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.

Minor League Baseball eclipses 40 million in attendance for 14th consecutive season

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Minor League Baseball announced on Wednesday that, for the 14th consecutive season, the league has eclipsed 40 million in total attendance. 20 teams set single-game attendance records and seven teams set franchise records for single-game attendance in their current parks.

ESPN’s Keith Law, who has been covering the minor leagues for quite a while, did the math:

Minor League Baseball president and CEO Pat O’Conner, whose most prominent stint in the public eye involved him disingenuously justifying the underpaying of his players, said, “Minor League Baseball continues to be the best entertainment value in sports, and these numbers support that. For us to top 40 million fans for the 14th consecutive season despite the weather challenges our teams faced in April and May is a testament to the continued support of our loyal fan bases and the creative promotions and hard work done by all of our teams across the country.”

Major and Minor League Baseball are quite happy to make money hand over fist on the backs of their players, but are too cheap to pay them adequately for their labor.