The ten-year, $240 million deal that the Los Angeles Angels signed Pujols to following the 2011 season appears to be a disaster in the making. The 3-time MVP and ex-St. Louis Cardinal was nearly a guarantee to break multiple career hitting records following his first ten years in the majors. However he has struggled in his two years with the Angels. Not only did he miss sixty games in 2013 due to injury, his numbers had dipped considerably up until that point. During the 99 games in which he played in 2013, The Machine hit .258 with 17 homers and an OPS of .767, by far his career-low.
There is no denying that Pujols is older and getting older very quickly. He’s still only 33, but he has a lot of games under his belt (1,958) and even though he’s in the American League now and can DH frequently, the fact remains that his production has slipped and there are still eight years on his deal. He’s owed an astonishing $23 million in 2014 and that number goes up by increments of $1 million a year until 2021 where he will be 41 years old and getting paid $30 million.
It’s possible that Pujols will have a great rebounding year in 2014 and again enters the discussion for best player in baseball, but he has already started to show his age. While never a speedy runner, recently he has become one of the slowest players in baseball. If his reaction time at the plate follows suit, the Angels will have a “Bobby Bonilla-New York Mets” situation on their hands if he can’t finish out the deal.