Albert Pujols’ contract is worth up to $265.75 million

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Today the players’ association and MLB officially signed off on Albert Pujols’ contract with the Angels, revealing a few interesting details about the deal.

Pujols is guaranteed at least $240 million over 10 seasons, but the contract could be worth as much as $265.75 million.

When he’s finished playing Pujols will begin a 10-year “personal services” contract with the Angels that pays $1 million per year, which isn’t counted as payroll for luxury tax purposes because it doesn’t kick in until he’s retired.

There are also sizable bonuses for reaching milestones, including $3 million for 3,000 hits and $7 million for 763 homers, and another $875,000 in total incentives each season for regular season MVP, ALCS MVP, World Series MVP, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, and All-Star selections.

And the deal is also heavily backloaded, paying Pujols just $12 million in 2012 and $16 million in 2013 before his salary rises to $23 million in 2014 with an annual $1 million bump each year through 2021:

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

The thought of paying $30 million to a 41-year-old Pujols in 2021 is pretty scary, but the Angels’ new television deal makes even that contractual monstrosity a relative drop in the revenue bucket and who knows what MLB’s money-making landscape will look like a decade from now.

The Nats want Trea Turner to attempt 75-80 stolen bases this year

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When it comes to cliche spring training stories, we talk a lot about “Best Shape of His Life.” Sometimes we talk about the “[Pitcher] has been working on a changeup” or “[Hitter] has made an adjustment to his swing” stories too. Then there’s the “we’re really going to focus on fundamentals” quotes managers love to give in February and March. They’re evergreens. 

Another one in that category is the “we’re going to run more” or “we plan to be aggressive on the base paths this year.” You hear that from at least one or two managers every spring. I imagine because, like the fundamentals one, it deals with something over which they have at least some moderate control. It’s a good quote.

We’re hearing it from Nats training camp this year with respect to one particularly speedy player in Trea Turner. From Mark Zuckerman at MASN:

Davey Martinez called Trea Turner into his office this week and told the speedy shortstop he wants him to attempt more stolen bases this season. How many? Let’s just say even the ultra-aggressive Turner was taken aback.

“Yeah, he gave me a number,” Turner said. “And I was like: ‘Wow, all right.’”

Martinez later revealed to assembled reporters that he thinks if Turner “attempts 75-80, we’ll be in great shape.”

Turner led the National League with 43 stolen bases on 52 attempts in 2018. The year before he attempted 54, which was his career high. Only only four players have attempted 80 or more stolen bases in the past ten years, so yes, 75-80 would be quite the escalation.

Which is not to say it’s silly. On a very basic level, yeah, if he is stealing bases more often, even without changing his basic approach, the Nats WILL be in great shape because it’ll likely mean that he’s on base more, and that’s good. If it’s merely a matter of him being more aggressive in the same number of times on base, well, let me know, but I’m not holding my breath.

I guess it’s nice to have goals, though.