Albert Pujols signs 10-year, $254 million contract with Angels

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Last night the buzz coming from the winter meetings was that Albert Pujols wasn’t anywhere near making a decision, but either that was wrong or things changed dramatically overnight.

Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports that Pujols has agreed to sign with the Angels, getting a 10-year contract worth between $250 million and $260 million.

Wow. It didn’t take Jerry Dipoto long to make a huge splash as general manager.

Until now Alex Rodriguez was the only player in baseball history to secure a contract in excess of $200 million and according to Brown the massive deal also includes a full no-trade clause, which was something the Marlins reportedly were never willing to give Pujols.

Making that sort of investment in a 32-year-old first baseman is obviously tremendously risky and it’s tough to blame the Cardinals for not wanting to commit $25 million per season through age 41, but certainly Angels fans aren’t focusing on 2021 right now.

UPDATE: And the Angels weren’t done spending with Pujols, handing out another huge contract to C.J. Wilson.

UPDATE: The final tally on Pujols’ deal is $254 million and apparently that wasn’t even the highest offer.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.