By Charlie Brugnolotti 'Larry King Now'
Today ESPN declared the Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels has the worst contract in all of baseball.
Pujols signed his contract in 2012, leaving behind a St. Louis Cardinals team that he had already taken to a World Series. At the time of the contract, Pujols was debatably the best player in baseball . Entering into the contract at his age 32 season, it seemed that he had enough staying power to be serviceable even passed his prime years. The Angels took a chance to rebuild their franchise and signed the 9-time all-star to a deal that was for 10 years and $210 million. This contract would take Albert Pujols to his age 42 season.
Needless to say, the last four years have not gone well for a player who was supposed to be the face of the franchise, alongside the young and talented Mike Trout. He has yet to break a .300 batting average as a member of the team, something he did almost every year as a Cardinal. While his HR numbers and RBI numbers are still strong, he has yet to show he has the ability to be the player he was in St. Louis.
ESPN stated "It's sad to see Pujols, such a dynamic hitter and a future Hall of Famer on the back of his 2001-2011 stint with the St. Louis Cardinals, sitting at the top spot here, but his contract is a gigantic long-term drag on the Angels, and it's not going anyway anytime soon. The Angels paid Pujols as if they were going to get prime Albert for at least most of the contract, which started for his age-32 season coming off the worst -- albeit still All-Star level -- year of his career to that point, his 5.3-WAR 2011 season."
It's contracts like this that have forced MLB executives to revaluate the long term deals that they offer to free agents. These contracts will buy a large amount of career time for a player passed their age 30 season. It's one of the reasons players like Yoenis Cespedes and Chris Davis took so long to sign this offseason.
In the meantime, for the Angels sake, let's hope that Albert defies the odds and proves his skeptics wrong.
Watch Albert Pujols discuss his Angels teammate Mike Trout on Larry King Now!
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