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How much?! Angels and Pujols agree $254million deal - reports

Pujols’ contract is the second-highest in baseball history and only the third to break the $200 million barrier. Lucky.

 Albert Pujols: laughing all the way to the bank.
Albert Pujols: laughing all the way to the bank.
Image: Associated Press

THREE-TIME NL MVP Albert Pujols today agreed to a $254 million (€190.5m), 10-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.

Pujols’ contract is the second-highest in baseball history and only the third to break the $200 million 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 addition, the Angels agreed to a five-year contract with left-hander CJ Wilson, a deal worth about $75 million, a person familiar with that agreement said, also on condition of anonymity because it had not been announced.

Pujols has spent all 11 of his major league seasons with the St Louis Cardinals, becoming a franchise icon second only to Stan Musial. He is fourth in career slugging percentage at .617, trailing only Hall of Famers Babe Ruth (.690), Ted Williams (.634) and Lou Gehrig (.632). But he had his poorest season in 2011 and at 31 is likely to spend the majority of his career with the Angels at designated hitter rather than first base.

St Louis also offered him a 10-year deal, but he chose to leave the Gateway City for sunny California.

“He left a pretty good impact over there, I don’t think fans will soon forget what his contributions were,” said former Cardinals manager and star Joe Torre, now an executive with Major League Baseball. “I still think the St Louis fans are going to be more appreciative than angry.”

The Angels made the move as the financially troubled Los Angeles Dodgers are in the process of being sold by Frank McCourt in USBankruptcy Court, a move that could give the region’s NL team a new, wealthy owner. The Dodgers could aggressively bid for talent a year from now, giving them a boost in the regional competition for fans’ attention.

“I’m a little surprised, I guess. I really thought he’d go back to St. Louis,” said Cincinnati general manager Walt Jocketty, an NL Central rival of the Cardinals. “It’s certainly good for our division.”

Pujols led the Cardinals to a World Series title this autumn — his second with the team in the last six seasons. He also had been pursued by the Miami Marlins, but they dropped out Wednesday after agreeing to a deal with left-hander Mark Buehrle that raised their free agent-spending to $191 million for three players following deals with closer Heath Bell and shortstop Jose Reyes.

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