Former MLB executive says Albert Pujols was lying about his age when he signed a $240 million contract with the Angels
- Albert Pujols is listed as 41 years old, but that could be false, according to a former MLB exec.
- The ex-Miami Marlins president said "not one person in baseball believes" Pujols' listed age.
- Pujols was released by the Angels on Thursday in the final year of his contract.
Albert Pujols is not the age he says he is, according to one former MLB team executive.
David Samson, who served as the Miami Marlins' president from 2002 to 2017, said no one in baseball believed Pujols was telling the truth about his age when he signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels after the 2011 season. Samson made the comments during an appearance on "The Dan Le Batard Show."
"There is not one person in baseball, not one executive, who believes Albert Pujols is the age that he says he is," Samson told Le Batard. "The amount of fraud that was going on in the Dominican back in the day, the changing of names, the changing of birthdays, it would blow your mind."
Samson said he knew Pujols was not the age he said was when the Marlins tried to court the three-time NL MVP in free agency in December 2011.
"We knew when we did the calculations for that deal that we didn't care about 2019, '20, or '21. It was so far in the future that it didn't matter," Samsom said, recalling his negotiations with Pujols. "We knew he'd be unproductive. We knew that he was not the age that he said he was. We had all the information."
Pujols hails from the Dominican Republic, a nation with a proud history of baseball talent and a slight history of birthday fraud among that talent. One instance of a Dominican player lying about his age occurred in 1999 with the former pitcher Wandy Rodriguez.
Rodriguez was 19 at the time and threw in the mid-80s, which was hardly impressive for young Dominican prospects. But Rodriguez found a way to boost his profile among MLB scouts by not only lying about his age but also taking on a new identity, Jose De Jesus Ortiz of The Houston Chronicle reported.
Rodriguez "borrowed" the identity of his friend Eny Cabrera, who was two years younger than Rodriguez. A mid-80s fastball for a 17-year-old was suddenly more attractive to MLB scouts, and he signed a contract with the Houston Astros.
Rodriguez later acknowledged his true identity to the organization but still went on to pitch in the majors for 10 years, from 2005 to 2015.
Another example was with the former shortstop Miguel Tejada, who also lied about being 17 when he was 19 to land a contract with the Oakland Athletics in 1993, according to ESPN.
This season could be Pujols' last in the majors, as he will be released by the Angels on Thursday, May 6, according to Mike Feinsand of MLB.com.
Pujols' wife, Deidre Pujols, hinted at the slugger's retirement after this season in an Instagram post last month but clarified it was not an official announcement.
- A 'hole' 30 times Earth's size has spread across the sun, blasting solar winds that'll hit our planet by end of this week
- Five planets will stage a rare spectacular event in the night sky on March 28
- Finland is offering free vacations for people to come and learn how to be happy after being named the happiest country in the world
- Torrent Investments not to participate in 2nd auction for Reliance Capital; Hinduja sole bidder
- Climate change threatening tea sector globally: ITA
- Over 23,000 techies lose jobs in nearly 82 Indian startups to date
- Scientists create car parts from lemons, corn, almonds and pomegranates that are better than traditional parts
- Cabinet clears dearness allowance hike by 4%