Albert Pujols pays Angels’ furloughed Dominican staff
Anaheim, Calif. — Albert Pujols will pay the salaries of the Los Angeles Angels’ furloughed employees in his native Dominican Republic for five months, a person with knowledge of the decision told the Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity Friday because the veteran slugger didn’t publicly announce his commitment to give roughly $180,000 to cover the salaries.
The strict budget cuts made by Angels owner Arte Moreno during the coronavirus pandemic have included extensive furloughs for scouts, player development staff and minor league employees. The furloughs also included most of the staff of their Dominican academy in Boca Chica.
The Angels established an employee assistance fund earlier during the pandemic to help employees, but don’t have a timetable for reestablishing their minor league and development staffs.
The 40-year-old Pujols is in the ninth season of a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Angels, who signed him in late 2011 after he won three NL MVP awards and two World Series titles with the St. Louis Cardinals. The first baseman was born and raised in Santo Domingo before moving to the U.S. as a teenager.
Pujols is sixth in major league history with 656 career homers, and he got his 3,000th hit in 2018. He is likely to be the oldest player on a major league roster if the season begins.
The Los Angeles Times first reported Pujols’ decision.