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Christmas came early this year for the Los Angeles Angels. On December 8th, the last day of the annual winter meetings in Dallas, the Angels bolstered their roster with the best hitter and pitcher in the free agent market.
31 year old Albert Pujols, who is considered the greatest player of this era, signed a ten-year contract for $250-260 million, which translates to $48 a minute. The three time MVP who played on the St. Louis Cardinals for 11 seasons and won two World Series championships will without a doubt provide some raw power to the Angels offense.
“Major League Baseball contracts are out of control and it is what i call athlete greed, at some point something has to give, baseball cannot continue to pay these hefty salaries,” said New Dorp High School baseball coach Ray Smith.
In contrast, New Dorp High School student Angelo Vasquez looks at the positive side of paying Pujols a high salary.
” I think the acquisition of Albert Pujols was a great move for the Angels organization, he is worth the money he is getting,” said Vazquez.
In Addition to Albert Pujols, the Angels signed southpaw C.J. Wilson to a five-year $75 million contract to improve their already dynamic rotation. The former reliever produced 31 wins in the past two years and led the Rangers to the AL pennant in 2010 and 2011.
As a minor deal, the Angels also signed former Milwaukee Brewers reliever Latroy Hawkins to a one-year contract. Hawkins was one of the top relievers on the Brewers club.
With these kind of blockbuster deals the Angels fans probably want to buy their World Series tickets already expecting a championship. However, is this team ready to win this year?
Albert Pujols has been among the most productive hitters for several years. The lifetime .328 slugger will definitely improve the Angels offense.
The 2011 LA Angels produced a mediocre .253 average among their hitters. Even with the addition of the King it could be extremely dificult to defeat their AL West rival the Texas Rangers, who posted a .283 average and among the top three offensive teams.
On the other hand, the Angels pitching staff will be their biggest strength in winning the AL West division. In 2011, under great manager Mike Scioscia, the Angels posted a 3.57 ERA. With the addition of former Ranger ace C.J. Wilson, they will see major improvements in their pitching staff. Mainly because without C.J. Wilson the Rangers do not have a legitimate front of the line starter.
In 2012 the Los Angeles Angels will likely win the AL West. The Angels offense will be better than last year but not as good as the Rangers. However, the Angels superb pitching staff have the ability to silence the Rangers heavy offense. The Angels have not reached the postseason since they were defeated in the ALCS by the New York Yankees in 2009. However if the Angels stay healthy they will win the division this upcoming season.
So fans don’t get your World Series tickets yet but expect a great season from the Los Angeles Angels.Tweet