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Albert Pujols, C.J. Wilson Headed to Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Ezra Shaw, Getty Images
Ezra Shaw, Getty Images

The Los Angeles Angels made the biggest splash of baseball’s winter meetings Thursday afternoon signing free-agent first baseman Albert Pujols and pitcher C.J. Wilson.

The three-time NL MVP Pujols agreed to a $254 million, 10-year contract with L.A., leaving the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals after more than a decade with the ball-club.

Wilson’s deal meanwhile was for five-years’ worth $77.5 million, raising the Angels spending on the day to $331.5 million. Both deals are subject to the All-Stars passing physicals.

“This is a monumental day for Angel fans and I could not be more excited,” said owner Arte Moreno.

Pujols contract is the second-highest in Major League history and only the third to break the $200 million dollar barrier, following Alex Rodriguez’s $252 million, 10-year deal with Texas before the 2001 season and A-Rod’s $275 million, 10-year contract with the Yankees before the 2008 season.

In 11 seasons with the Cardinals Pujols hit .338 with 445 home runs and 1,329 RBIs.  He is fourth in career slugging percentage at .617, trailing only Hall of Famers Babe Ruth (.690), Ted Williams (.634) and Lou Gehrig (.632).

Pujols mashed 37 homers last season, running his 30-plus home run streak to 11 years, and batted .299 with 99 RBIs. He also became only the third player to hit three home runs in a World Series game following Ruth and Reggie Jackson.

“Albert’s career performance clearly speaks for itself,” said General Manager Jerry Dipoto. “He has proven to be the best player of his generation.”

Tom Pennington, Getty Images
Tom Pennington, Getty Images

The 31-year-old Wilson went 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA with Texas last season, helping the Rangers reach their second consecutive World Series.

He went 31-15 with a 3.14 ERA over 67 starts in the past two regular seasons, but struggled in the post-season.

Wilson became the first pitcher in the same season to have a loss in the division series, championship series and World Series. To pour a little salt in the wound, Wilson was also the losing pitcher in the All-Star game, which cost the Rangers home-field advantage in the World Series.

It’s unclear where Wilson will fit into a Los Angeles rotation that features Jered Weaver (18-8, 2.41 ERA) Dan Haren (16-10, 3.17) and Ervin Santana (11-12, 3.28).

The lefty hand also garnered interest from the Miami Marlins, who had reeled in All-Star free agents Jose Reyes, Heath Bell and Mark Buehrle over the last week.

Pujols and Wilson join an Angel’s team that finished 10-games behind Texas in the AL West at 86-76.

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