Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, and Insanity

According to Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports, Pujols has agreed in principle to a 10-year deal with the Angels for $250-$260 million dollars and a full no-trade clause (not that anybody would trade for him now).

Let that sink in for a minute.

Alex Rodiguez is the only other player that has signed a contract in this price range, not once but twice, and he's generally hated for it. Some of this has to do with perception: money aside, Rodriguez is viewed as being prickly, cold, and calculating, while Pujols is generally well liked by the media and fans.

Nevertheless, at some point it's all about what happens on the field.

Both times that Rodriguez signed his record setting deals, he was coming off 9+ WAR seasons. Pujols, by comparison, is coming off of a 5 WAR season. Obviously, that's not shabby, but whether this is a fluke and Pujols ultimately returns to his 7-8 WAR self, or it's a sign of things to come the way that Rodriguez's 2008-2009 seasons were, remains to be seen. And that's huge here.

Any team that signs a player to a 10 year contract knows that they're probably going to have to write off the final 2-3 seasons, but they pray that's it. Whether or not Pujols rebounds to his pre-2011 levels next season will go a long way towards figuring out whether this contract will work out like A-Rod's first one did, or like his second one probably will.

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