Albert Pujols' wife Deidre, in an interview with a radio station with ties to the former St. Louis Cardinals slugger, said the couple was prepared to take less money to stay in St. Louis, but were greatly disappointed when the team initially offered him a five-year deal.
Thursday, Albert Pujols signed a 10-year, $254 million offer with the Los Angeles Angels that contained no deferred money, as well as a 10-year personal services contract following that deal. The Cardinals' last offer to Pujols was for 10 years and $210 million, with $30 million deferred.
"The offer that people have seen on television I want to tell you what, listeners especially, had that offer been given to us with a guarantee, we would have the (Cardinals) bird on our back," Deidre Pujols told 99.1 Joy FM, a St. Louis-area Christian station that received some of its initial funding from Albert Pujols.
Deidre Pujols, speaking with interviewer Sandi Brown, who is her friend, said the couple initially had no plans to ever leave St. Louis or the Cardinals, the only team the first baseman had ever played for.
"When it all came down, I was mad. I was mad at God because I felt like all the signs that had been played out through the baseball field, our foundation, our restaurant, the Down Syndrome Center, my relationships, my home, my family close," Deidre Pujols told the station. "I mean, we had no reason, not one reason, to want to leave. People were deceived by the numbers."
She indicated the key moment was the Cardinals' initial offer of five years and $130 million.
"When you have somebody say 'We want you to be a Cardinal for life' and only offer you a five-year deal, it kind of confused us," Deidre Pujols said. "Well, we got over that insult and felt like Albert had given so much of himself to baseball and into the community ... we didn't want to go through this again."
Deidre Pujols told the station the negative reaction in St. Louis over her husband's decision to sign with the Angels has been striking.
"Albert has never lied. People are like 'Oh, we thought we knew who he was.' Well, we thought we knew who they were," she told the station.
"The city of St. Louis has absolutely been deceived and I have never seen hatred spread so fast and I understand why," she added. "Let me say that Albert and I never, not one time, ever made plans to leave this city."
Deidre Pujols also said she had no ill will toward the Cardinals or owner Bill DeWitt and that she understands the fans' frustration with her husband's decision.
"It's just like God," she said at the end of the interview, "to put us on a team called the Angels."