LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim rocked the baseball world yesterday. The team announced it signed Albert Pujols to a 10-year contract worth more than $250 million. Pujols is one of the best baseball players in years, but is he worth a quarter of a billion?
NPR's Ben Bergman reports.
BEN BERGMAN, BYLINE: Several general managers were aggressively pursuing Pujols, but it was Angels GM Jerry Dipoto who swooped in to reel him in.
JERRY DIPOTO: I can't say that in my wildest dreams I thought I would be sitting here today. We're talking about an iconic offensive player in his generation.
BERGMAN: Dipoto's boss Arte Moreno bought the entire Angels franchise for $184 million eight years ago. Now, Moreno is digging very deep into his wallet to pay substantially more than that to just one player, one that will be in his 40s when his contract expires in a decade.
ROB NEYER: It's incredibly difficult to predict a player's performance for 10 years.
BERGMAN: Rob Neyer is National baseball editor at Baseball Nation.
NEYER: There are just so many things that can impact a player's performance most particularly injuries that we just can't figure in. And they could be catastrophic injuries or it could be something minor that allows them to continue playing but impacts his performance significantly.
BERGMAN: A big risk, but one that may be worth it given the Angels are reportedly close to signing a new billion dollar cable contract.
NEYER: It's an immense amount of money from one source and that's where the big chunk of money comes from when you're a team like the Angels in a big market.
BERGMAN: Another Pujols plus, the Angels have long tried to bill themselves as an L.A. team even though they play far outside the city. They added L.A. to their name a few years ago, which was mostly greeted with shrugs. But if Pujols can't get Angelenos to pay attention to the Angels, perhaps nothing will.
Ben Bergman, NPR News, Los Angeles. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.