I have a hard time believing that signing Pujols and CJ only "narrows the gap". The Angels have a rotation with a #4 starter that has a track record comparable or better than Colby or Holland (whichever you feel is the Rangers' new ace). The offense, yeah, it's not as good as the Rangers, but the only way it isn't drastically improved is if Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter truly are worse than last year, and while they are badly overpaid, I doubt they do worse than last year.
The argument that Pujols' contract will be an albatross (Albertross?) over it's second half doesn't seem all that good of a bet. Sure, Albert will be older, but, as Loria said, he will drive the Latin market. Revenues should be better than ever, and they have a nice downward trend in his salary in the second half of the contract.
I thought the Angels hired a newbie, no-nothing GM. This was a well played negotiation. It has extremely high revenue generation potential to offset the financial risk, and it's financial risk decreases with time after a couple of years. This is a big-market club, and I was wrong about their new GM.
I think it was well played by the Rangers' GM as well. The bottom line is that Pujols changes everything. Adding CJ to Pujols means CJ is on the division favorite team, which is one of the main things he wanted. That's even before the consideration that he is playing for his hometown team. Without Pujols in this equation, I would've raged over the Rangers' not matching a 5/77.5 contract. There's not much anyone can do when the entire competitive balance changes as drastically as this.
So, vote below on whether the Rangers are the better team. Discuss what it would take to make them clearly the better team when ST starts.
The best team in the AL West is
Texas Rangers (113 votes)
Anaheim Angels (132 votes)
245 total votes