Did the Cardinals drop the ball with Albert?
Can the Cardinals compete without Albert?
Will you still root for Albert?
(BaseballStL) -- The league’s biggest free agent, Albert Pujols, has signed a ten-year, $250 million deal with a full no-trade clause with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim leaving the St. Louis Cardinals a massive void to fill.
Pujols, 31, has undoubtedly been one of the greatest Cardinals players to ever play for the franchise that is deep in its tradition.
Read the Cardinals' statement on Pujols' decision here
In his 11 seasons with the Cardinals, the nine-time All-Star won two World Series championships and three MVP awards while hitting .328 with 445 home runs and 1,329 RBIs in over 1,700 games.
He was also an MVP runner-up three other times and never finished outside the top ten in MVP voting. He was also a two-time Gold Glove winner since joining the Cardinals in 2001.
The future Hall of Famer now heads west this winter and will continue to stay there for presumably the next ten years despite making a reported $104 million in his time as a Cardinal.
Read a statement from the Pujols Family Foundation here
According to sources, it appeared that the relationship between team owners and Pujols had deteriorated over the past few years. Pujols, last offseason, rejected a reported nine-year, $198 million deal and refused to negotiate a new contract during the season. There was nothing new to report following the Cardinals’ World Series championship in October.
During his Cardinals tenure, he established the Pujols Family Foundation to help children and families with Down Syndrome and an anonymous donor recently donated money to honor Pujols with a statue that currently sits outside his restaurant.
He was arguably the biggest baseball icon in a city that has seen the likes of Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Red Schoendienst and many other Hall of Famers. But now Pujols will more likely be compared to another athlete who “took his talents to South Beach,” LeBron James, someone that many believed left the city of Cleveland out to dry.
Love his decision or hate it, the Cardinals and its fans will now have to live with it. Adios, El Hombre!
by Scott Bierman, BaseballStL
-Follow me on Twitter @Scott_Bierman for St. Louis sports news and updates
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