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
Here’s what I hope is my last take on the Pujols mess. I keep getting pissed off at the love fest and negativity towards the Angels management and it causes me to want to vent. Here is (hopefully) my last rant.
Pujols came here and accepted $250M to play baseball. He immediately began dictating terms – including that the Angels could not market him to the Latino community as ‘El Hombre’. He gladly accepted the money but things had to be done his way. At the time, he was coming off 11 terrific seasons which gave him leverage.
So the Angels cowtowed to him and his legend – as they continued to do for 9-plus seasons giving him lots of playing time when he did not deserve it. Pujols never lived up to his billing. He was basically a flop and a waste of money by almost every metric – particularly the last 5 years. But the Angels always deferred to him even as it became more and more obvious to everyone (except maybe Pujols) that he was hurting the team on the field.
The unstated agreement was that as long as Pujols remained a role model, he had a place on the team. The Angels could justify the awful performance since 2017 by focusing on the “role model” theme. By Trout’s account- this was a very real thing and I can, in the theoretical, accept that his roster spot over the last 5 years was justified by that hard-work professional diligence which may have rubbed off on the younger players.
All of that changed when Albert stopped being a role model and became a petulant has-been griping about his playing time, refusing a bench position and calling out his manager publicly. The sole reason for keeping him disappeared and he quickly became the aging unproductive superstar, without leverage, who overplayed his hand. At that point he had to go. The justification for his wasted roster spot over the last 5 seasons no longer existed.
Albert will leave the team $250+ million richer and being allowed to continue to play daily long after his numbers justified it. By all metrics he should have been benched in the middle of the 2017 season and, maybe, pinch hit since then with the ocassional start. Instead he played basically daily over the last 4.5 seasons, often times hitting cleanup. If that is ‘mistreatment’ than I, personally, will gladly accept mistreatment and would like to know where to sign up.
From today’s USA Today:
“We’re talking about Albert Pujols.
He woke up Wednesday morning, having already been told he’d be in the starting lineup that night for the Los Angeles Angels against the Tampa Bay Rays.
By the time the day was over, Pujols was yelling at manager Joe Maddon, telling president John Carpino and GM Perry Minasian that he wasn’t going to retire, insisting he did not want to spend the rest of the season on the bench and blasting Maddon’s managerial skills, according to two people with direct knowledge of the day’s events who requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature the details
The next day, it was officially over.”
Got into it with Dipoto while he was here too. Whether or not he has a point (Dipoto and Maddon both highly suspect IMO) – the ego is hard to ignore and tolerate when you are worse than a replacement AAA player.
Totally agree. That’s not leadership in my opinion.
Maddon looks like a tool. He was going to play Pujols, but then Perry says no. So Maddon tells Pujols the FO won’t let him play?
Forget the feelings about Pujols, just imagine the look this has in the clubhouse with the players.
But why do you blame Maddon?
He was the victim. I am sure he did not come here thinking the GM and FO was going to dictate lineup decisions to him.
Maddon had already come out and stated that he likes to map things out for players days in advance so they can plan a bit. Telling him he was going to play against a lefty pitcher he had previously hit well doesn’t guarantee it’s going to happen, especially seeing as the FO finally said enough is enough.
Good on Minassian for finally pulling the trigger on Pujols in the lineup. Bye, Albert.
Translation of Soggy Joe: I had told Albert that he would be playing on Wednesday night but the front office had decided afterwards that he would be relegated to the bench so I had to go back on my word and tell him afterwards. Albert was not happy. The front office then met with Pujols and informed that he would be released.
Time to turn the page for sure.
The front office made Joe look bad and undermined him. I hope they do not do that to him again…
Who cares. What had to happen had to happen and it was long past due. Someone was going to take the blame for the org but I feel it’s Albert who has shit on his face.
I care. Not because Albert is gone (I agree with that decision)but because they undermined Joe’s leadership. That is pretty damn important, especially for the man who is working to install a healthy, winning culture.
If you want a puppet in the dugout you hire Dave Roberts, NOT Joe Maddon.
Look, if this was a one-time event and was a little messy, you could say the ends justify the means.
