Many baseball fans around the country are yet to pick their jaws off the floor after the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim swooped in on Thursday to get two of the most coveted free agents on the market; Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson.
Pujols is obviously the bigger splash made by Arte Moreno and his incredibly large wallet, and there is reaction across the board on this epic offseason acquisition.
St. Louis Cardinals Chariman and CEO Bill DeWitt had this to say in a statement Thursday morning:
"We are disappointed that we were unable to reach an agreement to keep Albert Pujols in St. Louis. Albert is a great champion and we will always be thankful for his many achievements in a Cardinals uniform, as well as his contributions to the St. Louis community. I have the highest regard for Albert both personally and professionally, and appreciate his direct involvement in this process. I would like our fans to know that we tried our best to make Albert a lifetime Cardinal but unfortunately we were unable to make it happen."
Senior VP and GM John Mozielak had this to say:
"Albert has been a special player in this organization since the moment he was drafted over 12 years ago. His accomplishments on and off the field have been spectacular. I wish him well in the next phase of his career."
The sting of losing a guy like Albert must be almost unbearable, especially for a fan base coming off a World Series Championship in which Albert played a huge role in. But all good things come to an end, and those Cardinals fans have two rings and lots of memoires to keep them warm at night.
As for the Angels, they held a press conference Thursday morning as GM Jerry Dipoto expressed how delighted they all were with their acquisitions:
Q. How did this thing come about and when? Sort of go through a reconstruct on the Pujols deal?
JERRY DIPOTO: I think it's a tribute to the aggressive nature, competitive nature and quality of our ownership with the Angels. We're in a unique position, as it pertains to our market, our location and the attractive nature of our club. I think many players around baseball desire to come to play for the Angels and this was a really good fit for our franchise and I believe it's an excellent fit for the players we're talking about here. We're talking about an iconic offensive player in his generation, to be sure.
As for how they managed to nab Pujols, Dipoto said it was simply a matter of biding their time:
Q. Was the strategy to kind of swoop in at the last minute with the offer or did something change or say, okay, let's go for this at the last minute?
JERRY DIPOTO: No, honestly there was no swooping strategy. We bided our time. I believe we exercised patience. We created a lot of different options in regard to the plans we had to improve our roster and when an opportunity like this exists you take advantage. And again, that's something that I can attribute to Arte's involvement.
And when speaking of owner Arte Moreno, Dipoto was clear in his intentions with these signings:
it's not a one man show. We're a family. Arte Moreno is as competitive an owner and as genuine a person as there is in the game. And this is, in large part, a tribute to him... Arte has made it very clear, he wants to win championships, he wants to win rings. And we think this is a way to move toward that goal.
For more on the Angels, head over to Halos Heaven to get your fix.