Pujols Pandemonium: Recapping a busy day at HardballTalk

32 Comments

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.

Matt Carpenter suspended one game for bumping umpire

Dylan Buell/Getty Images
2 Comments

Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter has been suspended one game for bumping home plate umpire John Tumpane when he didn’t like a called strike three in the seventh inning of Sunday’s game against the Brewers. Manager Mike Matheny was also ejected along with Carpenter.

Carpenter will serve his suspension Tuesday night, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Through his first 69 nice plate appearances this season, Carpenter is hitting .236/.362/.364 with a pair of home runs and five RBI.

Dave Stewart says Diamondbacks’ early success is proof he was good as GM

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
10 Comments

After the completion of the 2016 regular season, the Diamondbacks fired then-GM Dave Stewart and then-manager Chip Hale. Stewart acted as GM for two seasons. His most controversial move occurred in December 2015 when he acquired pitcher Shelby Miller and minor league pitcher Gabe Speier in exchange for outfielder Ender Inciarte and prospects Dansby Swanson and Aaron Blair. After his firing, Stewart blamed his superiors for the trade and said his gut was telling him not to make the trade.

The D-Backs are now led by new GM Mike Hazen and manager Torey Lovullo. The club had a relatively quiet offseason, as its biggest acquisitions were Taijuan Walker and Fernando Rodney. Defying expectations, though, the Diamondbacks enter Tuesday night’s action with a 13-8 record, just a game and a half behind the first-place Rockies. Stewart spoke to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports and said that the D’Backs’ success shows that he knew what he was doing all along.

This means a lot to me because this is the same team, or very close to the one that I put on the field. So basically all of those guys and baseball analysts who said I didn’t know what I was doing, it showed I knew exactly what I was doing.

Everybody was just beat up and not living up to expectations. So all of a sudden, it’s my fault. Well, it’s not my fault. I couldn’t prevent injuries or jump in their bodies to make them pitch better in the starting rotation. We put the right people on the field. So I don’t think anybody should be surprised how well those kids are playing. They’re healthy now. I knew this was going to happen.

Everyone should have seen it coming.

Not to rain on Stewart’s parade, but the Diamondbacks are five games over .500 in a relatively tiny 21-game sample size. Had his team valued analytics during his tenure, he might have known that. Additionally, few of the players performing well for the team right now are players Stewart himself was responsible for bringing to Arizona. Furthermore, the team’s success doesn’t retroactively justify what he gave up for Miller nor does it justify practically giving away Touki Toussaint and signing a 32-year-old Zack Greinke to a six-year, $206.5 million contract.

During and after his tumultuous tenure with the D-Backs, Stewart has appeared very insecure. When he was fired, he quipped, “Quite frankly, I’ve got better things to do.” He appeared on MLB Network Radio in February to deflect any blame directed at him for the team’s failure. And then there’s his most recent quotes in which he heaps praise on himself for the team’s success.

Stewart was an All-Star starter who finished in the top-three in AL Cy Young Award voting three times in his career. He’s understandably competitive and has probably built up a very strong distaste for failure. Sometimes, though, one has to make peace with the fact that things didn’t go one’s way. Stewart simply appears to be tilting at windmills to protect his ego.