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Thoughts on Pujols future...


floplag

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Part of this may be wishful thinking, but im curious where other people are on this so...

First off, this isnt a bash thread, far from it, he has done much better this year and still has a positive WAR so i hope it wont devolve into that.

I think its possible he may take a hard look in the mirror this off season and might consider stepping aside. 

I dont think hes concerned about the money, and as hard as it would be for most people to walk away from nearly 90 mil, i think we all know they can roll a large part of that into the his post baseball services contract.

The reason is simple, i think hes concerned about his career numbers and his hall of fame case.  I dont think he wants to fall below a career 300 average.  If he finishes this year above that mark, if i were him, i might think about it. 

I could be way off base, i dont know the man i have no reason to think this other than i think hes very prideful and intelligent.  I think he would make a fine hitting coach for example, maybe even a manager one day.  Hes got to be feeling the strain of this season added workload, even though to his credit he has help up well though you can easily tell hes feeling it some. 

Just a thought i had from something i posted in another thread.  

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2 minutes ago, floplag said:

The reason is simple, i think hes concerned about his career numbers and his hall of fame case.  I dont think he wants to fall below a career 300 average.  If he finishes this year above that mark, if i were him, i might think about it.

I have the opposite opinion.  I think he appreciates the milestones as they happen, but I don't believe he's concerned about his legacy or his HOF case.  He's going to get in, regardless. 

Neither of us actually know what he's thinking.  Nobody does.  We're not him. 

It's an interesting topic for sure - but I do think you're going to get a lot of "wishful thinking" posts.

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While he may be conscious of his average, I don't thing it's a big factor to him. I think he's much more focused on being a WS winner with the Angels to prove that signing him wasn't a mistake. As far as I'm concerned he sees that as the way to keep people from calling him the greatest FA bust

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1 minute ago, Torridd said:

I think Pujols is a good guy, but I think he would only retire if he felt he was a liability at the plate and I don't think that time has come yet or he was in so much pain he just didn't think it was worth returning.

Yeah i didnt mention this, but part of him being a intelligent guy is realizing that as a possibility.    I think hes really trying to prove something this year, if not to anyone but himself.   If he feels like he cant play at that level... idk. 

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1 minute ago, arch stanton said:

While he may be conscious of his average, I don't thing it's a big factor to him. I think he's much more focused on being a WS winner with the Angels to prove that signing him wasn't a mistake. As far as I'm concerned he sees that as the way to keep people from calling him the greatest FA bust

Well, is that realistic in the life of his contract at this point even if he plays it to its conclusion?  Most here are already planning for his last year or so at the soonest. 

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2 minutes ago, The Boogie Man said:

I think next year he will be a part time player and it will be his last year.  Whether it is as simple as him retiring or if the team and him work out a buy out that is somehow attached to his personal services contract.  

If he's going to be a part-time player, who takes his place? Do you envision Thaiss, Ward, et al taking his spot? I just think we have enough issues with Valbuena, Calhoun, Kinsler that Pujols may be on the backburner. I mean, if we had a Wally Joyner banging on the door, I could see it but if these guys are iffy, I can see Pujols getting his 500 at-bats again.

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1 minute ago, floplag said:

Well, is that realistic in the life of his contract at this point even if he plays it to its conclusion?  Most here are already planning for his last year or so at the soonest. 

In our eyes it's less realistic with him in the lineup but I'm thinking from his perspective

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3 minutes ago, arch stanton said:

While he may be conscious of his average, I don't thing it's a big factor to him. I think he's much more focused on being a WS winner with the Angels to prove that signing him wasn't a mistake. As far as I'm concerned he sees that as the way to keep people from calling him the greatest FA bust

Well then he is delusional. It was a mistake to sign him and he's only hurting our World Series chances. So he doesn't need to prove anything. If we win the World Series, it sure as hell won't be because of him.

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I have great admiration for Albert Pujols.  For as great a ball player as he is - he seems to be even a better person.  Obviously, I don't know him personally - but the things I have read and come to understand about him, impress me very much.  I admire his faith, his philanthropy, his commitment to his family and to the communities he supports. 

