More details of Albert Pujols’ contract with the Angels

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Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reported yesterday that Albert Pujols’ 10-year contract with the Angels is extremely backloaded, including salaries of $12 million in 2012 and $16 million in 2013 and jumping to $30 million at its conclusion. Now Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has some more details.

According to Heyman’s sources, Pujols is actually guaranteed $250 million from the Angels, not the $254 million sum that has been widely reported. This includes $10 million in “personal services” obligations to the Angels’ organization following his retirement, so he’ll be paid a total of $240 million from 2012-2021. It’s not clear whether the personal services contract will be counted toward the luxury tax.

Here’s the breakdown by year:

2012: $12 million
2013: $16 million
2014: $23 million
2015: $24 million
2016: $25 million
2017: $26 million
2018: $27 million
2019: $28 million
2020: $29 million
2021: $30 million

Per a report by Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports earlier this month, Pujols will get an additional $3 million from the Angels if he reaches 3,000 hits and $7 million if he tops Barry Bonds’ all-time record of 762 career home runs. While Heyman has the deal potentially topping out at $260 million, Crasnick reported yesterday that he could earn $265 million with additional incentives.

Anthony Alford to miss 4-6 weeks following wrist surgery

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Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.

Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.

Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.

Stephen Strasburg hit a new career high today

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Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.

It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.

While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.

The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”