The Angels obviously released Pujols in May, concluding his ten-year run with the club. They still, unfortunately had to pay almost all of the $30 million on his contract this season.
Now, Pujols is not only gone but so is his contract. This gives the Angels so much more freedom in building up their roster.
The LA Angels have a major opportunity to upgrade the roster now that they’re paying Albert Pujols nothing.
Albert Pujols had a poor tenure with the LA Angels, making his contract even worse. Pujols hit .256/.311/.447 with 222 home runs and 783 RBI in his nine plus years with the Halos. We paid him over $224 million (and that’s even with a lesser 2020 salary due to the coronavirus pandemic shortening the season) in his time with the Angels.
Now, the payroll situation looks a bit better in terms of what we have left to spend. The current payroll is $111,188,094, and with Arte Moreno being an incredibly wealthy owner, he has the potential to get up to $200 million.
Now, the Angels clearly will end up having the money to fill multiple top needs through free agency.
Of course, they’ll need to re-sign some of their bullpen pitchers like Raisel Iglesias, Mike Mayers, and Steve Cishek. However, that should still leave them with enough to go on a shopping spree for an Ace like Max Scherzer or Marcus Stroman, as well as some money left over from that to grab a star at shortstop like Corey Seager or Marcus Semien.
Or, the Angels could go after bullpen help and spend a bit less on shortstop, or even just go with one of the young guys they’re trying to develop right now.
What we do know now, however, is that the Halos can spend on their top Ace of choice, as well as an elite bullpen option or an elite shortstop option. They could even be able to spend even more before they hit that $200 million mark.
I wouldn’t expect them to go much further than that, however, as Moreno has a reputation for not spending as much as he can. There were also just two teams that spent $200 million or more this past year.
If we still had to pay Pujols, we’d be able to go for our starter of choice in free agency and not much else. Now, we can fill two needs and maybe even more without Pujols. The franchise is in so much better shape now that they aren’t paying for the disappointment that was Pujols.