That being said, he's human.  He's not the first athlete to stay in a sport beyond his time.  Coming to the realization that it's time to hang 'em up is never easy for a professional athlete.  It's rare that they go out on their own terms.  What usually happens is they fail to get that next contract and they're forced into retirement.  I hope he has the opportunity to dictate his own retirement.   I'll add - I hope that time is soon.

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Next season needs to be his final season and he needs to not play nearly as often as he has the past 2 seasons

Time for the org to address this. Give him a farewell tour if you must, but it can't be at the expense of winning games anymore. This is more directed at Eppler and Moreno than Scioscia.

They either need to give Thaiss a shot or sign someone that can hit to play the position. This nonsense of having Marte/Valbuena as the other options has got to end immediately.

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13 minutes ago, True Grich said:

I have great admiration for Albert Pujols.  For as great a ball player as he is - he seems to be even a better person.  Obviously, I don't know him personally - but the things I have read and come to understand about him, impress me very much.  I admire his faith, his philanthropy, his commitment to his family and to the communities he supports. 

That being said, he's human.  He's not the first athlete to stay in a sport beyond his time.  Coming to the realization that it's time to hang 'em up is never easy for a professional athlete.  It's rare that they go out on their own terms.  What usually happens is they fail to get that next contract and they're forced into retirement.  I hope he has the opportunity to dictate his own retirement.   I'll add - I hope that time is soon.

Yeah, i would agree with this and what others have said.  Make next year the farewell tour and lower his playing time.  I think the latter is a given at this point as Thaiss or JMF are pressuring him and need a chance to show what they can do at some point. 

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It’s interesting with Ohtani as DH.  Pujols has to see that it’s Ohtani’s time, and he needs to be in the lineup a majority of the time.  Pujols can still play 1B and he’s done remarkably well this year.  But this also adds to the wear and tear on his body and he probably can’t spend as much time there next season, and beyond.   But the whole Ohtani and Tommy John could play a big role on how quickly Pujols decides to retire.  If Ohtani can avoid TJ and be primary DH, Pujols can probably only put a decreasing amount of time in the field going into next season.   But if Ohtani has TJ, it opens up the DH spot for all of next season more than likely.  Will be very interesting how it all plays out.  

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3 minutes ago, jordan said:

It’s interesting with Ohtani as DH.  Pujols has to see that it’s Ohtani’s time, and he needs to be in the lineup a majority of the time.  Pujols can still play 1B and he’s done remarkably well this year.  But this also adds to the wear and tear on his body and he probably can’t spend as much time there next season, and beyond.   But the whole Ohtani and Tommy John could play a big role on how quickly Pujols decides to retire.  If Ohtani can avoid TJ and be primary DH, Pujols can probably only put a decreasing amount of time in the field going into next season.   But if Ohtani has TJ, it opens up the DH spot for all of next season more than likely.  Will be very interesting how it all plays out.  

It really shouldn't be that interesting. The org needs to realize he's not valuable no matter if he is playing DH or 1B. What Pujols wants to do cannot dictate the ultimate decision for the Angels. Pay him his money to sit on the bench if you have to or come to a buyout agreement where he still gets his money but is off the roster. The money is Pujols' and you can't blame him for taking every penny. Arte signed that deal and has to honor it. There's no turning back on it now unless you want to pursue a case that he lied about his age (not happening)

Absolute worst case scenario is another season of him playing everyday. Look at what a league average 1B or DH produces and then look at Albert. 

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1 minute ago, GrittyVeterans said:

It really shouldn't be that interesting. The org needs to realize he's not valuable no matter if he is playing DH or 1B. What Pujols wants to do cannot dictate the ultimate decision for the Angels. Pay him his money to sit on the bench if you have to or come to a buyout agreement where he still gets his money but is off the roster. 

Absolute worst case scenario is another season of him playing everyday. Look at what a league average 1B or DH produces and then look at Albert. 

