The last image St. Louis Cardinals fans will have of popular slugger Albert Pujols will be of him celebrating with his teammates after winning the World Series this October, because in a stunning move announced Thursday morning, the first baseman reportedly agreed to a deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, which will keep him on the West Coast for a decade.
The 10-year deal is worth at least $250 million, according to reports, and includes a full no-trade clause. Pujols will now be leaving the only team he has ever played for.
Pujols, who turns 32 in January, spent the first 11 seasons of his Hall of Fame caliber career with the Cardinals, hitting 445 home runs, with a .328 batting average over that time.
During the Winter Meetings it was reported that three teams were pursuing the three-time MVP. Those teams included the Cardinals, the newly motivated Miami Marlins, and a mystery team.
After it was announced that the Marlins dropped out of the running, it was assumed that the Cardinals would be capable of brining the fan favorite back to St. Louis. But according to reports, negotiations with the Cardinals hit a snag because the Cardinals weren’t comfortable with dishing out the amount of cash that the Angels offered.
And the Angels weren’t done.
The historic day for the Angels got even more exciting after it was reported that pitcher C.J. Wilson agreed to a five-year, $77.5 million to go from Texas to Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Times.
For the most part, the early offseason activity had been dominated by the Marlins, who signed shortstop Jose Reyes and pitcher Mark Buehrle, and were in talks with Pujols. But Angels owners Arte Moreno swooped in to throw big bucks at the two biggest free agents in their respective positions.