If the Angels stick to their announced 2012 budget, it doesn't look like they will be players for Albert Pujols this off-season.
According to reports, the club plans to set it's 2012 payroll between $130-$140 million. It was $132 million in 2011 and, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts, the club already has more than $102 million worth of contracts on the books for next season. Plus, Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar due for their final year of arbitration. They'll likely make $12-$14 million combined to push the payroll to the $115 million range. And then there's the small matter of rounding out the roster. The Angels have 14 spots to fill beyond the previously mentioned payroll commitments. Unless they filled all those spots with players making the MLB minimum, it seems unlikely they could make a top dollar offer for Pujols.
And one would have to wonder if Pujols would agree to play for a team on which the majority of players were either rookies or bottom of the barrel rejects from other clubs.
The Angels would have to find a way to dump a lot of payroll in order to free $25 million plus in payroll per season for the St. Louis slugger. And that sounds like an awful big job to accomplish in the little bit of time they have to get the job done.
Anaheim has long been suspected as a possible landing spot should Pujols flee St. Louis for bigger bucks.