Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Impact of Pujols' absence
By Doug Mittler
The Los Angeles Angels conceded Monday what was already painfully obvious – there was no reason to bring back Albert Pujols for the rest of the season.
Pujols partially tore his left plantar fascia last month, and only recently got his foot out of a walking boot. With the season already lost, the Angels announced the $240 million first baseman would not play again in 2013.
The Angels so far have little to show for the signing of a player who won back-to-back National League MVP awards in 2008 and 2009. Justin Havens of ESPN Stats & Info notes Pujols has a 1.6 WAR, which tied for 129th with players such as Kelly Johnson, Dioner Navarro and David DeJesus.
One unanswered question is how the absence of Pujols will have any impact on whether owner Arte Moreno decides to bring back his brain trust. Moreno tells MLB.com’s Barry Bloom that his ongoing evaluation of the organization encompasses everyone and that the future of manager Mike Scioscia and GM Jerry Dipoto will be determined by the end of the season. With Pujols done for 20113, is there anything over the next five weeks that will give Moreno an accurate reading of his team?
At the very least, the Pujols injury is a reminder that that big ticket free agents come at a considerable risk. With Pujols ($240 million) and Josh Hamilton ($133 million) already under contract, maybe Moreno finally withstands the temptation to ridiculously overspend for a Brian McCann or a Matt Garza – two potential free agents who have been linked to the Halos.