The Angels signed first baseman Albert Pujols to a 10-year, $254 million free agent contract earlier this month. All of that money is guaranteed, and now it has been revealed that the massive deal also carries $10 million worth of milestone-based incentives.
According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, Pujols will get an additional $3 million from the Halos if he reaches 3,000 hits and $7 million if he manages to top Barry Bonds’ record of 762 career home runs.
Pujols will begin his tenure in Anaheim with 2,073 career hits and 445 home runs. If the 31-year-old is able to maintain the kind of offensive pace he produced in 11 years with St. Louis, he should reach 3,000 hits within the next five or six seasons. The home run record is more of a stretch, but it might be attainable if Pujols mashes for all 10 years of the contract. He’d need to average 31.7 dingers per season through 2021.
Pujols is a .328/.420/.617 career hitter with a 1.037 career OPS. He had 173 hits and 37 homers in 2011.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.