The Angels had an off day yesterday. Looking at Wednesday’s lineup one could argue they’ve had two off days in a row. But the off day didn’t stop news from coming out of Anaheim.
Albert Pujols cleared waivers and is now a free agent. This should come as a surprise to nobody. Had a team claimed Albert they would have also been stuck with his contract and nobody was dumb enough to do that.
So now Albert sits at home and waits for the phone to ring. Will it? MLB has five potential landing spots and I’ll add Colorado to that mix.
Getting a much better phone call were Logan Gilbert and Jarred Kelenic of the Mariners. They got called to the Big Leagues and not a moment too soon.
Seattle has both a better record and farm system than the Angels. They just added two elite prospects to the MLB club. This team might be arriving now, not in 2-3 years.
Perhaps getting that same call in the near future is Angels prospect Jo Adell, whose hot start in AAA is getting noticed by Joe Maddon.
I spoke with Inland Empire 66ers manager and former Angel Jack Howell yesterday about other prospects of intrigue. I’ll have that posted early next week.
In league wide news, the MLB Players Association has filed a grievance against league seeking $500 million in damages for the 2020 season. The union argues the owners did not negotiate in good faith.
In better news, ESPN and MLB extended their broadcast agreement through 2028. At 25 Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts per year that leaves 4 slots in the agreement available for a team other than the YankSux or Cubs.
Speaking of the Yanks, the medical team in NY is burning up the phones. 8 Yankees test positive for Covid, including Gleyber Torres who has both antibodies and proof of vaccination.
Former Yankee Alex Rodriguez calls games for ESPN and is part of a group purchasing the Minnesota Timberwolves for $1.5 billion.
In looking for A-fraud links that didn’t involve J-Lo, I found this gem. The first several paragraphs are largely nonsensical and I can’t believe I made it through them, but the Bob Baffert excuse for how his horse tested positive for PEDs is simply unbelievably epic: “This week he recalled a past incident in which he claimed a groom ingested cough syrup then urinated on his horse’s stable fodder, which was then eaten by his horse”
There’s just no way to follow up a quote about urine tainted horse food, folks. Have a great weekend and link anything I missed.
Dodgers signed Pujols ! Hahahaha. Can’t wait to hear their reaction when he strings together a few GIDPs.
In more crazy news, David Huff has a MLB job as a player. Even more Crazy is that the same guy that brought him to the Angels, signed him to play baseball again
Francys Romero (@francysromero10) Tweeted:
Sources: The Angels will sign Cuban C Jonathan Linares (16) when the next international signing period opens in January 2022. Linares left Cuba in 2020, he is a switch hitter with remarkable defensive skills. https://t.co/qfq2pnOSmE
Can He Pitch?
No, but he will eventually be converted into an outfielder.
This is not believable:
If there was even a single team “in” on him he would have signed already. He and his agent already had a 7-day waiting period to clear waivers in which they could have already been talking to teams. The waivers cleared and he was released yesterday. Any team that truly wanted him would already have him. I agree. I call BS too.
Unless of course “in” means “Sure we might consider signing him if he accepts a bench or PH role.”
In which case AP stomps his feet and says “No, I’m a starter, mang.”
Virtue signaling……kissing the ring…..not an Angels WS ring of course.
And those four teams are:
Taylor Blake Ward (@TaylorBlakeWard) Tweeted:
Joe Maddon says Shohei Ohtani will be moved back in rotation “a day or two, three at the most.”
With the double header scheduled for next Thursday, maybe this will allow the Angels the best chance to get Ohtani a complete game victory that the blowpen can’t screw up.
As someone who had been an ardent defender of his FA signing, and just a huge fan of Albert Pujols up until 2018 (and of course not having any insider knowledge as to what goes on in the clubhouse), this comment comes as an admission of how wrong I was all these years. Gonna use my May allotment now.
