Fielder deal reminds us how bad Albert Pujols' contract is

Posted by Scott Wuerz on November 21, 2013 

Some people think that the trade of Prince Fielder just two years after he signed a $214 million contact with the Detroit Tigers is a sign that his contract was a bad deal.

That might be. 

But the fact that Fielder was able to be traded shows how much better of a deal that contract was than the contract the Anaheim Angels gave to Albert Pujols that same off-season.

Could anyone imagine any scenario in which the Halos could dump Pujols' contract?

Detroit owed Fielder $168 million over the next seven seasons. With $30 million in cash to somewhat level out the financial inequities between his contract and the money owed to Ian Kinsler, the Texas Rangers will have to pay Fielder $138 million for his seven years.

That's outrageous by all reasonable standards. But in the Major League Baseball world, it would be a pretty team-friendly deal if Fielder was to hit the open market right now. Free agent second sacker Robinson Cano wants $310 million over 10 seasons. Outfielder Jacoby Elsbury, who doesn't have a quarter of Fielder's power, wants a $150 million pact.

The Angels backloaded Pujols' deal for some reason, giving him the least money when he would presumably be the most valuable. After he had his worst two seasons in the first two years of the contract, Anaheim Albert's future looks dim while his bank account never looked better.

Pujols has $212 million coming to him over the next eight seasons with his salary jumping from $16 million last season to $24 million this year -- then it goes up a million bucks a year through 2021 when he makes $30 million. That's an average of $26.5 million a year.

I can't imagine if the Angels gave a potential trade partner $64 million in cash that they'd be able to get them to take Pujols in exchange for a sore-armed relief pitcher.

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