But I also added “they better not do this to him again.”
IF they do it will show just how stupid and dysfunctional Arte’s FO is.
Remember who we are talking about. We are the Ferrari body on a Honda Civic.
I think this is/was a one-time thing, dude. You’re not going to have many situations like this. Maddon even said he maps things out a few days ahead, so Albert probably had it in his head he was going to be playing that night already. Perhaps the FO could have pulled the trigger on this 24 hours earlier, so that Joe wouldn’t have been in the position of having to withhold information until he could meet with Minassian and Carpino. That probably should have been done before the Wednesday game, not after. Not really a good way to end, it’s messy.
I never thought Arte would allow his baseball operations to cut loose Albert. Happy he deferred and remained out of it. Perry is an inexperienced GM but he earned his stripes on this one. Appreciate Perry holding the line and making the best decision for the roster even if, he would catch grief. Now matter how it unfolded, Angels were going to get the negative press. The old timers, Beltré and Papi are going to support their amigo, fine, but I would like to hear them also state the truth, Albert performance was hurting the team
All of this bullshit about if Albert really wants it, really puts his mind to it he can keep being productive leads to either one of us to conclusions. 1) Either whoever is saying that is blind to the realities of the last five years or 2) Albert has not been trying really hard the last 5 years. .Either way it’s on Albert.
It’s also Bob Nightengale…
Normally not a NY Post guy but this is an interesting article:
Maybe Downing can help clean up the click thru if theses a problem.
Fangraphs joins the fun
thanks for that link. I see Fangraphs doesn’t fall for that Elias nonsense and has Albert behind Ruth in RBIs.
Also at Fangraphs, Trout is #1 in fWAR. Since Baseball Reference has Trout 5th I guess fWAR must be more accurate.
my facebook comment re: David Ortiz not liking the way Albert was DFA’d finally got a reaction. Somebody was mad because I called Ortiz “Big Pill Popper” and suggested that if Albert took “supplements” the way Ortiz did we wouldn’t be in this situation. I’m surprised it’s just one person. Although I guess he might be mad that Ortiz was on something. That’s probably it.
It’s a big building with patients, but that’s not important right now
Alberts name has cropped up more than one time about magically transforming into a power hitter. Jack Clark, Cards analyst, mentioned Albert’s dirty. But has had to back down as Albert was threatening to sue. My guess is that Jack did not have first hand account and would not rat his source, so he tip toed back his comments. To me, while I have zero data or facts to support my opinions, Albert looks bulked up like Bonds and A-Rod. I would be more surprised if he is clean. There is a certain gait about how folks on steroids run, plodder.
Does the tongue out make him go faster ??
Still so thankful he’s not wearing that uniform anymore
The time had come.
He looks a lot in that picture like I do during my morning constitutional.
It’s an aileron.
We all believe his fraudulently reported age detrimentally impacted Pujols net value under this Contract but How much did steroids play into this? Not necessarily Albert’s usage (I want to make it clear there is no evidence) but steroids impact on the previous age regression models. If data being used by the clubs predicted declines based upon similar players that were long time users and their over age 30 numbers showed significantly lower declines then previous players then the data the Angels were using for projections was even more tainted.
Of course this analysis would assume that the Angels even used data to project Pujols production. With Arte and his marketing powers who the hell knows?
FTFY: Arte and his billboard powers.
This went up minutes after they signed Pujols… at Warner / 55 FWY
(pc: Downing Rules aka DowningDude)
Actually the Angels originally marketed the deal by putting up ‘El Hombre’ on billboards with pictures of Albert but Albert had them removed and rebranded as The Big A’ bc of his connection to St Louis’ Stan “The Man” Musial. So that picture is of (I think) a second generation billboard. Here’s the article:
Interesting detail and YES, I also recall this now.
However, this one was Big A from the get-go day 1 of the campaign. I saw them putting it up.
Oh that’s cool. They must have used that one to replace the El Hombre billboards.
White Sox don’t want Albert. Here’s a good article.
