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Does Halos trade make St. Louis a safer bet to keep Pujols?

The Angels completed a swap Friday night with Toronto to land outfielder Vernon Wells.

I hope this is good news for Cardinals fans. Because I have feared that the big market Halos could be a major bidder for Albert Pujols should he reach free agency at the end of 2011.

Wells has a huge contract that is going to take away much of the payroll flexibility the Angels might have otherwise had. Signed to one of the craziest contracts in major league history, Wells makes $23 million in 2011 and $21 million a year in 2012, '13 and '14. Early reports indicate that the Jays aren't sending any cash to the left cost to help make the contract easier to swallow.

The Angels do shed the $5.5 million contract of Juan Rivera and the cost of Mike Napoli who made $3.6 million in 2011 and could see a decent raise in 2012. projected Anaheim's payroll at $110 million for 2011. But this deal likely takes it over the $120 million mark. Is there $30 million a year left in the budget?

Of couse, none of us in Redbirds Nation will rest easy until Pujols is signed by the Cardinals. While the Angels were a likely suitor, the Cubs and Mets both need a first baseman and have lots of cash to spend. If Pujols leaves town, as far away as possible and in the American League would have been the most palatable landing spot.