FUCK ALBERT PUJOLS, and that goes also to Big Roidy, Pedro Martinez, Adrian Beltre and anybody else out there in the MLB media who ripped the Angels in the way they handled the Pujols DFA.
The Angels organization has been more than deferential to this “legend” by putting up with his awful performance for 5 years now, saving a roster spot for him and giving him regular playing time at the expense of many other options that quite possibly could have simply provided at least a league-average performance. Not being literally the worst position player in MLB as he was in 2017. A full-time healthy Ohtani and the emergence of Jared Walsh finally provided inarguable replacements for his undeserved playing time.
I’m sure AP is a “great mentor” to Trout and all the young Dominican guys… blah, blah, blah but they already have guys besides washed-up veterans that can do the same thing in the clubhouse. They’re called coaches. Pujols’ time as a player was up at least 3 years ago, but his massive ego clearly wouldn’t allow him to admit it to himself, else he’d have retired already (or quietly accepted a bench role).
If a single team were clamoring to bring him in and give him the playing time HE thinks he still deserves, he’d have been snapped up yesterday or maybe first thing today, now that a new team wouldn’t be on the hook for 29.5-something million dollars to sign him. There’s no negotiating needed, as he’s still due his full salary courtesy of Arturo Moreno.
I might not be so harsh had he not publicly stated he’d hang it up when he could see he didn’t have it anymore. He’s clearly delusional, and he’s going to spend the rest of this season eating humble pie. Maybe he gets lucky when some team has a few injuries this summer and he gets signed to come in and play for a few weeks, but that would be surprising to say the least.
Albert, you have no one to blame for your career ending this way except for yourself.
I’ve been pondering this stuff for the past week since they DFA’d him. Not just a gut reaction. Unfortunately I’ve lost a ton of respect for Pujols in how this all went down. He could have accepted a bench/mentor role humbly, and not complained. He could have gracefully admitted he’s done and he would have had a huge retirement send off either during the offseason, or maybe even mid-season right now. He chose neither of those pleasant options.
Yes, he does a lot of great charitable stuff off the field, and that’s all well and good. He’ll be able to take lots of his unearned millions and do a ton of stuff with it for the rest of his charmed life.
But we’re evaluating him here just in terms of Pujols the professional athlete. He is clearly unable to recognize and accept that his playing days are over. Kobe Bryant knew when his tank was running out and he announced/planned his retirement long before he embarrassed himself and his team on the court. Pujols the GIDP champ and now sub-.300 hitter (as a player) has embarrassed himself and frankly, tarnished his playing career on the field. The only reason he still had a job the past 3 years was because of that horrid contract, and years of deference to him as a first-ballot HOF player.
Agreed. For years the mantra was “but he’s not really blocking anyone better.” One reason for that was the trade of Cron, who has been much better over the last half decade.
But now that Ohtani and Walsh are heads and shoulders above Pujols there was just no way to justify it.
As far as the mentor thing, Pujols was being asked to mentor his replacement. Walsh is exactly the guy who could use Albert’s tutelage in the fine art of playing first base. Trout already had Torii and played outfield. This was Albert’s chance to really show some class and help the next 1B turn into a stud. Instead he got pissed and asked to go home.
The Cron thing pissed me off the most. When he was healthy and given the chance to play, he produced well. He also took up the exact DH/1B slot Pujols had, so of course they made him expendable. Having an OPS+ of 108 while with the Angels wasn’t spectacular, but Cron was definitely solidly above-average. But not good enough to warrant cutting Pujols in favor of him. The legend/contract won out and as we know, Cron was ultimately traded. Maybe Rengifo will still provide something for the team later this year or next. ?
No surprise at all Cron’s doing so well with Colorado this year. Even with inflated elevation numbers, he’s a solid career OPS+ 112 player. Extremely consistent. His 1B defense is also good enough to justify an everyday producing spot in a lineup. At least his offense is enough to justify it too.