(google/amp clickthru removed)
Damn. That’s HARSH. As harsh as we were in our celebratory mood here, I don’t think we were that harsh. I thought someone might pick him up. Welp, might be time for the ‘jols to look into the mirror and realize that this is the end. I still think someone might pick him up anyway. Rangers maybe? lol.
The Indians have ZERO production out of their 1B slot, I think Bauers is hitting like .189.
Albert is about the same average-wise BUT he does have the 5 HR so Cleveland may see the move as a net gain.
But would a team like Cleveland want to give up a roster spot for Albert? I could see it more if Bauers has options. Otherwise Bauer’s is 25 and I’m not sure I’d want to risk hoping he makes it through waivers.
Good point. Bauers is not untalented so he could easily turn things around…
Meanwhile, Albert might give you one good week or a handful of good games over four months.
Well, MLB Now really twisted the knife before the season started. Still waiting for them to say something about him being cut.
That was a great listen. I liked that guy Kenny’s take. Guy to his left was right about angels org giving away atrocious contracts but is a Pujols leg wrapper and gets his age wrong at some point
At least we waited until he was eligible for Medicare
So many people saying “Albert gave his all.” No, no he did not. He was a great player in St Louis, but the fact remains he has loafed on balls since he got his monster deal in Anaheim. When he routinely was too lazy to perform the routine responsibility of trailing a runner on a double to left-center (giving runners a free aggressive turn at second), he surely wasn’t giving his all. This is something they teach to youth kids, but Albert was too good for that hustle stuff. Like jogging down the line on slow rollers where with a little effort he’d have an infield single or perhaps reach on an error, that’s not giving your all. Like jogging down the line on double plays, instead of maybe putting some pressure on the defense. Yes, there is a reason he shattered that record. He wouldn’t sign an autograph other than for a camera moment, but of course, you could buy one for $500 on his website. He didn’t give, he took. At $200k a game, he definitely took. Perhaps he gave to nice charities, but he didn’t give it all on the field. Not even close. Good riddance.
Those jogs were his sprints.
It was time came to cut ties. Angels owed him nothing as he wasn’t helping the team the last 4-5 seasons. He had his chance to walk away on his own, but if he wanted his farewell tour, it should have been last year or the year before. They gave him too much rope to play with and they finally had enough. That roster spot is more important than his stats or feelings. Move on.
Now find competent pitching, both starters and bullpen, and build overall team depth.
It’s the End of an Era!
It’s the end of an error
It is far, far too late to do this thing, than Arte has ever done; it is far, far too little to do than Arte has ever known.
How’s the Tiki Bar life?
Stirrups! How is it going? What brings you slumming around these parts?
Wow. I turned on the radio after the game started and the first thing I heard was this news! :O. A definitely necessary move, if only for roster reasons, but this is truly the end of an era.
In the meantime, we are in process of blowing another game, do that aspect of the era continues…. 🙁
So we replace Pujols with Jon Jay?
Yup, we really needed his roster spot for Jon.
I’d rather have Pujols than Jon Jay
In theory, Jay can play OF. Albert truly has no position left.
I’d rather have most common illnesses than Jon Jay.
I’d rather have Mr. “too blessed to stress” than Jon Jay
Not sure … VW is the only player I’ve ever seen napping on the job …
C’mon man, using a baseball glove to hold the head up while snoozing takes talent. He’s just being zen so that he does not stress.
please note the Gold glove label on the glove. WE’Z GOTZ GGZZZ
So many fives yesterday.
No wonder he was pissed at not being in the lineup
HODIE EST DIES!!! This changes!…… wait, what does this change? We still have to pay him 30M but we get an open roster spot…. cool? I’m still glad we DFA’d him just for the sake of showing it’s NOT ok to be pretty much the worst player in the MLB and still demand a roster spot much less playing time. So there’s that. With all the injuries happening to the Angels and in baseball as whole maybe this will finally be my big break and the Halos will let me pitch them into oblivion. I don’t really see what other options they have as far as other players ready to step into Stassi, C Rod, Rendon, Pujols and who the hell else knows spots.
11 comments at the old site (2 of those were by 2002heaven – inflating the count) … 521 here. Boom.
We really appreciate the migration.