I agree.  It’s gotten to the point that it shouldn’t be up to Pujols, but what’s in the best interest of the team.   I just can’t see Arte doing that (releasing or buyout) to Pujols.  But I have a feeling next years team is going to look a lot different from this years, including coaching staff.  Hopefully, they decide to convince Pujols to open up his roster spot either making it look like it’s his choice or just ripping off the band aid.  

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I believe the Angels did what they thought was in the best interest of the team.

Like some of us, they bought into the idea that he would be a bit better after a healthy off season.  He lost weight.  He was able to prepare in his normal way.  It didn't work out.

They made roster changes to accommodate the idea that he would be better.  They're kind of stuck with the decision right now.

They didn't do any of this for Albert's benefit.  They did it because they believed it gave the team the best chance to win.  It's just not working out.

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11 minutes ago, hangin n wangin said:

If Pujols isn't riding some serious pine next year, Angels management is inept and irresponsible regarding this whole situation. Simple as that.

It doesn't take a genius to see that the guy is done.

I completely agree.  Bottom line is the guys that hate him will change the narrative from he should be riding serious pine to he shouldn’t even be on the roster.  

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1 minute ago, The Boogie Man said:

I completely agree.  Bottom line is the guys that hate him will change the narrative from he should be riding serious pine to he shouldn’t even be on the roster.  

Well, that would be the next step. If we have better bench players than him next year, it's fair. That's TBD though.

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Just now, hangin n wangin said:

Well, that would be the next step. 

I wasn’t calling you out.  It isn’t as simple as some make it out to be.  This isn’t even a $30 million a year CJ Cron type.  It is a first ballot hall of famer and that is going to have to be handled with kid gloves.  Especially when you have the re-signing of Trout as the teams top priority in the near future.  

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1 minute ago, The Boogie Man said:

I wasn’t calling you out.  It isn’t as simple as some make it out to be.  This isn’t even a $30 million a year CJ Cron type.  It is a first ballot hall of famer and that is going to have to be handled with kid gloves.  Especially when you have the re-signing of Trout as the teams top priority in the near future.  

Unfortunate, but yea, true. Just a really shitty situation.

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1 hour ago, The Boogie Man said:

I think next year he will be a part time player and it will be his last year.  Whether it is as simple as him retiring or if the team and him work out a buy out that is somehow attached to his personal services contract.  

+1

His OPS is still not far off from .700, and his RISP hitting is fine this season (if not his hitting vs LHP, although a small sample).    His days of cleanup work are likely mostly over.

For 2019, I can see Pujols, Thaiss, and Ohtani (assuming no TJS) sharing 324 starts at 1B/DH...120 each for Pujols and Thaiss, the rest for Ohtani.

Then as his 40th birthday is about to hit, he hangs them up after 2019 and the Halos pay off the $59 million remaining at that point over the 10 personal services contract.   Question: would that reduce his contribution to the AAV payroll (related to luxury tax threshold) from $24 million for 2020 and 2021 each to about $6 million for 2020 and 2021 each?    That would be cool if so, and would only add $6 million to the AAV payroll for 2022-2029. 

 

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5 minutes ago, BackUpTheTruck said:

I don't think Pujols should be gauranteed a roster spot next year, he should have to compete with Thaiss.  If Thaiss struggles with lefties, perhaps there can be a platoon.  I am assuming Ohtani is DH full time next year.

When Ohtani is pitching again, Thaiss could start every night at first base, and Pujols could share DH with Ohtani.

If Ohtani doesn't need TJS, he will be pitching again by the beginning of ST 2019, and thus DHing only when not the day before, during, or the day after his starts (about 80-90 DH starts).    Then, Thaiss and Pujols would have some 230-240 cumulative starts to share.   If Thaiss does stand out, and Pujols is struggling to keep his OPS above .700 and not doing well with RISP, then Thaiss starts most of the time and Pujols starts part of the time at most. 

In any case, after 2019 would seem to be the best time to retire.

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