Albert Pujols has agreed to a 10-year deal for at least $250 million with the Los Angeles Angels, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney on Thursday.
The deal includes a full no-trade clause, which Pujols had been seeking and may have been a sticking point in his negotiations with the Miami Marlins.
Pujols had turned down an offer from the Cardinals, the only team he has ever played for, about a year ago, but St. Louis was still in the bidding as of Wednesday.
Pujols is a three-time MVP who batted .299 with 37 homers and 99 RBIs in 2011, the only season in his 11-year career that he didn’t have 100 RBIs or hit better than .300. But the 31-year-old did battle an arm injury.
Sources told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark that the Angels jumped into the bidding late Wednesday.
The Marlins moved on to pursue free agent pitchers Mark Buehrle (who agreed to terms Wednesday, pending a physical) and C.J. Wilson. But despite the Marlins’ exit from the bidding Wednesday night, sources said negotiations with the Cardinals hadn’t progressed to the point where Pujols was close to agreeing to a deal.
The Cardinals had planned to talk with Pujols’ agent one more time Thursday before heading home. But sources told Olney that the Cardinals’ latest offer was for nine years and a little less than $200 million. That would have made him the fourth-highest paid first baseman.
One source who spoke with Pujols’ camp Wednesday came away with the impression the two sides were farther apart than had been widely portrayed earlier in the day.
While the Angels were initially chasing Pujols, they were also engaged in heavy negotiations with Wilson on Wednesday. Sources told Olney that the team has not ruled out signing both players, landing two of the highest profile free agents this offseason.
Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto told reporters that the Angels had cast a “wide net” in their pursuit of ways to upgrade their team.
Pujols won the Rookie of the Year award in 2001. He has a lifetime .328 batting average and has hit 445 home runs.[via ESPN]