- Jim Bowden, ESPN Insider
With the midpoint of baseball’s 2011-12 offseason upon us, it’s a good time to circle back to take stock of the most significant moves made thus far.
1. Los Angeles Angels sign 1B Albert Pujols and LHP C.J. Wilson
Angels owner Arte Moreno shocked the baseball world the morning of Dec. 8, when he signed three-time National League MVP Pujols to a 10-year, $254 million contract and left-hander Wilson to a five-year, $77.5 million pact. Pujols’ move from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Angels can be effectively compared to when Babe Ruth changed teams, going from the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees in 1919.
2. Miami Marlins winter meetings spending spree
The Marlins hadn't signed a significant major league free agent since 2005. Now nearly seven years later, the Marlins made a splash by signing closer Heath Bell, left-handed starter Mark Buehrle and shortstop Jose Reyes. Buehrle gives the Marlins a lefty to put between staff ace Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco. Bell has been one of the most effective closers in baseball over the last three years, while Reyes is one of baseball’s best leadoff hitters and improves the Marlins' defense on the left side of the infield.