Albert Pujols agreed to backload his 10-year, $250 million contract to help the Los Angeles Angels sign free-agent pitcher C.J. Wilson, ESPN reported Thursday, citing sources.
Pujols will make significantly less money in the first two years of the contract, which is one of the most lucrative in professional sports history.
The slugger will reportedly make a base salary of $12 million in 2012 and $16 million in 2013, with the salary gradually increasing until he makes over $30 million a year towards the end of the deal.
The backloading of the contract allowed the Angels to sign Wilson to a five-year, $77 million deal, the sources said.
Pujols, who turns 32 next month, departed St. Louis after 11 brilliant seasons, including World Series titles in 2006 and 2011. The nine-time All-Star has a career average of .328, with 445 home runs.
The 31-year-old Wilson went 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA in 2011 and helped lead the Texas Rangers to their second consecutive World Series appearance. The converted closer is 31-15 over the past two seasons, his first two as a starter.