Griffin: Pujols signs with Angels, joined by C.J. Wilson
Overnight on Wednesday, the baseball landscape changed dramatically.
First it was the mystery team, the Angels drafting behind the spirited negotiations between Albert Pujols with the Marlins and Cardinals, then sliding through late and scooping up the future Hall-of-Fame first baseman for a 10-year deal rumoured to be in the $250 million range.
Then the news came out that lefthander C.J. Wilson had also joined Arte Moreno's Halos, for five years and $77 million. Wow.
I haven't checked with Vegas yet, but the betting favourites for the World Series have to be the Angels in the AL and the Marlins in the NL. Recall the Marlins have added closer Heath Bell, shortstop Jose Reyes and starter Mark Buehrle.
How about the Angels rotation of Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Wilson and Ervin Santana. The Fab Four will combine to earn $53 million. The team payroll, which was $141.8 million a year ago has just taken a quantum leap forward.
The 31-year-old Wilson was 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA with division-rival Texas last season, leading the Rangers to their second straight World Series.
The average annual salary for Pujols of $25 million ties Ryan Howard for the fourth highest in baseball history behind Roger Clemens in '07, Alex Rodriguez for '08-'11 and A-Rod from '01 to '07. Other first baseman that have averaged above $20 million per year are Howard, Mark Teixeira of the Yankees and Adrian Gonzalez of the Red Sox.
Pujols had played his entire 11-year career with the Cardinals, batting .328 with a .420 on-base percentage, 445 home runs and 1,329 RBIs.
The odds posted by Bodog.ca on the Angels to win the World Series have gone from 22 to 1 down to 12 to 1 while the Cardinals odds have risen from 14 to 18 to 1.
Now it's up to the Angels and Marlins to do it on the field and as the Fish proved not once but twice, the most expensive teams aren't always the ones hoisting the World Series championship trophy at the end of the year.