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Angels Pass Rangers in AL West

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    The Cardinals' Albert Pujols hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning of Game 3 -- and he was just getting started.

    The AL West arms race is officially on.

    The Rangers stood pat during the Winter Meetings, which is nothing too alarming considering their recent history, but the Angels made enough noise for both of them.

    Early Thursday morning, it was announced that the Angels had swooped in and stolen Albert Pujols from the bidding war that was going on between the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals. Soon after, they announced they had signed Rangers ace C.J. Wilson.

    So what's all this mean? It means the Angels have passed the Rangers in the AL West pecking order. The good thing for the Rangers? It's Dec. 8, not July 8.

    Pujols' deal is 10 years for what is reported to be for $250 million and includes a full no-trade clause, something neither the Cardinals or even the crazy-pants Marlins would do.

    He's 31 years old, but as a proud Dominican he could be anywhere between 31 and 36.

    Kidding aside, halfway kidding anyway, Pujols won't live out his 10-year contract in the bigs, at least not as an effective player.

    He already looks like a 75-year-old man on the field, but for the next few years anyway he's going to give the Angels arguably the best and most feared hitter in baseball, not to mention the fact that this will allow him to DH and extend his career.

    So now the big question is, do the Rangers respond? Angels owner Arte Moreno has long played the role of sensible owner, but the Pujols signing goes against all of that. Moreno just paid more for Pujols then he did for the entire franchise when he bought the Angels from Disney.

    The Rangers are insisting they are using the money they have available for this year to re-up some guys that are coming free in the near future: Mike Napoli, Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton to name a few.

    So yeah, for now, the Angels might have passed the Rangers. But the Rangers will do something, and if they don't they'll just be inches behind the Angels on the AL West totem pole.