Orange County Business Journal

Moreno, Angels Nab Pujols, Wilson

Chris Casacchia Thursday, December 8, 2011

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim owner Arte Moreno has nabbed the top two free agents on the market, dispelling a long-held notion that the franchise wouldn’t pay top dollar for prized players.

The Angels signed star first baseman Albert Pujols to a 10-year deal worth a reported $250 million on Thursday morning, according to published reports.

Moreno followed that blockbuster deal by signing left-handed starting pitcher and Orange County native C.J. Wilson to a five-year deal for $70 million to $75 million, according to reports from various media outlets.

The Angels and Moreno have taken criticism from fans and pundits in recent years for missing out on high-priced free agents.

Pujols is a three-time MVP award winner and two-time World Series champion, and considered to be one of the greatest right hand hitters in history.

He cemented a legacy during his 11-year career with the St. Louis Cardinals, which included two World Series championships for the team.

The 10-year deal for 31-year-old Pujols is considered one of the most lucrative in any sport.

Wilson, also 31, is a crafty pitcher who helped the Texas Rangers reach the World Series the last two years.

Last season, he was 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA. He finished sixth in the American League Cy Young Award voting.

The two signings amount to one of the most memorable days in the Angels’ 50-year history.