Nice read, I’ve read it a couple of times and I really like those words in bold.
Agree completely. I believe 700 is his siren song that has caused him to crash on the rocks.
Any progress/news with the new stadium? New, renovating, any stadium designs,
surrounding parking lot development? Has Arte even looked at a paint swatch?
I’ll be disappointed if they don’t move the Big A in the stadium footprint, needs to be a centerpiece somewhere in behind the outfield.
this doesn’t say much we haven’t already heard
Based on the plan presented, parking is going to be brutal. A few new garages, but it looks like the overall number parking spaces is lower. Can’t wait to be stuck in the backup leaving the parking garage.
Hopefully the plethora of parking options across Orangewood Avenue don’t go away either!
Step 1 in our efforts to become more (good) like the Doyers…….
A horrible parking experience……check.
The Cowboy would be turning in his grave over this plan
Here is the appellate case decision that effectively ruled that the Angels were entitled to a minimum amount of ground level parking spaces for every home game.
It was this case and the City’s development of the Pond that led to the Rams acquiring and exercising the escape clause to move to St. Louie
Oh The irony that the Angels current owner will be destroying those spaces for his own development endeavors.
This stuff takes time to get going. First, they have to submit design concept drawings to the planning department, these concept drawings may or may not get marked up for changes and most likely get returned with a list of questions/issues. Once those are addressed, the concept is re-submitted for approval, if approved, then the next step starts. Create 10% drawings and put out to bid as a budget which GCs will provide a price and qualify their budget. Meanwhile, the Architect, structural engineer, plumbing engineer, MEP engineer, fire suppression engineer, electrical engineer, interior design architect, landscaping architect, civil engineer, etc, all go to work creating drawings to submit to the building department for approval. That is a minimum of 3 to 4 re-submittals for each of these designers/ engineers. By re-submittal 2 or 3 the drawings will be released for bid to all the sub contractors and GCs for their updated budget so contracts can be awarded. This takes time. I’m getting close to getting a final inspection on a project I started in Dec. 2018.
I’d mentally check out on this until next year. Even then, as this article notes the first *decade* of development is for office space and retail stuff that will make Arte money. Stadium stuff is the carrot they’re leaving there to justify the revenue generators and it may never really materialize.
Good morning to all. AP was a bad investment from the start but Arte was thinking he was getting the greatest player in MLB, but no one was trying to out bid him and that includes the Cardinals. I had a suspicion that certain player were doing steroids that I still believe today. Albert, Griffey Jr., Piazza, etc. Why would I believe that? Numbers being put up that had never been seen before. And some teams putting up team numbers dwarfing the previous record numbers. And there was the Canseco Book similar but different than the the Jim Bouton book from decades earlier.
But that suspected steroid use was not my only reason that I wish I had a direct line to Mr. Moreno. Albert’s numbers had been going down for two years in a row. Alert was a big man and slow. He was not real nimble let’s say. But he did have on unique quality, strikeout to walk ratio was over the top good, so some hope on my part. At the time I blogged on the MLB Team site and wrote that we were in trouble with Albert’s contract being to long and how I believed it would hurt the team.
Taking attention off Albert was the fact that another super star was born, MDT or Mike Trout. Fans were giddy over the signing of Albert as well as they should have been. Only Bonds, McGwire and Sosa in the past 15 years had put up the kind of numbers Albert had put up. Angels Player’s and Brass along with the fans were having dreams of grandeur. By ’14 & ’15 along with ’16 I was angry with Albert not living up to my expectation of playing at 25 million dollars a year level. We had, rather Arte had been duped. While Albert did have a 40 Hr season in those years along with Trouty, Albert was just looking for career numbers.
