a local newspaper, the LA Times, on twitter, a source claims Pujols was upset that he wasn’t in the lineup yesterday (Wednesday night) against Ryan Yarbrough and that the decision to bench him came from the front office, not Angels manager Joe Maddon. Pujols in his career was 6 for 9 with 2 HR and 2 doubles vs. Yarbough.
Longtime Angels analyst Matt Welch tweeted this quick analysis on the albatross that Albert had become for the team:
•C.J. Cron, 2017-2021:
.253/.321/.474, 80 HRs, 230 RBI, 112 OPS+, 5.7 WAR, $14 million
•Albert Pujols, 2017-2021:
.240/.289/.405, 76 HRs, 295 RBI, 85 OPS+, -2.0 WAR, $140 million
Angels traded Cron for Luis Rengifo before the 2018 season.
When history looks back on the Angels’ lost decade, it will be even unkinder to Pujols. Signed on December 8, 2011 to a ten-year deal, the past 3,438 days has been one of initial hope through the sour feelings of grudging resentment from the Anaheim faithful to anger, fury, conspiracy theories about his true age (that will be the next shoe to drop if he starts griping, just watch) and outright contempt.
But no more! Let a thousand Trout mask replicas bloom, there is no machine in Anaheim, just men intent on winning a division as was the norm in the glorious aughts.
PHOTO: REX FREGOSI