Updated at 12:44 p.m.; filed at 9:55 a.m.
The Los Angeles Angels are the winner in the bidding for Albert Pujols, the St. Louis Cardinals’ free-agent slugger.
Pujols, who will turn 32 in January, agreed to a 10-year deal worth at least $250 million. Later in the morning, the Angels made another big move, agreeing to terms with C.J. Wilson. The Pujols move, though, was the more eye-popping move and came about quickly.
“Just in the last couple of days has the interacton with [agent] Dan Lozano and Albert’s camp ramped up,” Angels General Manager Jerry DiPoto said in a press conference.
“I still can’t stop smiling about it,” Angels outfielder Vernon Wells said in an ESPN interview. “I’m like a kid in a candy store. ... To see something like this happen to an organization that I’m part of is truly an honor.”
As for concerns about Pujols’ age, DiPoto added: “He hits like he’s 27.”
The Miami Marlins had fallen out of the running Thursday and the Cardinals came at their free agent with an impressive offer, but Angels were a late entry into the sweepstakes. A third, unnamed team — Theo Epstein and the Chicago Cubs? — may have gotten into the action.
In many respects, the Angels are an ideal team for Pujols, since the American League has the designated hitter and does not face the Cardinals, the only team he’s ever played for.
Besides, not everyone thought re-signing Pujols was in the Cards’ best interests — members of that camp ranged from baseball reporters like Tom Verducci to St. Louis fans. But there’s one enormously disappointed man right now. Stan the Man isn’t getting what he wants for Christmas.