Albert’s days as a .300+ numbers were clearly behind him as we all hoped he could have one more monster season. But alas it was not in him. The good news was that he could still field at least average at the time. Albert continued to proceed to accumulate numbers that compared to the all time greats he allowed his lifetime .300 average to go to the wayside, his 100+ war drop. All so he could get to the lofty goals in RBI and HR. He should of on his own retired and had his victory tour years ago, but he really wanted the numbers at the cost of pride and real place in history. But he allowed the end he has had because of his ego.
I believe that the team got short changed by Albert as he decided to quit steroids (I believe) and I believe that he is 2 years older than reported and I also believe the Angels are aware of both issues. But no matter the truth this was about the money and records and not about the Angels and winning. Teaching Trout things was a “side bar” and was nice, but what was he going to do when Mike wanted to ask him questions? Albert referred to the St. Louis as the best MLB fans, slighting the LAA fans. Yet no matter what happened he was applauded for everything he accomplished and did.
End result was a unhappy ending for some and unending celebration for others. Some feel he was entitled to a celebrated ending others thought the ending should have come long ago. The end result was fitting as it show that management came out of the ether and Albert got a release that he wanted. For e I would have pulled the trigger years ago and am glad that he is gone. Rather than go into more detail all I can say is have a good life Albert.
Yes, there was another bidder. And techncially, Arte was outbid. The Marlins offered 270/10. But without the NTC.
To quote Ron Washington from the moneyball movie “I think there’s one thing you’re forgetting here”
Pujols brought the big TV contract and helped increase the Angels value from a couple hundred million to a couple billion which in turn increased the payroll.
Pujols was a necessary evil
You are correct, I did forget to cover that, so thank you.
He was a PED user and lied about his age. Plus he could not stand when Trout excelled beyond his ability. A real narcissist.
Fabian is off the beat =(
So did we get a comp pick for him?
We need a thumbs down for post llike this
So even some of the Angels beat writers are abandoning this flaming dumpster fire? You would think with all of the continual dysfunction and endless fodder the Angels organization provides it would be a highly sought after position.
no doubt Fabian receives some extra perks here. No abandonment, just offered something different that works better for him.
How would you like to be at MVP Sports as an agent for the last few days and the next few months? Phone rings: Mr. beckman, it’s Mr Pujols on line 3, he has called 7 times already today.
Mr. Beckman : Tell him I’m in a meeting but things should be clearing up going forward.
Receptionist : What does that mean?
Mr. Beckman : I don’t know, it doesn’t mean anything, just tell him that.
Adell needs a lot of work before he can be expected to contribute at the ML level. The ratio of 13 SOs to 4 BBs is very ugly and the .294 OBP is indicative of the issues.
If it wasn’t for the 3 HRs, he’s overmatched at AAA thus far.
That’s fine. We want him struggling and overcoming stuff like that down there where the struggles don’t hurt us. That he’s hit 3HR and perhaps looked serviceable in RF is reason for us to be encouraged.
He was always a raw prospect and had very little minor league experience. The speed with which people want to bail on a guy like that is weird. I guarantee you teams much smarter than the Angels would kill to scoop him up. He’s the same age as most college seniors being drafted next month.
Much of the problem isn’t Adell, it’s that the Angels are always desperate for prospects to hit immediately without further development.
So we probably shouldn’t read too much into Marsh’s debut last night. 2 for 3, HR, SB
Marsh also had 2 walks. A novel concept for a lead off hitter.
His Centerfield defense was a mixed bag though with an assist and an error.
Yup. I doubt we see Jo till mid-season. The pile of Schebler, Ward etc can hold it down for now while Jo gets that K/BB line under a little more control and sees more time in RF. If need be I’d even release a guy and sign another fella before I’d bring Adell up early…. just let him marinade.
he’s still, what? 21? Let me look it up…22. Lots of players arrive at 24, 25.
Wasn’t Albert 25 when he arrived form the Dominican?
Unless Pujols will accept a role position off the bench, why would anyone sign him? If he would not do that in Anaheim for $30 million, why would he accept it anywhere for the major league minimum. Make no mistake about it, Albert wants to play every day to chase down #700 and then retire. It’s about the numbers and only the numbers.
