Albert Pujols reportedly pursued by Angels
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Word began to circulate through the winter meetings hotel Tuesday evening that there was a ‘mystery’ team that had joined the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins in pursuit of slugger Albert Pujols, who has reportedly received 10-year offers in excess of $200 million. Could that team be the Angels?
Foxsports.com reported late Tuesday night that the Angels are pursuing Pujols, a 31-year-old first baseman who has been one of baseball’s premier sluggers for 11 seasons.
Angels General Manager Jerry Dipoto was scheduled to meet reporters for his daily press briefing at 4:30 p.m. CST, but as of 10:30 p.m., he was still unavailable for comment. Attempts to reach Dan Lozano, Pujols’ agent, were unsuccessful.
Pujols has played his entire career in St. Louis, putting together a Hall of Fame resume that includes a .328 average, .420 on-base percentage, 445 home runs and 1,329 runs batted in.
Both the Cardinals and the Marlins, who have agreed to a six-year, $106-million contract with shortstop Jose Reyes and signed closer Heath Bell to a three-year, $27-million deal, have been pushing hard to sign Pujols.
The Angels appear set at first base with Mark Trumbo, who as a rookie had 29 homers and 87 RBIs, and they will have even more depth at the position if Kendrys Morales, who has missed the last 1 1/2 seasons because of a broken left ankle, returns in 2012. Manager Mike Scioscia said earlier Tuesday that, given the choice between adding a dominant starting pitcher to the rotation or a potent bat to the lineup, he would choose the pitcher.
But if the Angels, who have only about $20 million to spend under owner Arte Moreno’s 2012 payroll mandate of about $140 million, could land Pujols, it would be a huge boost to a lineup that finished 10th in the American League with 667 runs last season.
--Mike DiGiovanna in Dallas