Wow. Didn’t see that one coming – but it feels eerily familiar.
Albert Pujols signed a 10-year contract, worth a quarter billion dollars, with the Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim).
Then, the Angels tacked on CJ Wilson, just for kicks.
The Pujols signing immediately reminded me of this time of year in 2003, when Vladimir Guerrero was the biggest free agent hitter on the market. I was hoping the Mariners would make a play for Guerrero, as he was my favorite player in MLB at the time. I was not happy when the Angels signed him.
Here we are, eight years later, and an almost identical situation plays out. Except Felix Hernandez is my favorite player, obviously, but Pujols is my #2. At least he was – it’s going to be hard to root for him in an Angels uniform, that’s for sure. I guess I need a new #2.
Obviously, we now have two giants in the AL West, in Texas and LAA. This clearly makes the Mariners rebuild process more difficult, but it’s not worth getting too worked up about. Scratch that – I just checked, the Angels won the AL West five of their first six seasons with Guerrero. Uh-oh.
Hey – they added an additional wild card team!
Also, the Rule 5 Draft was this morning. The Mariners selected Double-A left-handed reliever Lucas Luetge from the Brewers organization. If he makes the Mariners, he’ll slide in right behind Josh Lueke on their all-time alphabetical roster.
Luetge must be held on the major league 25-man roster all season long, or else be offered back to the Brewers. We’ll never see him in Tacoma.
Did you know that the Rule 5 Draft has virtually no impact on Triple-A baseball?
The players drafted in the major league portion can’t be sent to Triple-A. There is a minor league phase of the draft, but it is typically used to draft lower-level minor leaguers and fill roster spots in Class-A and Double-A. The Mariners made no selections in the minor league phase this year.
I can only recall, off the top of my head, one time the Mariners used the minor league phase to select a Triple-A player: at the 2004 Winter Meetings, the M’s drafted first baseman Aaron Rifkin from the Yankees Double-A team in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft. Rifkin was our everyday first baseman in Tacoma in 2005, and he hit .258 with 14 home runs. Tacoma had a great team that year, reaching the PCL championship series, and he was a big part of it. It was Rifkin’s only Triple-A season, and he never played in the major leagues.
- The news story from the Associated Press.
- Jack Z isn’t real happy about this, either.
- If you read just one of these Pujols links, read Larry Stone’s level-headed reaction to the deal.
- Scott Boras – the agent for Prince Fielder – made it very clear that he views Seattle as a possible landing spot for any superstar free agent.
- The top pitcher in Japan, Yu Darvish, is coming to the states – and he’s going to be very, very, very expensive.
- If you are really into the Rule 5 Draft, Baseball America has the results with brief scouting reports on the players selected.
- In the PCL, we have reports out of Fresno that the Grizzlies will have a new manager this year.
That’s it for today.