Albert Pujols is an Angel for the next 10 years, for the price of $250-$260 million. I’ll be happy that he’s no longer in the division to terrorize the Pirates, but I can’t pretend like I’m overjoyed to see a great player leave the team that made him great. The Angels also signed CJ Wilson today, which means that they spent more than a third of a billion dollars on baseball players in one day. Good thing that baseball reined in spending by fixing big bonuses in the draft.
Sarcasm aside, both of these moves are interesting to the Pirates because it makes it almost certain that Kendrys Morales will either be traded or non-tendered and since the Angels have Wilson, Jered Weaver, and Dan Haren, there’s a good chance that Ervin Santana will hit the trade market as well. If Morales is healthy, he’d be a nice fit at first base for the Pirates with (I think) two years of arbitration left and his injury concerns may make him a bit cheaper in a trade, though his availability and the other dominoes falling at first base may change that quickly. The Pirates would likely have to move quickly on him, though, which means no more waiting around for Derrek Lee. Mark Trumbo is probably an option, too, but given that he’s young with a ton of control left and that he’s basically got Brad Eldred’s profile at the plate (his minor league OBP is just .330, his OBP last year was a paltry .291), I’d guess he’s going to cost more on the trade market than he’s worth to a team like the Pirates.
Santana, meanwhile, would just be a solid pitcher to pick up at a fairly reasonable cost ($11 million this year, $13 million option next year) to plug into the rotation/trade at the deadline. I wouldn’t give up much in the way of prospects for him, but David Todd’s idea of dangling Joel Hanrahan … well, it can’t hurt to ask, right?