Angels make waves with Pujols, Wilson signings

Goodbye St. Louis. Albert Pujols changes Cardinal red for a different shade of red. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

When I first heard the Angels had signed Albert Pujols to a 10-year, $250 million dollar contract, my reaction was of calm, measured professionalism. The news made my morning, my day, and possibly my entire year. I’m sure plenty of my Angel-loving peers feel the same way.

As I wrote this, I got word the Angels also signed C.J. Wilson to a five-year deal. My chest hurts.

Since Jerry DiPoto took over as Angels GM earlier this year, the Halos have acquired Chris Iannetta, Brad Mills, LaTroy Hawkins, Pujols and Wilson.

Hawkins, Pujols and Wilson came to Anaheim in a 14-hour span. Dipoto is making it clear he’s here to make the Angels winners. At this point, I’d say he’s doing a heck of a job.

This massive level of talent looks great on paper, but nobody’s calling the Angels world champs yet. In fact, the club now has plenty of decisions to make at first base. Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo are both good players in their own right, but Pujols will obviously get the starting nod at first.

The Halos can take a few routes with these two (now-backup) sluggers. They could trade either player, but Trumbo brings enough versatility to the game to play outfield in Anaheim. Morales’s leg is still a huge question mark, so his options look a little more limited. He’s still tempting trade bait, and I doubt he’d be able to make the move to another position for the Angels.

This offseason will bring to the Angels not only a better chance of winning, but a whole lot of star power as well. The Halos have always been a good team, but not since Reggie Jackson have they featured a player who so dominantly commanded national attention. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I simply love to see the Angels in the spotlight.

While I continue to fawn over Pujols, let’s not forget Wilson, who will further bolster a club which already boasted the best team ERA in the American League last season. Wilson posted a formidable 2.94 ERA in 34 starts last season. With Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Wilson in the rotation, the Angels could very well rival the Phillies for best starting staff in baseball.

DiPoto deserves a ton of credit for so aggressively addressing the Angels’ wants and needs this offseason. With Tony Reagins out the door, the Angels’ immediate future looked mighty cloudy. The new GM has now left little doubt as to the Halos’ direction. DiPoto’s remarkable strategy in addressing the Angels’ concerns at catcher and in the lineup has cemented his place in this Halos fan’s heart. Whether his strategy will pay off is still quietly in doubt. However, the approach itself deserves heavy commendation.

Now, with the Halos making moves and a whole new club guaranteed to take the field next season, I’m counting down the seconds until opening day. Angel fan or not, you’ve got to be excited to see the results of DiPoto’s shockingly aggressive offseason.

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