A take on Pujols, Luke and the Duke

Three Tuesday quick takes for your reading enjoyment:

* Albert Pujols has become the latest baseball player to sign an amazing megabucks free agent contract with a new team and then say it wasn’t about the money. This came after the Los Angeles Angels introduced Pujols on Saturday after he signed a whopping 10-year, $254 milion deal with the club.

“To tell you the truth, it wasn’t about the money. I’m going to die saying that, because it wasn’t about the money. It was about the commitment,” Pujols told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Pujols said Angels owner Arte Moreno seemed to want him more.

“It was about the way he made me feel,” Pujols said. “Arte made me feel like he wanted me to be with the Angels forever. He doesn’t want me to be 37 years old and go somewhere else.”

Albert, for $254 million, you should be with the Angels forever and you should park cars in the lot if needed when your playing career is over.

I don’t know Pujols and have no doubt that he feels most welcome to be an Angel. But this is the same stuff we heard when Mike Mussina left the Orioles and signed with the Yankees. He was so touched then, he said, that Joe Torre called him on the phone. Wow, a phone call and everything!

Just like with Moose, I am not buying Albert on this either.

It would be nice to hear a player say “that massive contract” when asked why they signed with a certain team. As the saying goes, when they say it’s not about the money, it is about the money.

* As expected, the Orioles non-tendered Luke Scott last night, not offering him arbitration and making him a free agent that can now sign with any team.

Coming off a year where he hit .220 with nine homers, 22 RBIs and a .703 OPS, the Orioles certainly made the right call here. You can’t offer arbitration, and a possible raise over his $6.4 million salary, to a player with those stats that is coming off surgery on a torn right labrum from late July.

Now we’ll see if the O’s can sign Scott at a lesser price. I think they would have a good chance to do that. Many fans remember the 2010 version of Scott that batted .284 with 27 homers, 72 RBIs and a .903 OPS. He was named Most Valuable Oriole and he was less streaky during the year and his true power was on display.

At 33, I see no reason the club shouldn’t pursue a one-year deal with Scott to serve as a DH and reserve in the outfield and maybe even at first base. With his defense in the outfield considered shaky by the scouts, Scott figures to have a better chance to sign with another American League club if he does leave the Orioles.

* Just thinking out loud here, but is his newness to the job one reason new Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette is reluctant to pull off a big trade? Duquette has said he is against trading his core pieces, both position players and pitchers.

Since you have to give up quality to get it back, and you have to give up quality to get a package of prospects, Duquette’s trade pieces don’t seem very impressive.

People in baseball say that new GMs sometimes make bad trades because they are anxious to make moves and other GMs take advantage of that eagerness.

It will not be exciting to fans, but maybe Duquette wants to wait a year to be sure what he has before he considers any big-time deals. Maybe right now he is not certain what return he should or could get for a key player.

No matter whether we like it or not, Duquette does have to get some time to learn the organization inside and out and that won’t happen in just a few short weeks.

Maybe he thinks right now the prudent thing to do is sit tight with those players. It could also be he just likes them too much to deal them as he said.

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