The December 30th, 2011 edition of daily news for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim including Pujols’ contract is heavily backloaded, Angels boast one of the best infields, Halo fans will miss mocking Jeff Mathis and much more…

The Story: Albert Pujols’ contract is heavily backloaded, with him earning $12 million in 2012 and over $30 million per year towards the end of the deal.

The Monkey Says: The deal is structured this way allegedly so that the Angels could also afford to add C.J. Wilson, though I think it has more to do with off-setting how much Vernon Wells is owed, which is $21 million annually for the next three years.  What I find interesting though is that this puts the Angels at almost exactly $150 million in payroll for 2012.  That actually isn’t far about the $140 million they were hoping to spend going into the off-season.  This can mean a few things: A) the Angels really don’t want to spend much more than $150 million annually and will never go above that line, which will be something of a problem once Pujols’ deal starts getting expensive or B) The Angels actually want to preserve even more financial flexibility for this off-season and make a run at Ryan Madson or C) their new TV deal also increases in value over time possibly, so the angels need to slowly phase in their increased payroll levels.  I’m kind of hoping it is B, but I have a feeling it is really A.

The Story: Buster Olney rates the Angels infield as the fifth-best in the majors.

The Monkey Says: I actually think that is just about right, especially when you consider how good they are defensively.  They would probably rank much higher if they ever found a way to land a legit upgrade at third base.

The Story: Angels fans won’t have Jeff Mathis to kick around anymore.

The Monkey Says: Yeah, but we still have Vernon Wells, so we should be just fine.

The Story: Jerry Dipoto is already a textbook case of why nobody should believe what a GM says.

The Monkey Says: Don’t worry, it isn’t a rip job, it is just a case of how comically misleading GMs can be when they are trying to keep their plans under wraps.

The Story: Apparently Albert Pujols and his wife (mostly his wife) have an internet cooking series.

The Monkey Says: Ummm, ok?