Any of the 5 teams mentioned, as well as Colorado, would have to give up a roster spot for Pujols. I could see doing that if he accepts the ocassional start and pinch hitter role while being a clubhouse leader. But I just cannot see any club doing that if he is going to expect daily playing time or else be a malcontent.
I like story book endings as much as anyone but in the real world, a player with as little leverage as Pujols has now needs to be willing to be reasonable and not put his personal milestone goals in front of his actual ability level. I have seen nothing to suggest he would be willing to do this.
My prediction- the Cardinals sign him next year, he plays 1B for about a week or two, let’s the fans shower him with affection, and then he retires a Cardinal. His family is here in So Cal and he’s not going to uproot them. It will be a short stint – like a vacation.
And then after that farewell and retirement announcement, he comes back to So. Cal, where he has set down roots, and begins to fulfill his ten year personal services contract with the Angels. Once all this nonsense is over, I could see him being a wonderful mentor to young Angel players and a solid ambassador.
That’s about as storybook as this situation will get.
Seems like the inevitable is the Cardinals see a PR opportunity to save Albert from the embarrassment of retiring as an unwanted free agent and sign him to play or pinch hit for a game at home, perhaps a series, and then he retires a Cardinal like a hero with standing ovations and stuff.
100% see a reunion retirement weekend this year. End with a pinch hit appearance on Sunday afternoon with full media regalia. It will be orchestrated, very well planned, Cardinals will look like the perfect kind and compassionate organization and we will be demonized of course. Depending on the situation, with a lopsided score, wouldn’t rule out seeing the last scrub in the opposing bullpen grove one more fast ball down the middle. Knowing him, probably hit it out.
Someone will take a test drive with him. He will get some ABs. He will get some hits, probably some dingers too. The media will drool over the “redemption”. His OBP and AVG will be not be WAR worthy. The team that signs him will win some games. The sun will rise the day after.
No wonder those two kids in Seattle sucked last night.
Could the MSM put just a little more pressure on them?
I know, sheeesh. It’s not like it’s they just brought up Eric Anthony and Todd Van Poppel.
Kelenic did good last night…we’ll see!!
The day there isn’t a Pujols article or comment thread will be a good one. More time has been spent in a week talking about a player who really never did much of anything on the field for the Angels. If you need a reality check here is an article from 4 years ago!
Kind of have to work with what’s there. I’d be surprised if Albert makes an appearance in my weekend links past today, but you never know.
Amazing what an enormous ego does to self awareness…I thought he would retire before it came to this….wrong again. Will be interesting to see if and where he might sign.
If gets AB against us, he will homer, be prepared.
Look forward to becoming Pujols free too.
Nah, I’d love to see Pujols somehow play against the Angels this year. GIDP!
I figured he wasn’t retiring because 1) he likes to play 2) the money and to a lesser extent, stat padding.
I never imagined his failure to retire was because he thought he is good enough to be a regular starter. I’m disappointed to learn his ego is so big it blinds him from the obvious.
Agree! I can’t ever blame a player for not wanting to retire when he’s owed piles of money. I get it. It’s a business. But when the team basically is telling him he’s going to get to keep a roster spot but his playing time is going to drop… throwing a tantrum and essentially forcing the team to release him so he can play more somewhere else? It’s kind of comical. And sad, yes, that he clearly can’t see it.
I used to respect Pujols a ton. But this past weeks, coupled with the prior info that has been coming out the past few years that *wink, wink* he’s not really 41 years old (probably 43, 44?) goes to show me that he’s not as great a person as many make him out to be. I suppose if you live a lie deluding others about your real age for decades, you can easily delude yourself that you’re still a great player when you’re actually an embarrassment on the field. So, meh.
Except that he told everyone he’d retire if he couldn’t play well. Guess what. He can’t see that he doesn’t play well.