So...Texas wins back-to-back A.L. championships while Anaheim stays home, and the Angels react by moneywhipping one of the best players in the game.
But before everyone starts hitting the panic button here and says the Rangers need to trade everyone and rebuild, let's think through a few things with this move.
First of all, the Rangers finished 10 games up on Anaheim in 2011. Albert Pujols isn't a 10 win player...he's probably a 5-6 win player the next couple of years, a 4-5 win player the next couple of years after that, and then who knows. Albert Pujols, alone, doesn't make up the difference between the Rangers and the Angels in 2011.
Secondly, let's be clear that this isn't the Albert Pujols of the mid-aughts. Pujols had a 150 OPS+ last season, a 906 OPS, a .385 wOBA, a 148 wRC+, and a 5.1 fWAR. All of those are career lows for a guy who turns 32* in January.
* Assuming that he is 32, which, as has been discussed ad nauseum, many folks in the game question.
And the Angels aren't "buying low" for a 32 year old coming off his worst season (a worse season that was still pretty damn good, of course). They are paying $25 million per year for a decade.
Look, there's no question this makes the Angels better in the next few years than they would be otherwise. The road to the A.L. West title just got a lot rockier for the Rangers, at least over the next few years.
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