When Albert Pujols signed his 10-year, $240 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels before the 2012 season, the belief was that he would be a franchise-altering star alongside Mike Trout. They believed in him so much, that a 10-year personal services contract was included in his original deal.
When his Angels tenure came to a relatively ugly end, with Joe Maddon effectively benching him until he asked to be designated for assignment, there was a lack of clarity over whether this personal services contract would be honored. It especially became murky when Arte Moreno announced his intention to sell the Angels franchise.
However, reports are stating that Pujols plans to honor the contract he signed with the Angels all the way back in the 2011-12 winter offseason, according to Mike DiGiovanna of The L.A. Times:
“He plans on fulfilling all of it,” said a person familiar with Pujols’ thinking but not authorized to speak publicly about it. “He’s excited to see who the new owner is.”
While Moreno is the one that pushed to sign him to that massive contract, the deal is with the Angels at the end of the day, not Moreno. And with Pujols officially ending his no-doubt Hall of Fame career on Saturday night, he may begin fulfilling that contract shortly.
Since being DFA’d by the Angels early on into the 2021 season, he spent the remainder of the year with the L.A. Dodgers. He had plans to retire after 2021, but his time with the Dodgers rejuvenated his love for baseball, as well as his swing.
Because of that, he opted to sign a one-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals, the team that he began his illustrious career with. There, he started slow, hitting just six home runs before the All-Star break.
But he caught fire in the second half of the season, hitting 18 home runs and entering the 700 home run, inhabited by only three other players in the history of Major League Baseball. The Cardinals won the NL Central and faced the Philadelphia Phillies in the Wild Card round.
However, they were swept in a 2-0 series, putting an end to their season and the careers of Pujols, Yadier Molina, and potentially Adam Wainwright.
Perry Minasian excited to have Pujols join
In his end-of-season press conference, Angels general manager Perry Minasian said he would love to have a discussion with Pujols about him fulfilling his personal services contract.
It seems that the bad blood between Pujols and the organization could have been overblown, if both parties are showing this level of excitement about a potential return.