We’ve published over 50 posts containing mentions of new Angels first baseman Albert Pujols since the Winter Meetings kicked off on Sunday night.
Today, of course, it all came to a head.
In case you missed any of the analysis from our team of writers, here’s a recap of the subjects we’ve broached over the past 12 hours or so relevant to Pujols and his agreement with Anaheim:
And if you want to read a fascinating recap of how the Pujols negotiations went down from start to finish, check out this piece by Bob Nightengale of USA Today. He has the full scoop from agent Dan Lozano.
- The initial deal announcement hits the site. 10 years, $254 million, and a full no-trade clause.
- Craig argues that we shouldn’t resent Pujols for chasing big money in Anaheim. The Cardinals had a chance, and their offer simply didn’t compete.
- A St. Louis Post-Dispatch headline reads “PUJOLS TURNS HIS BACK ON ST. LOUIS”
- Craig sees the contract as a potential albatross down the road for the Angels.
- Gleeman reviews how some of the best hitters in baseball history have fared after age 32.
- Around noon, it is reported that the Marlins’ 10-year offer to Pujols was worth $275 million.
- Pouliot wonders what other moves the Halos will make this winter, beyond Pujols and C.J. Wilson.
- How will Pujols deal with the switch from the National League to the American League and how will he fare in Angel Stadium? Pouliot attempts answers.
- For comparison’s sake, Gleeman examines the largest contracts signed last offseason.
- Based off FanGraphs’ projected dollar values, Pujols’ 11 years in St. Louis were a steal for the Cards.
- With so many star first basemen now in the American League, expect major All-Star snubs in 2012.
- Pouliot gives a few suggestions on what the Angels’ lineup might look like next year.
- MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch says Lozano tried to shop Pujols to the Yankees at one point.
- According to the Post-Dispatch, retail stores in the St. Louis area were giving away their remaining stock of Pujols jerseys and jersey shirts after the announcement.
It’s rare for one player to dominate the news stories on HBT. But nothing about Thursday was common.
In Saturday’s column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo suggests that free agent Cliff Lee is seeking a guaranteed major league deal between $6 and $8 million plus incentives. That is turning some otherwise interested teams away, as the lefty is still recovering from a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow. Lee hasn’t pitched since July 31, 2014.
Last month, Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker said the pitcher would need “a perfect fit” to pitch in 2016. He also noted that Lee has begun a full offseason throwing program.
In his most recent season, Lee compiled a 3.65 ERA with 72 strikeouts and 12 walks in 81 1/3 innings for the Phillies. The Phillies had signed him to a five-year, $120 million contract in December 2010 but declined a club option for the 2016 season, instead buying him out for $12.5 million.
In an article for MASN on Friday, Steve Melewski noted that the Orioles were reluctant to forfeit their first round draft pick (14th overall) in order to sign free agent starter Yovani Gallardo. The club is now reconsidering its stance and rechecking the right-handers medicals, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.
Gallardo, who turns 30 on February 27, posted a 3.42 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 68 walks over 184 1/3 innings for the Rangers last season. The Rangers had acquired him in a trade with the Brewers, sending Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel, and minor leaguer Marcos Diplan to Milwaukee.
Gallardo has posted an ERA below 4.00 in six of his last seven seasons. He remains unsigned into February, however, because his strikeout rate has rapidly decreased with each year since 2012. Per FanGraphs, that rate was 23.7 percent in 2012, then went to 18.6 percent, 17.9 percent, and 15.3 percent progressively. Some of that may have to do with diminishing fastball velocity, as Gallardo’s 90.4 MPH average marked a career low among his eight full seasons with at least 100 innings pitched.
The Orioles lost starter Wei-Yin Chen, who signed with the Marlins, and the back end of their rotation is highly speculative with Kevin Gausman, Mike Wright, Odrisamer Despaigne, and Tyler Wilson. Adding a veteran like Gallardo, even if he is apparently declining, may be stabilizing.
MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez passes along word from the Dominican Republic that right-hander Freddy Garcia will hang up his cleats for good after Sunday’s Caribbean Series championship game.
Garcia will start that game for the Tigres de Aragua out of Venezuela. He’s taking on Mexico’s Venados de Mazatlan.
“Venezuelan fans are expecting something good from Freddy and so is everybody,” said Tigres de Aragua manager Eddie Perez, who also serves as the bullpen coach for the Atlanta Braves. “Knowing that it’s his last game is going to make it very special. We all hope he pitches a really good game so he can retire in a good way and bring the title for Venezuela. Everybody who is rooting for Venezuela expects him to do well.”
Garcia’s last major league game was in the 2013 postseason. The 39-year-0ld will finish with a 4.15 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 6.4 K/9 in 2,264 career regular-season innings. He had a 3.26 ERA in 11 playoff starts, winning a World Series title with the White Sox in 2005.
MLB.com put together this very cool video montage reviewing the 2015 season and setting us up for what should be a wild 2016. Young stars, veterans chasing milestones, unpredictable divisional races.
It’s so close to spring training. Let’s do this.