Getty ImagesThe Los Angeles Angels made two of of the biggest free agency signings of the last two off-seasons in Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. But so far this season, Pujols and Hamilton have looked more like two big mistakes.
It’s still early in the first season of Hamilton’s 5-year, $125 million contract, but so far his .208 batting average ranks 85th out of 98 batters in the American League (AL) with enough plate appearances to qualify. And his -0.6 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) is 92nd in the AL.
In addition, he is on pace to hit just 10 home runs this season. Not good for a hitter that has averaged 33 home runs the past three seasons.
Likewise, Pujols is hitting just .237 with five home runs and a -0.2 WAR. But more concerning is his health.
Pujols, who has nearly nine years remaining on his 10-year, $240 million contract, is battling a foot injury that has limited him to designated hitter duties in nearly half of his team’s games.
The Angels think the injury (plantar fasciitis) will improve over the course of the season, however, Pujols admits he is playing in a great deal of pain, and is visibly limping when he moves.
Hamilton has plenty of time to get things going with his bat, so he should improve. But at age 33, Angels fans need to be concerned with the long-term health and production of Pujols. He wouldn’t be the first power hitter to see his production plummet in his mid-30s.
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